"The Inside Out Library: Scale, Learning, Engagement" Slides Explain How Today's Libraries Can More Effectively Respond to Change

Lorcan Dempsey, OCLC's Vice President, Research and Chief Strategist, presented these slides in his keynote on 23 January 2013 at the 21st annual BOBCATSSS Conference in Ankara, Turkey. In his presentation, Lorcan compared the  traditional "outside-in" library model and the new "inside-out" model, evolving as the library positions itself in a changing network environment. The traditional library was built on an "outside-in" model: information materials were brought to the institution and made available for use. This was appropriate in an age of information scarcity and high transaction costs. The only way effectively to interact with a large body of knowledge was to have it assembled close to the reader.

Our environment has now changed. We live in an age of information abundance and transaction costs are reduced on the web. This makes the locally assembled collection less central. At the same time, institutions are generating new forms of data—research data, learning materials, preprints, videos, expertise profiles, etc.—which they wish to share with others. These need to be managed and disclosed, as an "inside-out" perspective becomes more interesting.

This creates new questions for libraries, including:

  • What is the best scale to do things at (locally or in the cloud)?
  • How do you better understand the changing research, learning and information workflows of readers and become more engaged with them?
  • How do you become a learning organization which can respond effectively to change?

Lorcan's "The Inside Out library: Scale, Learning, Engagement" slides from this presentation are available for download (.pptx: 3.7MB/38 slides) from the OCLC Research website and for viewing on SlideShare.

The 21st annual BOBCATSSS Conference took place 23-25 January 2013 in Ankara, Turkey and was organized by students from two universities: the Department of Information Management of Hacettepe University in Turkey and The Royal School of Library and Information Science in Denmark. The theme of this year's conference was From Collections to Connections: Turning Libraries "Inside-out." 



For more information:

Lorcan Dempsey
Vice President, Research, and Chief Strategist

Melissa Renspie
Senior Communications Officer
OCLC Research


Related links:

Lorcan Dempsey's "The Inside Out Library: Scale, Learning, Engagement" slides

2013 BOBCATSSS Conference

Lorcan Dempsey's bio page

OCLC Research presentations page