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President's Report
A word from Jay Jordan

Building Webscale with libraries: a progress report

Jay Jordan /

We continue to make dramatic progress in our strategy of working collaboratively with libraries to build Webscale services in a cloud computing environment.

On February 26, the University of Tilburg in the Netherlands became the first library in Europe to activate OCLC WorldShare Management Services (WMS). Tilburg is a public research university with approximately 12,500 students and 1,000 academic staff. The Tilburg University Library collections include 800,000 printed volumes and access to over 20,000 electronic journals and 150 databases.

As we commemorate the 100th implementation of WMS, we are also celebrating our shared commitment to library cooperation around the world.

The announcement at Tilburg coincided with the February 26–27 OCLC EMEA Regional Council Meeting in Strasbourg, France, whose theme was “Dynamic data: a world of possibilities.” About 300 library professionals heard presentations on how libraries are sharing and aggregating data in the cloud. Among the speakers were Raymond Bérard, Director of ABES, France; Dr. Klaus Ceynowa, Deputy Director, Bavarian State Library, Germany; Marie-Christine Doffey, Director of the Swiss National Library; and Jean-Baptiste Michel, Fellow, Harvard University.

On March 6, I had the honor of participating in a celebration of the launch of OCLC WMS at the Criss Library at the University of Nebraska Omaha (UNO). This was the 100th implementation of WMS since it went into production in 2011. Libraries in Australia, Europe and North America are now using the service, and some 65 more will begin using it in the near future.

As we commemorate the 100th implementation of WMS at UNO, we are also celebrating our shared commitment to library cooperation around the world. Indeed, throughout its history, OCLC has been fortunate to work with leading libraries and with library leaders such as Marc van den Berg, Library Services and IT Director, at Tilburg University; Steve Shorb, Dean of Criss Library at UNO; and René Erlandson, Director, Virtual Services; at UNO.

Besides new library management services, OCLC is also moving its traditional cataloging and resource sharing services to the cloud.

The goal of our Webscale strategy is to bring the values of librarianship—cooperation, resource sharing and public service—to the rapidly changing digital world.

Last September, we released WorldShare Metadata Collection Manager. This cloud cataloging application outputs MARC records from the WorldCat knowledge base, allowing cataloging subscribers to easily provide access to e-content for their patrons via the library discovery interface. Later this year, we will release Record Manager, which will provide efficient record-at-a-time metadata creation and editing for physical, electronic and digital items.

I am pleased to report that on March 12, we implemented the new OCLC WorldShare Interlibrary Loan service in the United States, with worldwide release to follow in June. Libraries can migrate their current resource sharing subscription to the new WorldShare ILL service between now and December 31, 2013, at which time OCLC will end access to the WorldCat Resource Sharing service.

Efficient resource sharing is at the heart of the OCLC cooperative. Since 1979, libraries have used OCLC ILL services to arrange more than 214 million interlibrary loans, involving libraries of all types, from the largest research libraries to the smallest public libraries. Working together, OCLC members have helped to transform modern scholarship. The WorldShare Platform builds on that tradition by taking resource sharing to Webscale.

Ultimately, the goal with our Webscale strategy is to bring the values of librarianship−cooperation, resource sharing and public service−to the rapidly changing digital world.

We will keep you apprised of our progress.

Jay Jordan
OCLC President and Chief Executive Officer

P.S. This is my last column in NextSpace before I retire on June 30. I am pleased to report that as this issue goes to press, the number of holdings in WorldCat surpassed the 2 billion mark. It is indeed astounding that the number of holdings in WorldCat has doubled in less than eight years. As I have noted before, the OCLC cooperative continues to be a grand experiment in global library cooperation, and I will always be grateful to have been afforded the signal honor to be part of that adventure.

About the Author

  • Jay Jordan

    Jay Jordan

    Jay is the fourth president in OCLC's 46-year history. He came to OCLC in May 1998 after a 24-year career with IHS, an international publisher of databases, where he held a series of key positions in top management.