Librarians and collectors are the most important people for the arts. At the very moment things are happening, it is impossible to sift through the endless piles of music and photographs and paintings and general artistic output. Every day more crap (I'm using this term in the most positive way) gets dumped into the 'cultural atmosphere.' It can feel like white noise...pollution. How can you even come close to getting a grasp on the world's artistic output in as little s a day, much less a year or decade.
That's why we have people like James Danky. They collect things so we can sift through them later. Or other people can sift through them for us. But all of this sifting, none-the-less, is made possible by people who take that initial interest and deem something "worthy of collecting."
I think "best of" lists are pretty funny. Especially one's about the year we just came through. Basically, the only artistic output the writers of such lists have to go off of is the most advertised. Whether a particular item has been blogged about the most, or been sold in the most stores, the most popular items of the year always get dubbed the best of, regardless of their actual artistic merit.
Later on, though, things get "rediscovered" and artists that weren't so popular during their prime are shot up to the pedestal. It's way hip.
It's hip to know the most popular artists of our time but it's hipper to know the unpopular artists from before our time. Funny. I'm not sure which is more obnoxious.