What is the future of truth and misinformation online? Pew asks the experts.
At the beginning of the 1992–1993 school year, I issued a challenge to teachers, students, administrators, and community members around the Ovid-Elise Area Schools in Michigan. Our small, rural library, which supported two elementary schools, a middle school, and a high school, had recently joined OCLC and for the first time had access to libraries worldwide through WorldCat. Even though our materials budget was tiny, I stood up in the first district staff meeting of the year and promised them all I would get any book that anyone needed for any reason.
Access to the world’s knowledge transforms lives.
Click To Tweet
The teachers whispered and even snickered. Our library had never been very relevant to them. We weren’t included in their lesson plans, and they rarely sent students to find resources. After a couple weeks, I got my first request: a 17-book bibliography. And that changed everything.Make the library relevant
Through WorldCat, I was able to supply all 17 books with interlibrary loan, to that teacher’s great surprise. And she told everyone. Pretty soon, we were getting all sorts of requests. I was borrowing and supplying books for student research papers, of course, but also to support hobbies, leisure reading, and even the graduate work that some teachers and other community members were doing. Through OCLC, I had access to the collections of major research universities, which we’d never imagined before. This was before the internet, of course.
Once I showed what the library was capable of, attitudes about it were transformed. Teachers invited me to their classrooms to talk about databases and research skills—and I could tell that they were learning along with the students. And since they recognized the library’s value, they started sticking up for the library budget. We went from a materials budget of $4,000 in 1992 to more than $100,000 in a few years. I didn’t have to fight for it—others saw how important the library was, and they fought for me.Impact one life
Although it was great to see the library gain such credibility throughout the region, I’ll always remember the personal effect it had on one student. This young man went to the Assistant Principal’s office to tell him that he was quitting school. The Assistant Principal asked him, “What could we do to keep you in school?”
The young man thought for a bit, and then answered, “I’ll stay in school if I can build a kayak.”
So, the Assistant Principal took him down to see the shop teacher. Although happy to help, the shop teacher didn’t have any plans for building a kayak. So then, they headed to the library.
I opened WorldCat on the computer—it was the old black screen with the green text, and this young man was fascinated by it. We looked together and found some books on building kayaks, which I requested through interlibrary loan. When they arrived, he started building his kayak in shop and finished the rest of his classes. Honestly, I’m not sure he would have a high school diploma today if it wasn’t for those books we got though WorldCat, which transformed his future.
George Bishop won the grand prize in OCLC’s 1997 essay contest, “What the OCLC Online Union Catalog Means to Me.” This video was played during the awards ceremony.
OCLC opened up the world to the people in my little school district. It made me realize that the smaller your library, the more you need OCLC. You simply don’t have the budget or the staff to provide everything people are going to need without using WorldCat as an interlibrary loan resource.
But I also realized that it wasn’t enough to simply provide library services and resources—I had to sell it to the people I wanted to use the library. Once I convinced them that the library could be valuable to them, though, they helped spread the word. We had all sorts of local people relying on our small library because of OCLC.
As OCLC celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, I just can’t imagine how many other lives have been transformed by this access to the world’s knowledge. And how many librarians have improved the lives of library users by providing the right resources at the right time—be they graduate-level text books or plans for building a simple kayak.
The post How OCLC transformed a library … and one student’s life appeared first on OCLC Next.
Early this year, the Wall Street Journal decided they were losing money by letting users access content behind their subscription paywall through Google’s “First Click Free” program. With their full content hidden from the open web, WSJ content fell in search rankings, and traffic from Google fell 44%. But at the same time, their subscription conversions increased by fourfold. This news undermined Google’s assertion of the benefit of providing users with a limited amount of free content on a daily basis, without the frustration of encountering subscription paywalls. On October 2, Google announced it was ending FCF in favor of “flexible sampling,” where publishers will be able to determine how much–if any–free content they will provide. (Google recommends 10 free articles per month.) Google is also looking at ways it can leverage what it knows about users, and streamlining the subscription process.
From the Ohio Web Library:
Big Sharing meets Big Publishing in a duel for your attention.
It’s the end of an era…actually, it’s the end of two eras. This week, we lose two iconic services: AOL Messenger, and the Windows Phone. While many of us likely never owned a Windows-based phone (thus, the reason it will be with us no longer), most of us probably have used AOL Messenger, at least at one time. Both services bid us adieu this week, although their dates of departure are somewhat different. AOL Messenger will shut down on December 15, 2017. However, the Windows phone platform will have a more leisurely death; bug fixes will still be provided, but no future new development will be occurring.
From the Ohio Web Library:
This year, we are celebrating the cooperative’s 50th anniversary. In 1967, the Ohio library community changed the way they worked together to share their catalogs. It was truly a reinvention of cataloging, resource sharing and library discovery.
Today, as we begin our next 50 years, we are at another turning point that requires a new, even bolder vision. We are building on WorldCat, now the definitive global library collection, to provide library members, groups and regional and national partners even greater capacity to build, manage, and curate the collective collection.The biggest picture
For years, OCLC Research has been at the center of industry-wide work that seeks to understand and plan for the evolution of library collections. We’ve been exploring trends such as the shift from locally owned to jointly managed print library collections. Several recent reports delve deeply into the subject, including Right-scaling Stewardship and Understanding the Collective Collection.
The conclusion? We anticipate that a large part of existing US print collections, distributed across many libraries, will move into coordinated or shared management in the near future. Interest in shared print management reflects a growing awareness that long-term preservation of the published record can be organized as a collective effort.
As print collections move into a shared environment, stacks are giving way to reimagined library spaces. These historic transformations require new methods for thinking about and managing collections.A global approach to print management
To meet these needs, OCLC is bringing together the best tools, technology, and talent to provide a new approach for building and managing libraries’ collective collection. Our strategy encompasses all elements of shared print workflows—cooperative infrastructure, collection analysis, retention commitments, and quick and efficient resource sharing. It will enable regional, statewide, and even national holdings management for monographs.
This new approach starts with the global WorldCat data network, which already provides a comprehensive view of many regional and national collections. It is the only set of library data really able to manage and secure libraries’ record of human knowledge for future generations.
From a technical standpoint, we will build on the capabilities of Sustainable Collection Services to further analyze WorldCat and help libraries make the decisions needed on where and what print to keep for a national collection. Capabilities from our resource sharing services will be leveraged to allow for new resource sharing practices that reflect network-level commitments and resources. OCLC’s recent investments in state-of-the-art analytics capabilities helps guide us as we build new services so libraries can make decisions for cooperative collection development. And this will all happen on the WorldShare platform, which is already used by hundreds of libraries for cataloging and ILL services.
OCLC is providing a new approach for building and managing libraries’ collective collection.
Click To Tweet
One such innovation we have recently announced is a shared print registration service that expands our shared print capabilities and enables libraries to preserve unique content by identifying protected monograph titles in shared print initiatives using WorldCat. A streamlined process of registering retention commitments will make the shared collection available and help it grow much more quickly.
This new capability will be included in a full OCLC cataloging subscription at no extra charge.Continually reinventing the collective collection
For five decades, WorldCat supported libraries as they built their print collections … and it’s now becoming a vital tool as we begin to reconfigure these print collections and operationalize a new collective collection across consortia, across regions, and ultimately across countries.
We are excited about this vision and I invite you to view a short video with more details about our plans. Working together, we can significantly accelerate our efforts in collection management and shared print projects.
In the coming months, we will reach out to involve the community in a dialogue to help build this future. Together, we can make sure that the collective collection grows and changes to support libraries and the communities they serve over the next fifty years.
© A Program of the colleges and universities of Minnesota State