The resource sharing gene: still going strong after 40 years!

Tony Melvyn

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I have worked in OCLC Resource Sharing for more than 33 years and I think that librarians are born with a ‘togetherness’ gene. Sharing is one of our profession’s bedrock values—sharing work, sharing collections, sharing knowledge. Nowhere is this value practiced more diligently than with interlibrary loan. We build our collections and share our materials with a commitment to serve our users—who we consider to be anyone, anywhere in the world!

It stands to reason, then, that resource sharing is one of the most popular topics on our Next blog. As we celebrate the 40th anniversary of OCLC ILL this year, I invite you to enjoy three of our most-read resource sharing posts again.

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Breaking through change barriers in three steps

Charles Pace

Change

By Charles Pace, Executive Director, Gwinnett County Public Library, and
Michael Casey, Director of Customer Experience, Gwinnett County Public Library

What role does the library play in the community? That was one of many questions that led the Gwinnett County Public Library (GCPL) toward organizational change in 2016. We were (and still are!) fully committed to being a continuous change organization with a clear outside-in focus and a customer-centric approach. It’s been a journey, and our biggest lesson is probably that we always have more to learn. Change is complex. What’s helped is keeping our ultimate purpose in clear view. And for us, every initiative is always geared towards improved service to the community.

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Celebrating 20 years of the IFLA/OCLC Fellowship Program

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Who would have imagined that the program announced at the 1999 IFLA World Library and Information Congress in Thailand would have such an incredible, far-reaching impact? That’s exactly what the Jay Jordan IFLA/OCLC Fellowship, an education and professional development program for early career librarians from developing countries, has done. Twenty years later, the program has realized the potential noted by Jay Jordan, OCLC’s fourth President and CEO, in the program’s inaugural announcement, “to positively affect individuals, their institutions, their countries, and the global knowledge management practices of the future.”

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Finding community and more in Phoenix

Kelly Wolfe

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In early October, leaders and staff from OCLC member libraries of all types across the Americas will meet in the Phoenix, Arizona, area for two days of learning, connection, and collaboration at the OCLC Library Futures Conference. Six keynote speakers from inside and outside of the library community will provide inspiration to get participants thinking creatively about how our libraries can be catalysts for change in our communities. The programming—planned by a team of leaders from OCLC member libraries—focuses on providing the leadership needed to guide these exciting changes.

This annual conference will be held in a unique Scottsdale hotel, The Scott, a venue that will enhance opportunities for networking breaks, collaboration, and fun. The agenda includes a dinner event at the Heard Museum, known internationally for its collections and advancement of American Indian art.

But if you’re traveling all the way to sunny Phoenix, you may want to extend your trip a bit to take in some of the many experiences and sights in the area.

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Increase data reusability and enhance your curation investments with these three tips

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In many cases, collecting and processing original research data is incredibly costly and difficult. It can involve travel, field work, painstaking examinations, and observations. Sometimes unique, expensive equipment or one-time access to materials or events that can’t be recreated is required. But it’s worth it if the data yields new scientific insights and advances.

And if that data can be reused in other studies, it makes the return on investment (ROI) much more attractive for universities and funding bodies. Professionals in libraries, archives, and museums have a unique view into the needs of researchers. We can develop and promote new services and procedures that encourage data sharing and data reuse.

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DECwriters, Dr. requests, and three-letter combos—memories from 40 years of ILL

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Anniversary celebrations are always fun. They remind us of important events and accomplishments from the past. They give us a chance to look back over the years and reflect on just how far we’ve come. Remembering yesteryears—without letting them rule us—can help us understand who we are.

Anniversaries also bring back many fond memories of relationships, successes … and outdated equipment.

This year, we are celebrating the 40th anniversary of OCLC interlibrary loan (ILL). And understandably it brought back many memories for many people. Here is a sampling that were recently shared with us on the ILL listserv.

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OCLC Global Council: going after the big questions

Helene Blowers

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I’ve gotten to the point where I feel as if almost any question should have an easily findable answer. Maybe the question will require some research time and effort … or (of course) the help of one or more librarians to uncover. But the answer has to be “out there” somewhere.

Sometimes, though, it just isn’t. And sometimes it’s about something important, like libraries’ efforts around open content resources. What do you do when the information you need simply doesn’t exist? If you’re OCLC’s Global Council, you find a way to get answers to the big questions, especially those that impact libraries globally.

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OCLC and the PCC: changing standards to support changing times

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Over the course of my library career, I’ve seen librarianship and cataloging practices evolve significantly in both small and large ways. When you’re talking about shared cataloging standards, even a tiny change can impact thousands of institutions and millions of records.

That’s one reason why it’s so important to have organizations like the Program for Cooperative Cataloging (PCC).  Lori Robare, Monographic Team Leader at University of Oregon, and PCC Past Chair stated, “The PCC has a strong tradition of cooperative work, standards, metadata expertise, and training. This is an exciting time for the PCC as we consider how to build upon those strengths in the transition to a linked data environment.”

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2019 award recipients inspire with ideas and achievements

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OCLC connects 18,000 member institutions around the world. That unique network is powered by both cooperation, and the individual talent and commitment of people whose contributions make an important difference in the communities they serve.

Each year, OCLC honors six librarians who bring innovation and creativity to their work in the global library community. All of them were recognized at the ALA Annual Conference in Washington, DC, recently. We had the pleasure of hosting three of the 2019 award recipients at an OCLC reception at ALA.

Please join me in congratulating and thanking these six accomplished colleagues for all they have contributed to our community.

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The owned and the loaned—comparing top novels by holdings vs. ILL

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Recently, OCLC rolled out The Library 100, a list of the top print novels held by the world’s libraries. OCLC Research generated this list using data from WorldCat.

For most people, a list of 100 is fine. But for those of us who are bibliophiles and want to dig deeper, a list of the top 500 novels held in libraries also is available at the website. The list of 500 is marvelously rich and lets you explore even more titles, authors, and genres.

As I read over the longer list, I wondered how it would match up against a list of the most-requested novels on the OCLC system, WorldShare ILL. Would there be any overlap? Would the two lists be mutually exclusive? What about authors? Who would be on both lists? Any other similarities and differences?

Using ILL data from the last five years, I pulled a list of the top 100 novels requested on WorldShare ILL and compared it to The Library 500. Six titles and 11 authors were on both lists.

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