Time to change

Andrew K. Pace

Change

The Brady Bunch: Time to Change

When it’s time to change then it’s time to change
Don’t fight the tide come along for the ride, don’t you see
When it’s time to change you’ve got to rearrange
Move your heart into what you’re gonna be.
Sha na na na na na na na na, sha na na na na

Those unforgettable lyrics were immortalized by fictional pop-sensations, The Brady Bunch Kids. I will admit that I cannot utter the phrase “time to change” without hearing Peter Brady’s voice crack. I am unabashedly a child of the 1970s.

Fortunately for me, my most recent change at OCLC was what many have described as a “good fit,” not just for me, but also for OCLC and its growing membership. After eight years of managing a range of products and services in the Library Management, Cataloging & Metadata and Discovery & Syndication lines of businesses—accentuated by the launch five years ago of WorldShare Management Services—I was offered an opportunity to start a new gig under Lorcan Dempsey in the newly formed Membership &

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Is anything more important than convenience?

woman-hammockIn today’s fast-paced world, people want information quickly and conveniently. In almost all situations, they decide what services to pursue and what resources to use based on ease of access, ease of use and the situation and context of the information need. It doesn’t matter if the person is young or old, the deadline near or far, the task scholarly or personal—familiarity and ease of use within individual workflows reign.

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Connect. Collaborate. Contribute.

OCLC Community Center icons

OCLC was built on a foundation of collaboration. Whenever we can, we look for ways to reflect and replicate that value in other areas. When we reference the OCLC vision, “Because what is known must be shared,” that holds true as much for member-to-member knowledge as it does for sharing library materials with users.

The power of that model was made especially clear to me during the launch of WorldShare Management Services and during each subsequent implementation. This was not just a new service for OCLC—the idea of a cloud-based platform for library management tasks was a new one in our profession. While OCLC staff was, obviously, involved in all of the training, implementation and support, we realized early on that peer-to-peer learning was going to play a huge role in how libraries got the best value from this unique opportunity.

The OCLC Community Center was a direct result of those observations. It’s a place for library staff to connect online, share best practices, stay up to date on new product releases and contribute ideas to improve OCLC services. Since its launch last July, over 5,000 users from 2,400+

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Mapping the role technology plays in your life

2016-05-12 visitors and residents

Do you ever wonder about the role that technology plays in your life and what services and apps you use? OCLC began collaborating on the Digital Visitors and Residents (V&R) project with funding from Jisc (a digital education services non-profit) in 2011 to investigate how US and UK individuals engage with technology and how this engagement may or may not change as the individuals transition through their educational stages (White and Connaway 2011-2014). Since that time we have broadened the research to include interviews with individuals in Spain and Italy to include a comparative analysis to identify any geographical or cultural differences. The OCLC team also has conducted an online survey with approximately 150 high school, undergraduate and graduate students and college and university faculty. We hope to have these data analyzed so that we are able to share our findings.

We also began conducting mapping sessions with students, librarians, and faculty using the Visitors and Residents framework and differentiating between engagement in professional/academic and personal contexts and situations. Participation in the mapping exercise is a way for individuals to become aware of how they work, play,

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Benchmarking print book collections: a beginning

Stacks of library books

The role of print books in academic libraries is changing, as it has been for more than a decade. Library and campus administrators are evaluating the role of locally held print collections in the library’s strategy and their contribution to user satisfaction and success.

The factors contributing to this discussion—declining print book use, changes in library spaces, redundancy across the “collective collection” and the cost of maintaining local collections—are well known. Increasingly, shared print monograph programs are seen as a way to provide continued access to the full range of titles, while distributing the costs of storage and management among a number of institutions.

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What we can learn from “The Selfie Generation”

Skip Prichard

Teenagers taking a selfie photo

Here are two questions you don’t often see next to each other.

  • Why do academics need to “publish or perish?”
  • Why do teens love to post online pictures of themselves doing silly things?

While their circumstances couldn’t be more different, I believe that the motivations for both groups are remarkably similar and comes down to four principles: visibility, reciprocity, creativity and authority.

These are some of the guiding beliefs of a group that has been called “The Selfie Generation.” But they are also those that encourage all of us, more than ever before, to share who we are and what we do using inexpensive, omnipresent digital technology and social networks.

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Here comes the sun

Jeff Jacobs

here-come-sun2

Certain things are wonderful because they are unique. Artwork, musical performances, memories, the important people in our lives. In these cases, we treasure differences.

That is not true, however, for software development. While a service or a feature may perform a very specialized task, the background infrastructure isn’t helped by inconsistencies. Every time you add a different piece of hardware, operating system, software platform or process, you multiply the number of ways you’ll need to maintain your code, impacting quality and driving costs up.

In the technology realm, these inconsistencies are referred to as “snowflakes.” I like to refer to the process of eliminating these inconsistencies as melting snowflakes. Because, just like in real life, snowflakes may be interesting, but they’re not great for software development—they often make you slow down or slip up when you want to move quickly.

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