Posts in category: resource sharing

How flexible is your future collection?

Katie Birch

FlexibleFutureCollection-A

You can’t predict the future. But together we can prepare for it.

What attribute of your library is most valuable to your community? For a long time, the answer to that question might have been “our collection.” For generations, libraries have spent much of their budgets on acquiring and managing local materials, but that is shifting. These days, what the library owns isn’t as important as how it supports its users and community. Access to materials must keep up with needs that are changing faster than any one institution can manage.

It is nearly impossible for any one library to hit the moving target of comprehensive access to relevant content. Working together, however, libraries can take advantage of a characteristic that may be the most important for collection access going forward: flexibility.

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A cooperative approach to naming: help name our new ILL service

Katie Birch

hello my name is

Names are important. And naming things can be a lot of fun. Names conjure up feelings and emotions and even expectations. Here at OCLC we’re excited about a new ILL product that we’re developing with the help of the OCLC resource sharing community. And we want a name that captures the energy and teamwork that you, our members, bring to the cooperative.

As a unique membership cooperative, OCLC relies on your input for all kinds of things. Members provide feedback on product development, plans, road maps and features—as is the case for this new service. We also solicit ideas for events and programs. Our research depends on feedback from many libraries all over the world. And so we thought, let’s ask the community: what do YOU think we should name the product?

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Multiplying the power of place

Katie Birch

power-of-placeIt’s easy to find digital items online—pictures, videos, maps, etc.—that can connect you to another place, person or library. What may not be as immediately apparent is that physical objects can also connect users to libraries in many different places. As someone who works with our interlibrary loan data, I see fantastic examples of distant libraries establishing relationships that leverage physical collections. In doing so, they improve how local users experience their local library.

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Time travelling ILL

time-travel-ill

The Twilight Reference Zone

Picture if you will an American public library. Any library will do. A smartly dressed, clean-shaven man in his mid-40s approaches the reference desk.

“Can I help you find something?” asks the librarian.

“Yes,” says the man, “I’m looking for a copy of Bats and Bones, a Frannie Shoemaker Campground Mystery.”

“Let me see if I can find that for you,” says the young woman behind the desk as she checks FirstSearch.

“Just one thing, please,” asks the man as he waits. “I’m looking for a specific edition.”

Scrolling past titles, the librarian says, “Oh?” without looking up.

“Yes,” says the man. “I’m looking for the edition that will be published in the year 2102.”

[Cue creepy music.]

This library has entered…the Twilight Reference Zone.

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Four interlibrary loan trends to watch in 2016

Christa Starck

Top ILL titles for 2015

At least once a year, we query the WorldShare ILL database and see how the trends in interlibrary loan are developing. We count titles a little differently than other lists. Rather than splitting into fiction/nonfiction we look at loan requests vs. copy requests (loans of an entire book vs. a request to copy a single article or part of a larger work). The list of top copy requests is, as you might expect, heavily weighted toward the medical, psychological and scientific realms. It’s the loan requests that are more interesting.

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