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Lorcan Dempsey's insights into the future of libraries captured in new book, 'The Network Reshapes the Library'

Video summarizes how Dempsey’s 12 years of influential blog posts became the basis for book

DUBLIN, Ohio, 12 November 2014—A collection of influential blog posts by OCLC Vice President, Research, and Chief Strategist Lorcan Dempsey has been published in the book, The Network Reshapes the Library: Lorcan Dempsey on Libraries, Services and Networks. In this compendium, editor Kenneth J. Varnum provides an expertly curated selection of entries from Dempsey's blog that library planners, administrators, and those interested in technology will find stimulating.

Published by ALA Editions, this book shows where libraries have been in the last decade and where they're heading now, covering such keystone topics as:

  • networked resources
  • network organization
  • the research process and libraries' evolving role, featuring the seminal post "In the Flow"
  • resource discovery
  • library systems and tools such as search indices and OpenURL link resolvers
  • data and metadata
  • publishing and communication, including blogs, social media and scholarly communication
  • libraries, archives, museums, and galleries as "memory institutions."

In a video released this week, Varnum and Dempsey discuss how the book came about and its overall theme, as well as blogging and what's to come.

"Lorcan's extensive writing in his blog over the past years has provided something of a North Star for librarians. His visionary approach to the future of libraries has guided us steadfastly toward the networked, collaborative, shared library environment we have today," Varnum said. "It was a privilege to select posts from this organic cumulation of work and help shape it into a book that can now be referenced as part of the published literature."

Since 2003, Dempsey's more than 1,800 blog posts have provided a commentary on the issue of the moment and offered thousands of readers valuable perspectives and insight as well as a visionary approach to libraries' future. He has used his blog to explore nearly every important facet of library technology, from the emergence of Web 2.0 as a concept to open source ILS tools and the push to web-scale library management systems.

The print edition of The Network Reshapes the Library is available from the ALA Store in the United States, and from Facet in the UK. It is also available as an e-book from Amazon worldwide, as well as from other major e-book vendors. Learn more about the book at the OCLC Research website.

Dempsey oversees the research division and strategic planning at OCLC. He has worked for library and educational organizations in Ireland, England and the United States. He has written and spoken extensively on policy, research and service development, and in the areas of networked information and digital libraries. Before moving to OCLC he worked for JISC in the UK, overseeing national information programs and services, and before that was Director of UKOLN, a national UK research and policy unit at the University of Bath. He has been blogging since 2003.

Varnum has been the Web Systems Manager at the University of Michigan Library since 2007. In his 20 years working as a technology librarian, he has served in a variety of libraries, including a small special library in Prague, a large corporate library at Ford Motor Company, and academic libraries at Tufts University and the University of Michigan. His previous books include The Top Technologies Every Librarian Needs to Know: A LITA Guide and Drupal in Libraries (THE TECH SET® #14).

ALA Store purchases fund advocacy, awareness and accreditation programs for library professionals worldwide. ALA Editions publishes resources used worldwide by tens of thousands of library and information professionals to improve programs, build on best practices, develop leadership, and for personal professional development. ALA authors and developers are leaders in their fields, and their content is published in a growing range of print and electronic formats. Contact ALA at (800) 545-2433 ext. 5418 or editionsmarketing@ala.org for more information.


About OCLC

Founded in 1967, OCLC is a nonprofit, membership, computer library service and research organization dedicated to the public purposes of furthering access to the world’s information and reducing library costs. More than 74,000 libraries in 170 countries have used OCLC services to locate, acquire, catalog, lend, preserve and manage library materials. Researchers, students, faculty, scholars, professional librarians and other information seekers use OCLC services to obtain bibliographic, abstract and full-text information when and where they need it. OCLC and its member libraries cooperatively produce and maintain WorldCat, the world’s largest online database for discovery of library resources. Search WorldCat.org on the Web. For more information, visit the OCLC website.

OCLC’s research division, OCLC Research, is one of the world’s leading centers devoted exclusively to the challenges facing libraries in a rapidly changing information technology environment. Research staff work with the community to collaboratively identify problems and opportunities, prototype and test solutions, and share findings through publications and presentations. For more information, and to see recent reports and studies, visit the OCLC Research website.

OCLC, WorldCat and WorldCat.org are trademarks and/or service marks of OCLC Online Computer Library Center, Inc. Third-party product, service and business names are trademarks and/or service marks of their respective owners.


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