Posts in topic: librarianship

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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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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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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From deplorable to delightful: How to establish a Wikipedia initiative on campus

Samantha Dodd

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“I think what you are doing is absolutely deplorable.”

This was the reaction I received during a departmental meeting in which I was trying to pitch the libraries’ new initiative to incorporate Wikipedia editing into the classroom. For the most part, I was met with resistance and the same arguments that academics have been using since the inception of Wikipedia: it’s inaccurate, it lacks proper sources, and it encourages plagiarism, vandalism.

So, I changed my approach. Instead of me trying to convince them of why their students should be taught how to edit Wikipedia, I decided to let their colleagues do it for me.

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2018 community award recipients: cooperative work, individual achievement

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We accomplish great things together as OCLC—more than 16,000 members strong around the world. The cooperative we have built is powered by the skill and passion of many individual librarians.

OCLC supports programs that recognize innovation and creativity in the global library community. Each year, we honor librarians who excel in their profession and advance librarianship. It was my honor to recognize six community leaders and their noteworthy accomplishments at the OCLC President’s Luncheon at ALA Annual in New Orleans last week.

Please join me in congratulating and thanking them for all they have contributed to our community.

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Three things librarians wanting to engage with Wikipedia should think about first

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Wikipedia is big. Maybe not googol big, but 5.4+ million articles in English is up there. The platform is the fifth-most accessed website globally, and billions of edits have been saved since the online encyclopedia launched in 2001.

Though most librarians have read Wikipedia articles and work with patrons who use it regularly, few librarians actually edit Wikipedia. There are good reasons libraries need Wikipedia, and vice versa. So how could you get started with Wikipedia at your library?

One way to get a handle on something big is to start small. That’s what I’ve been learning from public library staff in my role as the OCLC Wikipedian-in-Residence for the past 16 months, which included interviewing public library staff and teaching a nine-week online training program.

Here are three surprisingly simple things about Wikipedia that public library staff involved with the Wikipedia + Libraries: Better Together project say their peers and colleagues should know.

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Three reasons Wikipedia needs libraries, and vice-versa

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We have a pretty good idea of what it means to be a librarian or library worker. We know what the values, talents, and goals are for many in our profession. On the other hand, what does it mean to call yourself a “Wikipedian?” Is it just an interest? Or do you need to reach certain milestones? If we’re going to examine the intersection of both institutions, it would help to know.

In the broadest sense, someone is a Wikipedian if they contribute. The more you contribute, the better, of course. But even adding a few citations or making one important correction qualifies you. And that openness, that ideal of collaborative creation and curation is what, I think, really makes these two communities natural allies.

Wikipedians and librarians share similar passions and purposes. Working together, we create a better and stronger Wikipedia with more visibility for library resources. And there are three ways that our communities reflect each other in the work we do.

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To keep people happy … keep some books

Saskia Leferink

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At the 2017 Dutch Contact Day last October, we heard how staff at the library of the Free University of Amsterdam is going to renovate their library space. One request students made? Surprisingly (perhaps), they wanted books around them. Not just because of the information that physical books provide, but because of the atmosphere and comfort they provide. So, the library kept the books as part of their renovation.

This may seem counterintuitive in our digital world as more and more of our experiences happen online. And it raises a few questions: What role does the physical library play in a digital world? And what makes people still want to come to this place?

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Getting smarter, together

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It was great to see everyone in Baltimore at the inaugural meeting of the Americas Regional Council. It was a phenomenal experience—from the inspiring keynote speakers to many in-depth, informative breakout sessions.

Nearly 200 attendees from 120 institutions, 36 US states, and four countries joined this membership meeting where the theme was, “The Smarter Library.” We shared ideas, questions, and insights about what it takes to become smarter and innovate continuously around the needs of the communities we serve.

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