The Dewey Decimal Classification needs you!

Violet Fox

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The editors of the Dewey Decimal Classification have always collaborated with librarians to ensure the classification is up to date. Today, we’re excited to share changes that are making the editorial work on Dewey more transparent, inclusive, and responsive to community needs—and we need your help!

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Community engagement: Redefining the library as town square

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Libraries are evolving, leaning outside of our walls, connecting with our communities in new and powerful ways. Defining our “why” requires understanding how to shift our focus from books to people. Our purpose is to support people and their quality of life. While there may be many definitions, community engagement isn’t just about awareness, marketing, and sending staff out into the community. Community is at the center of everything. At Anythink, the public library system for Adams County, Colorado, it is at the heart of everything we do.

Like many libraries, our recent strategic planning research included a purposeful listening tour. We found that our community sees the library as its center, its connector. They asked for the library to become even more focused on creating community. As a result, we have adopted the concept of library as town square.

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Resources to encourage reading with The Library 100 list

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Last month, OCLC published a great list based on our own original research: The Library 100—Top Novels of All Time. It’s a list of the novels that more libraries have on their shelves than any others.

The research was based on holdings information in WorldCat, which lets you search the collections of thousands of libraries around the world. The hard part of the research wasn’t counting the libraries that had a copy … it was “clustering” lots of variations, editions, and translations of books. That way, a 1964 French translation of Pride and Prejudice counts the same as an English version from 2006. The important part isn’t the specific edition or version—it’s the fact that this is a novel that thousands of libraries have decided to keep in their collections.

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Looking at interlibrary loan requests, 2018 edition

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Unveiling the list of the most ILL’d titles each year is always fun. And it’s particularly special this year, as we celebrate the 40th anniversary of OCLC interlibrary loan. Today—many services, upgrades and enhancements later—about 280 million requests have been processed, including last year’s 6.9 million.

Here’s a look based on our 2018 data.

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After 40 years of resource sharing … what’s next?

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Today is the 40th anniversary of OCLC resource sharing! That’s right, 40 years ago today—April 1, 1979—the first interlibrary loan was arranged through OCLC systems. That year, OCLC processed 565,680 ILL transactions. In FY18, we processed nearly 7 million.

When I’ve talked to resource sharing librarians about the time before cooperative databases like WorldCat and networked ILL systems, here’s a phrase I never hear:

“The good old days.”

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Reenergize your marketing strategy in three simple steps

Mary Lou Carolan

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Having worked in public libraries of all sizes for the past 15 years, I’ve found there’s one common thread. Actually, there are many, but one really critical thing stands out. We don’t toot our own horn nearly enough, yet marketing always seems like an easy target to kick off our overflowing to-do list. And while we’re generally great planners, when it comes to marketing, we’re not always the best implementers. This is why I wasn’t surprised that 40 percent of public libraries have a communications strategy, but only 17 percent keep it current.

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Four surprising findings from community-centric space transformations

Betha Gutsche

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There is always something creative and educational waiting for us at the library.

That’s what one library user and parent said about the Ronan District Library in Ronan, Montana, after the library participated in the Small Libraries Create Smart Spaces project, led by OCLC’s WebJunction program with funding from an IMLS National Leadership Grant. The Ronan library, along with 14 other small and rural libraries in the US, transformed library spaces into places for social, active learning.

Thanks to the original program’s success and supplemental funding from IMLS, the WebJunction team is bringing this opportunity to 15 more public libraries in 2019. We often say libraries are the heart of a community, but one key to successful transformations involves placing communities at the heart of the library. The libraries each led a community discovery process, which helps them see their library through the eyes of community members. This opened a path to rediscovering the unique personality of the library and the ways people interact with it.

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Why the future of your library depends on others’ knowledge

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Like most libraries, my library in Madrid is facing new and challenging resource constraints, user requirements, and technology demands. Some areas are called on to do more work with fewer staff and lower funding. And all are dealing with user expectations based on global commercial powerhouse brands like Google, Apple, and Amazon.

What we have found at Complutense University is that the key to meeting major local challenges is to recast them as shared global opportunities.

Who do we share them with? All other libraries, worldwide.

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What is the top novel of all time?

Skip Prichard

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What is the top novel of all time? War and Peace? Moby Dick? Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone? Dream of the Red Chamber?

The answer is, of course, “it depends.” It depends on your definitions and measures. Sales? Number of copies published?

One way of measuring is to look at library collections. Libraries reflect popular interest. However, they also reflect scholarly and cultural interest over time. Libraries are where the world’s literature is stewarded and defined.

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RDM: A challenge too big to tackle alone

Brian Lavoie

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The scholarly record continues to evolve, gathering a wider array of research outputs—including research data sets. In response, universities and other institutions have started to acquire capacity to support data management needs on campus. While services and infrastructure are coalescing around emerging data management practices, guidelines, and mandates, many questions remain about the future of the research data management (RDM) service space, and the university’s role in acquiring and managing RDM capacity in support of their researchers.

How do we approach problems like these that are clearly too big for any one institution to solve? One piece of the solution is to scale learning.

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