Posts tagged under: Community

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Anniversaries also bring back many fond memories of relationships, successes … and outdated equipment.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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14 fun, specific, and surprising libraries to visit in DC during ALA Annual

Violet Fox

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Since 2000, Washington, DC, has been one of the most selected cities for ALA Annual and Midwinter, having been the conference site three times. Chicago has hosted the most, of course, with six. New Orleans has had four in the past 20 years. Boston, Philadelphia, and Seattle have had three each. But considering that DC has more than 20 million visitors every year—and that many of us visited as students—I’m betting you’ve been to the nation’s capital before.

If you haven’t, there are some major attractions that I’m sure you’re interested in, and all kinds of tourist guides and lists to get you started. But if you’ve been before—or are looking for some library-specific ideas a bit off the beaten path—we’ve put together an “insiders’ guide” to some unique, lesser-known libraries in the capital area for you to visit during ALA Annual 2019, June 20–25.

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Planning to be community catalysts

Debbie Schachter

nextbanner_libraryfuturesLike many institutions, my university kicked off a 2030 “visioning process” last year and I was asked to present on how the library fits in. Activities like that are often interesting, sometimes fun, and always a bit daunting. Knowing that any one person’s vision for the future is going to be limited, my first thought was, “I need to start talking to some colleagues.”

The timing for that need was remarkable, because the 2018 OCLC Americas Regional Council (ARC) conference was just around the corner. I was able to attend sessions in Chicago with a “visioning mindset” and use the conference to discuss ideas with great colleagues, and even chat with OCLC researchers about related work.

That’s one of the great benefits of our OCLC community—the opportunity to connect with fellow leaders and share the knowledge and insights that help us better prepare for our libraries’ best future.

And that’s exactly the theme for this year’s Library Futures regional council meetings.

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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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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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Too much metadata?

Stephen Hearn

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As a metadata manager, much of my career has been focused on catalog management and authority control. Or, to put it another way, on the connections and commonalities that records share. I’ve observed the slow emergence of standards for describing authority control entities—topics, places, persons, bodies, works, etc.—as entities in their own right, with their own descriptions and their own connections to other entities.

Part of what makes my job interesting—and challenging—is that it’s not something I can do in a vacuum, on my own. Metadata without good standards is almost useless. And standards require cooperation.

That’s what I love about the Metadata Managers Focus Group of OCLC’s Research Library Partnership. I get a chance to meet with others excited by metadata challenges and really dive deep into the issues that are at the forefront of our daily working lives.

For example, while one problem that we often face is a lack of good metadata, sometimes—just like with holiday eggnog or Halloween candy—we can get too much of a good thing. So how much is “too much” when it comes to metadata?

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