The problem with data

Don Hamparian

2017-05-25 Trouble-With-Data

We’re being inundated with data. That’s what we’re told, right? We hear all the time how many exabytes of new data are being created every day. There’s just one problem: maybe none of it is the data we actually need.

I recently had the opportunity, along with several of my OCLC colleagues, to attend the Electronic Resources and Libraries (ER&L) Conference. I’ve been going to this great conference for the last two years, and each year it offers a really valuable look into how libraries manage e-resources. This year, several topics across multiple presentations led me to the conclusion that actionable data is actually pretty hard to find and even harder to wrangle successfully.

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Gulliver’s Travels – the most popular Irish work by the most popular Irish author in world literature

Brian Lavoie

gulliver

Three hundred and fifty years after his birth, the work of Irish satirist Jonathan Swift continues to enjoy great popularity among contemporary readers. Library data tells us that Swift is the most popular Irish author, and the work for which he is best known, Gulliver’s Travels, is the most popular work by an Irish author, in world literature.

Gulliver’s Travels belongs not just to Irish literature, but to world literature and its relevance only increases over time,” said Dr. Aileen Douglas, Head of the School of English at Trinity College Dublin, in the Irish Times last week. Dublin is marking the 350th anniversary of Swift’s birth with its Swift350 celebration throughout 2017.

Swift, who was born in Dublin in 1667, published Gulliver’s Travels in 1726. The work is now held by more than 40,000 libraries worldwide. Overall, Swift’s works account for nearly 240,000 library holdings worldwide.

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Sharing resource sharing

2017-05-30 Sharing-Resource-Sharing

Sharing our resource sharing breakthroughs

I’ve been working in interlibrary loan a long time and the collaboration I see within this group of librarians is amazing. Back in March, we held the first OCLC Resource Sharing Conference with the theme of Sharing Breakthroughs. I see this community sharing all the time, whether at an event, via a listserv or just a simple phone call.

A member-driven program committee helped shape the agenda and librarians provided much of the program content. Thank you to all who presented and participated. It was a great example of how well the resource sharing community works together to share and celebrate our breakthroughs.

We’ve posted all presentation recordings, including a wonderful keynote about storytelling from Todd Babiak, on the conference site. I invite you to view them, share them and think about attending or presenting next year. We’re so happy to announce that the conference will take place March 13–15, 2018, at the Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront in Jacksonville, Florida, USA.

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To be a better librarian, break into museums and archives

Betha Gutsche

2017-05-22 Library-Archives-Museums

An archivist, librarian and museum professional walk into a conference …

In 2016, 18 librarians, archivists and museum professionals came together as “field anthropologists” for the “Collective Wisdom: Libraries, Archives and Museums (LAM) Conference Exchange” to find out more about each other’s practices and cultures. They attended three major LAM sector conferences, working together to look for new opportunities for collaboration.

As an administrator to the Collective Wisdom cohort, I saw firsthand the group’s deep insights and renewed resolve to connect across all kinds of boundaries. They had never crossed paths before embarking on this experience—but by the end, they had cultivated “professional relationships and friendships that will endure well beyond this project.”

And their readiness to find intersections between each sector’s silos is testimony to a wider desire for collaboration among knowledge professionals. Reflections and recommendations for strengthening cross-sector community and collaboration are captured in their newly published white paper, “Collective Wisdom: An Exploration of Libraries, Archives and Museum Cultures.”

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Kilts, gold, logos and more: OCLC 50th memories

OCLC

50th-Anniversary-revised

Since 1967, OCLC members have worked together to make breakthroughs possible for library users across the globe. Throughout the year, we are celebrating this special anniversary by sharing memories and looking forward to the next 50 years of innovation and community building on behalf of libraries, archives and museums.

About a month ago, we put out a call for your stories, photos and memories from your history with OCLC. We are compiling a special 50th anniversary collection of contributions and will share many of them in social media and at events over the coming months. Here’s a peek at what we’ve received so far … but keep ‘em coming!

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The power of breakthrough storytelling

rsc-story-telling

I was honored to have been asked to be on the program committee for March’s OCLC Resource Sharing Conference. Meeting with and learning from my US colleagues is always exciting, and I was so pleased to see several other Canadian librarians in attendance at the conference. The acquisition of Relais International by OCLC made this conference highly relevant to the Canadian ILL community, as we really need to be a part of the future direction of our ILL systems; we need to be part of the story. I was excited to bring forward Todd Babiak, Canadian author and entrepreneur in the storytelling business. His keynote presentation, “Breakthrough Storytelling—What a powerful narrative can do for your library,” really helped anchor the entire conference for me.

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The library 4th is strongest in this one …

Jeff Mixter

star-wars

Happy “Star Wars Day,” and “May the 4th be with you!”

As a fan of both Star Wars and puns, I love this day. It is a chance to celebrate one of my favorite sci-fi franchises and, in many cases, meet random people at work (and on the street) based on a shared appreciation of the series. It is impossible to not become instant friends with someone whose toddler is wearing a onesie that says, “I am a Jedi, like my father before me.”

On the professional side, I have also been interested in how Star Wars and its various themes and characters are represented in literature, film, music, the arts and, of course … libraries.

So here is your trivia question for today: which Star Wars character is best represented in libraries?

I had my own guess going into this bit of casual research … but I was wrong.

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Inspiring breakthroughs in librarianship worldwide

2017-fellows

 

Managing the IFLA/OCLC Fellowship program, which began in 2001, is one of the most professionally rewarding experiences of my career. The Program provides advanced continuing education and exposure to a broad range of issues in information technologies, library operations and global cooperative librarianship. With the five Fellows from the 2017 class, the Program has welcomed 85 librarians and information science professionals from 38 countries.

Each year a new class of Fellows brings a new wave of enthusiasm and energy to the program, which we sponsor with IFLA. This class was no exception.

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Get inspired for National Library Week with these five quick stories

OCLC

2017-04-10 National Library Week

April 9 through 15 is National Library Week in the United States, an annual observance that has been sponsored by the American Library Association since 1958. Because we’re a global organization, we’d like to take an opportunity to celebrate libraries all around the world. Whether it’s through access to technology, information literacy, diverse collections or opportunities for community engagement, libraries connect people to knowledge and make breakthroughs happen.

We could have written volumes about the great work being done by libraries around the globe. We’ve highlighted a few breakthroughs our members have shared with us and we encourage you to join your colleagues around the world to share your library breakthrough with the hashtag #NationalLibraryWeek.

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