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Virtual Conferences

Best of Show 2013: An OCLC Virtual Conference

July 31–August 1, 2013

Logo: Best of Show 2013

OCLC presents “Best of Show,” a two-day event bringing together librarians from all over the world. These free online sessions are live encore presentations of OCLC’s best 2013 Web sessions and in-person conferences and meetings so far this year.

The future of libraries is now
Working together cooperatively to increase our value in a rapidly changing, digital global community is needed now, more than ever before. Sharing our combined knowledge of new technologies and library practices will enable us to advance the value of library services and improve the productivity of librarians and library users everywhere.

Our cooperative approach
Through OCLC membership and initiatives like Collective Insight, we can engage our larger library community and continue to educate librarians on issues that impact the work they do, and help them find solutions, save money, share resources and achieve efficiencies.

Bringing information to you
By collaborating and sharing information virtually, we can reach librarians all around the country and the world. Best of Show virtual sessions give you the opportunity to:       

  • See a reprise of the OCLC update breakfast
  • Learn about the future of FirstSearch
  • Hear about today’s analytics technology and the impact on decision-making for libraries
  • Listen to your peers talk about their experiences and best practices
  • Hear a wide range of presentations, including cooperative updates.

So sit back, and join us from the convenience of your own desk, as we explore new ideas and share our learned knowledge to reinvent our value.

A personal message from George Needham, VP Global and Regional Councils

About the Virtual Conference:

  • Each session is 45 minutes in length followed by a 15-minute break. All sessions are free of cost.
  • Conference sessions utilize the WebEx platform through audio-broadcast only. Headphones and/or computer speakers are required. We highly recommend that you run WebEx from the Firefox or Chrome browsers. All sessions will be recorded.

All times are Eastern Daylight Time (ET); please adjust for your time zone. Sessions, speakers and schedule are subject to change.

Wednesday, July 31

12:00 - 12:45 pm, ET

OCLC Membership Update

Join OCLC and your colleagues online for a brief update on OCLC activities. Then, chat virtually with colleagues and OCLC staff.

Session Type: General

Speakers: George Needham, OCLC VP Global and Regional Councils

12:45 - 1:00 pm, ET

15-minute break

1:00 - 1:45 pm, ET

Putting the Pieces Together

Get an update on how OCLC cataloging, discovery and interlibrary loan services will undergo major changes during the next few years to support the evolving needs of libraries and their users.

Session Type:
WorldShare Management Services

Speakers: Matt Goldner, OCLC Product and Technology Advocate

Leveraging WorldCat: Data Mining the Largest Library Database in the World

Hear about some of the efforts—an illustration of the power of mining shared library data—that OCLC Research has undertaken to maximize WorldCat’s value by processing data in interesting ways to create new services.

Session Type:
Logo: Collection Insight series

Speakers: Roy Tennant, OCLC Senior Program Officer

1:45 - 2:00 pm, ET

15-minute break

2:00 - 2:45 pm, ET

Results—and Revelations—from OCLC WorldShare Management Services Libraries

Get an update on WorldShare Management Services, hear from WMS community members and see what’s coming next.

Session Type: WorldShare Management Services

Guest Speakers:

  • Julie Pinnell, Director of Perkins Library, Doane College
  • Jennifer Clarke, Assistant Director of Collection Development & Access Services, Bucknell University
  • Chelsea Dalgord, Library Technician at Bay College Library

Speakers: Matt Goldner, OCLC Product and Technology Advocate

The Power of Shared Library Data at the Network Level

We’ll discuss why libraries must use the latest ideas and technologies to make our shared library data consumable by Web services (including linked data and graph theory) and rethink the model of shared cataloging.

Session Type:
Logo: Collection Insight series

Speakers: Ted Fons, OCLC Executive Director, Data Services and WorldCat Quality Management

2:45 - 3:00 pm, ET

15-minute break

3:00 - 3:45 pm, ET

OCLC Programs for Public Libraries Update

Learn about the various projects that OCLC and our partners are implementing that help public libraries and staff deliver innovative programs to their communities.

Session Type: General


  • Sharon Streams, Program Manager, WebJunction
  • Megan Knapp, Project Manager
  • Linn Edvardsen, Program Manager, Geek the Library

OCLC Research Update

OCLC Research is one of the world’s leading research centers addressing issues of importance to libraries and archives. This session will provide a brief introduction to what OCLC Research is and does and provide a focused presentation on a few noteworthy projects.

Session Type: General


  • Roy Tennant, Senior Program Officer
  • Ricky Erway, Senior Program Officer
  • Dennis Massie, Program Officer

All times are Eastern Daylight Time (ET); please adjust for your time zone. Sessions, speakers and schedule are subject to change.

Thursday, August 1

12:00 - 12:45 pm, ET

Why Google?: “…[Google] saved time, it saved gas, I got what I needed, and it wasn't a big deal.”

The ways people acquire information are changing from national to global, linear to linked and print to digital. Librarians need to develop new ways of providing services and systems to meet the needs of library users and to attract library non-users.

Session Type: General

Speakers: Lynn Silipigni Connaway, OCLC Senior Research Scientist


12:45 - 1:00 pm, ET

15-minute break

1:00 - 1:45 pm, ET

Putting the “E” in Interlibrary Loan: Using New OCLC Tools to Share Electronic Resources

Listen as member librarians discuss how they share electronic resources. Hear practical advice about new processes and workflows that save time for staff and reduce delivery turnaround times, and get highlights of WorldShare Interlibrary Loan features that support sharing e-resources.

Session Type: General

Guest Speakers:
Joanne McIntyre, Interlibrary Loan Librarian at Levy Library, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
Alison Johnson, Assistant Library Director at Jackson Library, Indiana Wesleyan University
Juleah Swanson, Assistant Professor, Acquisitions Librarian, Ohio State University Libraries
Brian D. Miller, Head, Interlibrary Services, Ohio State University Libraries

Speakers: Tony Melvyn, OCLC Product Manager


Library Analytics: Data to Inform Decision-making and Measure Impact

We’ll discuss how the collective data—shared, enriched and managed by libraries—combined with analytic tools can inform decision-making and demonstrate the value of your services to users and funders.

Session Type:
Logo: Collection Insight series

Speakers: Kathryn Harnish, OCLC Director of Network Experience


1:45 - 2:00 pm, ET

15-minute break

2:00 - 2:45 pm, ET

The Future of FirstSearch: More Visibility for Your Library and its Resources

Learn how the new discovery service (the combination of features and FirstSearch searching) elevates library visibility on the Web through OCLC’s growing network of partnerships.

Session Type: FirstSearch

Guest Speakers:
Amy R. Paulus, Head of Access Services at University of Iowa Libraries
Kurt Munson, Resource Sharing & Reserve Librarian at Northwestern University

Speakers: John McCullough, OCLC Product Manager


WorldShare Partnerships that Engage End Users

Learn how you can you drive users from their point of need to your library’s resources through OCLC partnerships with Web organizations like Google, Goodreads and Yelp, and with library services like Primo, EDS and Summon.

Session Type:
Logo: Collection Insight series

Speakers: Chip Nilges, OCLC VP Business Development


Lynn Silipigni Connaway, PhD

Senior Research Scientist

Lynn Silipigni Connaway is a Senior Research Scientist for OCLC. Her responsibilities include research projects that directly involve OCLC libraries, such as the Comparative Collection Assessment Project and other WorldCat data mining projects, including WorldCat transaction log analysis. She was the co-principal investigator with Marie L. Radford of Rutgers University in an IMLS-funded grant project studying virtual reference services. Lynn also was a co-investigator of a collaborative project with The Ohio State University, also funded by an IMLS grant, studying the behavior patterns of college and university information seekers.

Lynn earned a PhD in library and information studies from the University of Wisconsin–Madison, an MLS from the University of Arizona, and a bachelor’s in library science from Edinboro State University. Prior to joining OCLC Research, Lynn was Vice President of Research and Library Systems at the NetLibrary division of OCLC. She also was Director of the Library and Information Services Department at the University of Denver. She has served on the faculty of the University of Missouri, Columbia and as a lecturer at the University of Wisconsin–Madison.

Lynn’s wide-ranging and deep experience within the library community makes her a popular speaker on topics related to library research, Library 2.0, how people get their information (with emphasis on Millennials and Screenagers) for making the library more accessible and virtual reference.


Linn Edvardsen

Program Manager, Geek the Library

Linn Haugestad Edvardsen leads Geek the Library community awareness campaign efforts as an OCLC Program Manager. Over the past four years, Linn has used her journalism and marketing background to help public libraries across the U.S. find creative ways to raise awareness at the local level about the value of the library in the community and the critical funding issues many libraries face.



Ricky Erway

Senior Program Officer

Ricky Erway is a Senior Program Officer in OCLC Research. She works on topics related to digitization (rights issues, mass digitization and increasing the scale of digitization of special collections). She is also very involved in the Research Information Management program, guiding several working groups as they investigate how academic libraries can better serve their institutions’ research missions.  Ricky’s wide-ranging expertise is often tapped for invited presentations at a variety of professional conferences and workshops.

Prior to the combination of RLG and OCLC in July 2006, Ricky was Manager of Digital Resources at RLG, responsible for CAMIO (the Catalog of Art Museum Images Online) and RLG Cultural Materials (digitized special collections from a variety of libraries, archives and museums). She was also a key player in the development of ArchiveGrid, a service that aggregates bibliographic records and finding aids describing archival and special collections.

Before joining RLG, Ricky worked at the Library of Congress for nine years, the last five as Associate Coordinator of the American Memory program, aimed at significantly increasing public access to the special collections of the Library of Congress.  Ricky has an MLS from the University of Wisconsin.

At OCLC, Ricky has been part of the team that conceived and carried out the LAM collaboration workshops, and led an investigation of public/private partnerships.



Ted Fons

Executive Director, Data Services

Ted directs three different components of OCLC’s metadata services: The Batch Services group coordinates the loading and ongoing synchronization of thousands of library catalogs with WorldCat. The WorldCat Registry group provides coordination and stewardship for the WorldCat Registry of data about the world’s libraries. Finally, the WorldCat knowledge base team manages the growth and quality of the WorldCat knowledge base of licensed electronic resources. That team has focused on integration between the knowledge base and WorldCat to provide expanded metadata management of licensed electronic resources.

Ted brings more than a decade of experience in the integrated library system industry to his role as Director of the WorldCat Global Metadata Network. He has presented and published articles on diverse library system topics such as electronic resource management systems and standards for the exchange of ILS-related data. Ted has participated in a number of standards-related activities, including the NISO/EDItEUR Joint Working Party on the Exchange of Serials Subscription Data and the NISO Standardized Usage Statistics Harvesting Initiative.

Prior to joining OCLC, Ted was a Senior Product Manager and Director of Customer Service at Innovative Interfaces, and before that worked in academic libraries doing acquisitions, cataloging and reference work. He received his MLS from Syracuse University in 1996.


Matt Goldner

Product and Technology Advocate

Matt Goldner joined OCLC in October 2004 and is currently the Product and Technology Advocate for the library community.

Matt graduated with an MSLS from the University of Kentucky in 1978 and an MA in religion from Asbury Theological Seminary in 1980. Prior to joining OCLC, Matt worked in both academic and public libraries with his final position being Director of Tifton-Tift Country Public Library in Tifton, Georgia. He went on to work at Geac Computers for seven years and Fretwell-Downing Informatics (FDI) for four years prior to joining OCLC. In both companies he was involved with increasing levels of responsibility for product direction and creation.

Matt’s technical and management experience makes him an especially noteworthy speaker on issues where technology meets process. He speaks on issues related to the OCLC’s cataloging, resource sharing and discovery services, as well as broader topics on the future of cataloging and resource sharing, changing collections, the future of libraries and the impact of Webscale management on libraries.


Kathryn Harnish

Director of Network Experience

As Director of Network Experience, Kathryn Harnish is responsible for programs that make it easier for libraries to participate in—and derive value from—the network of OCLC libraries. Kathryn guides OCLC’s WorldShare Platform initiative, which enables library and commercial developers to build innovative new applications using the membership’s rich array of data and business services, and directs the organization’s library-facing analytics services. Prior to joining OCLC in 2010, Kathryn spent more than a decade in product management positions at Endeavor Information Systems and Ex Libris. Kathryn holds an MLS from the University of Pittsburgh, an MBA from Columbia Southern University and a BA in religion from Haverford College.


Megan Knapp

Project Manager

Megan Knapp is the OCLC Project Manager for the Redbox Outside the Box partnership and pilot program. Megan started her career in entertainment marketing with New Line Cinema in Los Angeles, before returning home to the Seattle area. Prior to joining OCLC, she was part of the marketing organization at Microsoft, and during that time, earned her Master of Library and Information Science degree with the University of Washington. In her free time, Megan is a library outreach volunteer and enjoys watching golf, anime and movies with her husband and their 70-pound lapdog.


Dennis Massie

Program Officer

Dennis Massie coordinates the SHARES resource sharing consortium for the OCLC Research Library Partnership. He is involved with OCLC Research projects centered on sharing special collections and managing the transition from mostly print journal collections to mostly electronic.

Dennis is drawn more to the operational than to the theoretical, with a keen interest in improving processes. While for years he worked strictly for organizations whose names can be expressed as TLAs (three-letter acronyms)—the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), New York University (NYU) and the Research Libraries Group (RLG)—Dennis scored a major breakthrough in 2006 by finally gaining employment with a four-letter organization, OCLC.

Dennis holds an MLIS from Queens College, City University of New York, and a Master of Arts degree in Creative Writing from Emerson College.


John McCullough

Product Manager

John McCullough is Product Manager for Discovery at OCLC. John has his MLIS from the University of Western Ontario. He has spent his career in library automation, working in customer Support, sales, product management and product strategy with a focus on Web OPACs, discovery products and patron experience.


Tony Melvyn

Product Manager

Tony has worked at OCLC for over 27 years in various roles in resource sharing. Tony is currently managing enhancements to the WorldCat Resource Sharing service including the enhancements to Direct Request for articles and enhancments to e-article processing. Tony received his BA in history from Saint Louis University. He worked in acquistions, cataloging and interlibrary loan at Pius the XII Library at Saint Louis University and the Bellevue Public Library in Bellevue, Nebraska, before coming to OCLC in 1986.


George Needham

Vice President, Global and Regional Councils

George Needham, who joined OCLC in 1999, is Vice President for Global and Regional Councils at OCLC in Dublin, Ohio. His responsibilities include OCLC’s Global and Regional Councils and the OCLC Library. He is an occasional contributor to The OCLC Cooperative Blog.

A librarian for more than 30 years, George has worked in a variety of settings: at three public libraries, as State Librarian of Michigan and in several library-related nonprofit organizations. He holds MLS and BA degrees from the University at Buffalo, New York, and has taken additional courses at Fisher College of Business at The Ohio State University. His sole brush with nonlibrary fame was as a two-time champion on the television show Jeopardy in 1994.

George is a dynamic speaker and presents on a variety of topics with humor. George is an avid blogger and can easily speak to developments in social networking, gaming and other online activities, as well as general trends in librarianship. George speaks often on all of OCLC’s membership reports, including The Environmental Scan: Pattern Recognition; Perceptions of Libraries and Information Resources: Sharing, Privacy and Trust in our Networked World; and Perceptions of Libraries, 2010.


Chip Nilges

Vice President, Business Development

Chip Nilges is Vice President, Business Development, and is responsible for OCLC’s content strategy, which includes OCLC discovery services. Chip was formerly Vice President, New Product Planning, and before that was Executive Director, OCLC WorldCat Content and Global Access. He joined OCLC in 1994 and has held several key roles, including leadership of FirstSearch, new products and WorldCat content. Chip holds a master’s degree in business administration, a master’s in English and a bachelor’s degree in English, all from The Ohio State University.

With a view on both the business and technical aspects of libraries and library services, Chip speaks on the future of the industry and technology trends, Library 2.0 and OCLC’s flagship products, including WorldCat and e-content offerings.


Sharon Streams

Senior Program Manager, Community Services

Sharon has been with the WebJunction team since 2007. A graduate of Indiana University, Sharon performed government research for a Washington, D.C., law firm, which led her to IU’s SLIS program to formalize her information-seeking skills. She then moved to the Pacific Northwest, where she spent the next dozen years in the publishing division of an international engineering society. Although she cherishes the printed book, a decision to focus her career on the online world of communication and content delivery led her to OCLC. She currently serves as Program Manager for WebJunction.


Roy Tennant

Senior Program Officer

Roy Tennant is the owner of the Web4Lib and XML4Lib electronic discussions, and the creator and editor of Current Cites, a current awareness newsletter published every month since 1990. His books include Technology in Libraries: Essays in Honor of Anne Grodzins Lipow (2008), Managing the Digital Library (2004), XML in Libraries (2002), Practical HTML: A Self-Paced Tutorial (1996) and Crossing the Internet Threshold: An instructional Handbook (1993). Roy wrote a monthly column on digital libraries for Library Journal (1997–2007) and has written numerous articles in other professional journals. In 2003, he received the American Library Association’s LITA/Library Hi Tech Award for Excellence in Communication for Continuing Education.

Roy is a well-known and sought-after speaker on topics such as library research, the future of cataloging and digital libraries, and how technology impacts librarianship.