The Network Reshapes the Library: Lorcan Dempsey on Libraries, Services and Networks

by Lorcan Dempsey, edited by Kenneth J. Varnum

In this compendium, editor Kenneth J. Varnum provides an expertly curated selection of entries from Lorcan Dempsey's 12 years of influential blog posts that library planners, administrators, and those interested in technology will find enduringly stimulating.

The Network Reshapes the Library: Lorcan Dempsey on Libraries, Services and Networks is available in a print edition from the ALA Store in the US, and from Facet in the UK. It is also available as an e-book from Amazon in the US and worldwide, as well as from other major e-book vendors. You can download a free digital version of the book below.

Download Free .pdf  

Kindle Edition
    Visit ALA Store page 

In the 16:05 video above, Dempsey and Varnum discuss how the book came about, its overall theme, blogging, and what's to come. A :52 preview video about the book is also available on YouTube.


Published by ALA Editions, The Network Reshapes the Library 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."

Since 2003, more than 1,800 blog posts on Lorcan Dempsey's Weblog 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.

See the OCLC news release and ALA news release for more information about The Network Reshapes the Library: Lorcan Dempsey on Libraries, Services and Networks.

For more information:

Lorcan Dempsey
Chief Strategist and VP, Membership and Research