Controlled digital lending: Past successes can guide our future

When the COVID-19 pandemic created barriers to traditional information access, library workers reacted immediately to help make up the difference. I don’t think I’ve talked to a single person whose library didn’t put forward major, sometimes dramatic efforts to ramp up “anytime, anywhere” access to resources. And that includes forays into controlled digital lending (CDL).

Read More


Three lessons for launching successful multilingual programs at your library

The Center for Immigration Studies estimates that 67.3 million Americans speak a language other than English at home, a number that has more than doubled since 1990. That’s a huge number with powerful implications for social institutions, including libraries. For many of us, getting started serving those communities feels like an overwhelming task. I’m here to tell you—you can do it. And you can start today to make a significant difference for your community with multilingual programming.

Read More


Open ecosystems: The heartbeat of modern librarianship

This year’s OCLC Global Council area of focus is “Libraries and Open Ecosystems.” Through this lens, we are hosting leadership discussions on topics that are important to libraries, including the New Model Library, open research, and metadata challenges. We are also exploring what it means “to be open”—which, I believe, is the essence of what all modern libraries are striving for.

As a member of Global Council, I find great value in discussing subjects like this with colleagues from libraries of all types all over the world. Through the topic “open ecosystems” we are united by a common mindset and shared interests. While, at the same time, we realize that our institutions can be as unique and diverse as the communities we serve. How we work together on core issues while respecting local and diverse needs is both a great challenge and a wonderful opportunity.

Read More


Purposeful change management

Any kind of change can be challenging. Humans are naturally hesitant to change for very good reason. Unexpected change? Well, that can be traumatic. And if the crisis management we’ve all experienced over the past two years has taught us anything, it’s that change management can no longer be an afterthought. And yes, change and crisis management are different. Too often our approach is to wait for the effort to be in crisis before taking action.

As we shake off the stress of constant reactions during the COVID-19 pandemic, let’s take control with purposeful change. There’s no better time to reflect and learn from experiences, good and bad, and help your organization not only move out of crisis mode, but also be better for it.

Read More


New Model Library: Plan for positive change in the midst of challenges

Co-authors:  Lynn Silipigni Connaway, Ph.D. | Brittany BrannonBrooke Doyle | Brian Lavoie, Ph.D. 

When we did the research for the New Model Library: Pandemic Effects and Library Directions briefing, a term that came up often was “normal” (Is this change part of a new normal? When will this activity get back to normal?). While interesting, these questions don’t acknowledge that libraries are incredibly diverse in terms of culture, size, type, goals, and locations. And the term “normal” isn’t really helpful without additional context. At the same time, the COVID-19 pandemic is a singular, global upheaval that affects everyone who works at and uses libraries.

So how do we discuss the impact this global upheaval is having on a set of very different institutions and individuals and their plans for the future?

Read More


Drive social media success that connects on a personal level

How can you engage purposefully on social media with the different communities your library serves while also addressing larger, system-wide goals and policies? The concept of “social care” offers a clue. Social care differs from traditional customer care in that the purpose isn’t to address one issue, answer one question, or solve one problem. It’s also different than public relations in that it’s not about “one size fits all” for every audience. For social care, the goal is to nurture a more inclusive, longer-term dialogue.

At the Pikes Peak Library District, we’re using these principles to create local and program-specific social media personalities. All of our distinct voices closely align with the unique groups we serve and fall thoughtfully under a system-wide set of values.

Read More



Build on strengths when responding to a crisis

REALM banner

As the REALM project (REopening Archives, Libraries, and Museums) continues to gather and adapt science-based information to inform local decision making by libraries, archives, and museums, it’s been essential to listen to the real-world experiences at these institutions. These perspectives ensure that the information is relevant to the operations and services of the field. In a collection of nine interviews, leaders of libraries, museums, and member associations describe how they leveraged their institutions’ core strengths and drew upon trusted partners to navigate the crisis, helping to protect the health and well-being of staff and community members. These interviews help identify common ground among institutions in their response to a global crisis and spotlight opportunities for local partnerships between different types of cultural heritage institutions that can strengthen resources and local impact.

Read More


Connecting your library’s actions to global challenges: How do you stand up?

Working alongside library leaders from around the world, I’ve realized there is an interesting paradox in terms of organizational goals. While libraries around the world serve unique and diverse communities, at the core of their work, they share very similar visions and principles. Libraries similarly, are also able to adjust strategy and tactics very specifically to their users’ needs while keeping an eye on global interests. Finding ways to link these two levels—global interests and local conditions—can be very rewarding—and sometimes complicated.

For the past year, I have worked with OCLC Global Council and OCLC Research to explore such a link. In the fall of 2019, we began focusing on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to determine how libraries can use the goals as a framework to partner, both with each other and outside organizations, to better address global sustainability efforts.

Then COVID-19 struck. And libraries worldwide had an entirely new set of shared challenges to address locally.

Read More


Lessons learned from the OCLC Community Center during the pandemic

When I wrote about the OCLC Community Center’s fifth anniversary last year, I thought we were all getting a handle on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. We knew things weren’t over yet, but we also weren’t expecting to spend the next 12 months working from home, socially distancing, wearing masks in public, missing lunches and meetings and conferences, and so much more. While nothing replaces those in-person interactions, I’ve been amazed at how virtual engagement and connections have grown and deepened. As a result, we’ve all learned many valuable lessons about creating online community that will have lasting impact.

Read More