Celebrating the first 500 WMS libraries

Andrew K. Pace

wms-500

A decade of remarkable change

In 2006, four library system vendors dominated the integrated library system market. OCLC partnered with most and was just beginning to consider its own solution. In the intervening decade, we’ve seen a lot of consolidation and rapid innovation.

Fast-forward to 2016. The ILS is now a legacy system, “next-gen” is practically passé, and Marshall Breeding has dubbed a new breed of library management and discovery services the “Library Service Platform.” Today, OCLC’s WorldShare Management Services (WMS) is one of only two offerings in this space—a true multi-tenant, cloud-based suite of services for managing and discovering the purchased and licensed collections of libraries. It took only five years for OCLC to attract 500 libraries to WMS, becoming a leading provider in a space that it didn’t even occupy a decade ago.

That would be a major achievement in any industry, by any company. That it was achieved by a nonprofit library cooperative is credit to the unique power behind that success—our members.

Imagination + hard work = amazing

Earlier this week, we hosted a “WMS Global Community & User Group Meeting” in Dublin, Ohio. Members from 75 libraries and five countries gathered to talk about their WMS experiences. They shared insights with each other, talked about best practices and provided feedback to OCLC staff. You can see photos and tweets from the event at #WMSglobal.

Perhaps even more importantly, they helped us identify the boundaries of today’s services so that, together, we can imagine what WMS might look like in one, three or ten years.

That combination of imagination and hard work has been a hallmark of the WMS community since day one, when we started the development of WMS with five pilot libraries.

Cooperation yields real impact

In case you’ve never been involved in a “pilot,” it’s a lot like being asked to get somewhere by rolling head-over-heels down a hill and then describe the experience in detail. And then do it again. Exciting, sure, but a lot of extra work, for which we are deeply grateful.

That’s why the WMS community is such an important part of the success of WMS—500+ libraries across six continents all coming together to define and create services based on combined experiences.

The global meeting was a chance for WMS members to share their experiences. To celebrate how far we’ve come in just a few short years, we shared a short video that touches on a few of the highlights of our journey.

 

What’s your vision for the future?

I’m so proud of what our WMS libraries and OCLC staff have accomplished together. We had a great time at the global community meeting and I hope I can see you at a similar event in the future.

Why? Because so much of what we’ve accomplished is based on the ideas, suggestions and vision of our members. If you have a dream about what library services should look like in one or five or ten years, that’s where you should be.

Question…what do you see in the future for library services? Let us know on Twitter with the hashtag #OCLCnext