For me, one of the best things about managing the OCLC Library, Archive and Museum is that the history of our organization is tied so closely to the history of libraries and librarianship. Being a corporate archivist is fun for almost any history geek, of course. But it’s special and meaningful for me to play a part in collecting and preserving works that reflect on the people, events and achievements of our profession.
Because OCLC is a cooperative, our collection isn’t just a list of items and materials about what happens inside these walls, but it’s a glimpse into half-a-century of changes and innovations that librarians have lived through and, in many cases, originated. And, as we archivists all know, a look back from time to time can be a valuable tool as we identify paths for the future.
That’s why I think it’s incredibly important that we ask you—the world’s librarians—for your memories as we celebrate OCLC’s 50th anniversary.
That’s right! On July 6, 2017, OCLC will celebrate its 50th anniversary! Through all of those decades, our purpose has remained clear: improve access to library materials while helping libraries control costs. Not many technology companies can claim to have lived by one vision for that long. And thousands of librarians all over the world have been a part of the success of our cooperative mission and vision.
Share your memories and help OCLC celebrate 50 years! #OCLC50
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So, this is my invitation to you—be a part of this historic event.
If you have any special memories from your history with OCLC, send a photo to email@example.com. Please include the year of the content shown in the photo, along with a short caption or description. We’ll be compiling them for the OCLC Archive’s special 50th Anniversary Collection as well as sharing some of them through social media and at events over the coming months. Please keep in mind that by submitting photos, you confirm that you own the image rights and agree to OCLC using them in our communications.
Fifty years of working together, sharing resources and knowledge. It’s a remarkable achievement.
I can’t wait to hear from you!
The post OCLC at fifty—your memories, our history, our shared future appeared first on OCLC Next.
Now that our ISPs can spy on us just like Google and Facebook, it's time to invest a few minutes in making privacy a habit.
The recent thread on the OPLINTECH list about solid state vs mechanical drives in computers is a reminder that the traditional methods of storing data in use for decades are being replaced by newer technologies. As our data gets bigger and bigger, researchers are exploring a number of ways to store more data more efficiently, increasing both the storage capacity and the longevity of storage when compared to current technologies. Here are just four examples of the interesting research underway that could transform the ways we store data.
Articles from Ohio Web Library:
OCLC is a global library cooperative, composed of more than 16,000 library members from around the world. Our members span library types from public libraries serving the smallest rural towns to the largest research libraries in the world.
The knowledge transfer and exchange fueled by libraries enables many notable experiences: the child learning to read; the scientist expanding an avenue of medical research; an entrepreneur building a viable business plan. The individuals in these examples often gain their initial foothold, inspiration and roadmap in a library. We celebrate the accomplishments and the end result of the knowledge, but the journey to these breakthroughs is often not as visible. Libraries play a key role in these life-altering journeys and ground-breaking discoveries.
The role that libraries play continues to grow, based on the evolving needs of their respective communities. Libraries provide internet services, vital not only to learning but also to finding a job and to accessing social services. Libraries directly impact student outcomes, from pre-K and K–12 to community colleges to large research universities. Libraries maintain important collections, preserving the history of our communities, regions, countries and people.
Libraries are a great equalizer in our society. The services they provide flatten economic and social classes, allowing all learners equal access to the world’s information. In today’s rapidly evolving technology age, these services are needed now more than ever. OCLC itself is a testament to library innovation, collaboration and resourcefulness. Fifty years ago this July, a group of Ohio libraries joined together as the founding members of OCLC, devising a means to leverage technology to share information and work across their institutions.
OCLC, on behalf of its member libraries, supports the continuity of library programs and funding and information policies that enable libraries to serve their communities, including:
While OCLC is but one organization with 1,200 staff members around the world, we amplify the voices of our global library membership. And through our membership, we represent the voices of the many users whose lives have been and will be positively influenced by a library.
Maybe it’s not just free as in speech we need to worry about, but free as in beer (or kittens).
Usually, when we search for a solution, we start with a question and then seek out answers. According to Viktor Mayer-Schönberger, one of the plenary speakers at the 2017 OCLC EMEA Regional Council Meeting in Berlin, big data flips that equation on its head.
Tying into the event’s theme, “Libraries at the Crossroads: Resolving Identities,” Viktor explained that big data is all about gaining new perspectives on the world. It is revolutionizing what we see, and how we process information. And he explained that with big data, we start with answers—what the data tells us—and then go back to fill in appropriate questions and hypotheses.
As a Professor at Oxford University’s Internet Institute and author of Big Data: A Revolution That Will Transform How We Live, Work, and Think, Viktor also explained that every additional data point is an opportunity to boost customer services and find new synergies. He talked about the quantity of big data translating into a new capability to make sense of patterns.
Librarians have been big data crunchers in collecting bibliographic data. How do we move these efforts forward?
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As I thought about his presentation, I wondered about the impact of big data on libraries. In our own way, we librarians have been big data crunchers for decades. We’ve made great strides in collecting bibliographic data at scale. So how do we move these efforts forward?Positioning libraries for big data success
Big data has made processing large collections of data inexpensive and fast. It provides the ability for forward-looking decision-making based on data from multiple, disparate data sources.
Some recent opportunities include:
Curating research data. University researchers and government agencies manage and preserve massive digital assets—images, text and data—that require integrated management and preservation programs. These data include project proposals, grant proposals, researcher notes, researcher profiles, datasets, experiment results, article drafts and copies of published articles. The library’s role in connecting and curating these institutional assets is needed and a big opportunity for new services. OCLC Research scientists are exploring topics related to data curation and libraries with an eye toward distinctive services that will support research missions.
Aggregating library data. We are leveraging members’ collected knowledge investment for efficiency and re-use by libraries and other organizations. One example is the Virtual International Authority File (VIAF), which virtually combines multiple name authority files into a single dataset. By linking disparate names for the same person or organization, VIAF provides a convenient means for a wider community of libraries and other agencies to repurpose bibliographic data produced by libraries that serve different language communities. VIAF became an OCLC service in 2012 and today, 25 national libraries from 30 countries are represented in the cooperative data file.
Managing collection data. As libraries move from locally owned to jointly managed print collections, good data about collections can help establish priorities and focus. When aggregated and analyzed across many libraries (through programs such as Sustainable Collections Services), collections data can suggest patterns and provide insights that inform management decisions. We anticipate that a large part of existing print collections, spread across many libraries, will move into coordinated or shared management within a few years. While quantitative data must be used carefully, information about overlap and usage can supplement the judgment of librarians.Getting ready for the future
The “Crossroads” theme of the conference was woven through many of the presentations, discussions and conversations I heard. But big data cuts across many of the topics presented, such as issues of digitization, research information management and institutional identities.
Library services will clearly be increasingly affected by big data—but here’s a thought-provoking question: Will the data be our own, or that which comes from an increasingly connected and monitored world? Will we be able to collect data from thousands of institutions in ways that present answers for which we can formulate library-specific questions? Or will we be stuck trying to adjust our inquiries and plans based on data collected elsewhere?
We are still in the early days of aggregating all sorts of new and exciting library data. Indeed, library big data might play a crucial role in framing questions about education, authority and literacy outside the spheres of commercial interest—if we can successfully navigate these crossroads together.
Last week, the president’s top economic adviser said he had no worries about AI or robots coming for American jobs. In fact, Steve Mnuchin claimed that it would be 50 to 100 years from now, before that would even be a problem on the country’s radar. It might be nice to relegate that concern to the proverbial backburner…except, the problem isn’t a future issue: it’s already happening, and it may even affect American workers disproportionately, compared to those in other countries. The future is here, and it’s going to result in unemployment for a good number of people. If your library is providing job training, it’s time to sit up and take notice of which types of jobs are most at risk.
From the Ohio Web Library:
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