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Message from Anja Smit,
November Global Council Meeting

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November 5-7 2012, the delegates of Global Council convened in Dublin, OH, USA.  As always, this meeting is a mix of business, reports, presentations on new developments and discussions.

A permanent item on the agenda is the President’s Report.  Although, in the spring of this year, he did not expect to be here today Jay Jordan gave his presentation.  This however gave him the opportunity to personally deliver his thanks to the Councils and the membership for the presents and praise he received for his contribution to OCLC.

Jay’s presentation included an overview of the major developments at OCLC.  This time, these included the development of WMS (52 contracts and 147 contracts), work on Linked Open Data, the adoption of the ODC-BY license, the confirmed collaboration with Europeana and the adoption of 

Jay also touched on the current discussion on the definition of membership. Especially from the EMEA Region, as it currently stands the understood definition of membership is where a library is a member if it contributes ‘intellectual content’ to the cooperative.  It has been voiced that owing to many acquisitions of library systems, especially in Europe, this might exclude too many libraries who contribute in a different way, such as using ILS services. The Membership Committee will take this discussion further in February 2013 at the EMEA Regional Council, which will provide further input into this discussion.  If you are interested in this topic please feel free to send your comments or ideas to the Member to Member email address,

Sandy Yee, the new Chair of the Board of Trustees, reported on the work of the Board. Through her compact presentation, we learnt that the Board’s priorities include the development of WMS, Open Data licensing, global pricing structures and the changing Incentive Programme.  Sandy also explained the process for appointing a new CEO, but there has been no planning yet so we are unable to give updates on the current process.

With regards to the composition of the Board, it may be noted here that Barbara Lison, Director of the Bremen Public Libraries, is one of the new members of the Board of Trustees.  Elisabeth Niggeman, Director of the National Library in Germany, has now retired as a member of the Board.

Amongst the usual business and reports, two excellent presentations stood out in this meeting: the Linked Data presentation by OCLC Technology Evangelist Richard Wallis, and the linking Wikipedia to library content presented by Max Klein, Wikipedian.  At last, now we understand all about Linked Data thanks to Richard Wallis and Max Klein who reported on his project to install a ‘bot’ to link references in Wikipedia to WorldCat; such an obvious helpful services – why didn’t I think of this before?

In the time allotted for discussion, we experimented with small groups having simultaneous discussions and then reporting back to the whole group. Topics included membership definition, WorldCat quality, data security, the possible erection of a Non-Latin Script Interest Group, and Archives and Museums Interests. One concrete result of these discussions was that a Museum & Archives Interest Group might be started.

An important part of the ‘business’ we had to partake in as delegates, was to adopt changed Byelaws for Global Council. The new byelaws now state that the chair and vice-chair of Global Council do not have to be a delegate and the past chair of Global is added as an ex officio member to the Executive Committee. These changes were made to ensure continuity in the governance structure. As a result, past chair of Global Council and EMEA Regional Council delegate Berndt Dugall was installed as a member of the Executive Committee.  His place at the EMEA Regional Council Executive Committee for Fiscal Year 2012-2013 will be filled by Annette LeRoux, from South Africa. We are delighted that she will join us!

If you are curious to see some of the presentations from the Global Council Meeting yourself you can access them on the Global Council pages of the OCLC website. 

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