Connecting with libraries, reaffirming our mission

Earlier this month, Columbus wasn’t just the capital of Ohio, but a center of knowledge and literacy as it welcomed public library professionals to the Public Library Association 2024 Conference. Hosting this conference was a testament to Columbus’s status as a hub of technical and educational engagement, and to the important role that public library professionals play in our country’s intellectual and civic lives. That focus continued with National Library Week 2024. This year’s theme, “Ready, Set, Library!” was such a great way to think about libraries—not only as places where learning, growth, and education happen, but as active, engaged partners in so many ways.

OCLC staff were very much involved at PLA and during National Library week. So now that things have calmed down a bit, I want to take a moment to reflect on what libraries mean to me.

Read More

Engage faculty and students with digital collections

There are almost as many reasons for digitizing library collections as there are collections themselves. Public libraries may do so to curate and promote unique local history or culture. Museums, of course, want to make their treasures available for study and enjoyment to people who can’t visit the physical building. And while academic libraries have just as many, varied reasons for beginning a specific digitization project, there’s often a longer-term goal in mind: to promote study and learning around the collection.

Read More

Lessons on building community while building the new OCLC Community Center

Next blog banner for post on OCLC community center update. Six icons representing features of the community center are shown.

If you participate in the OCLC Community Center, you’ll know it’s recently had a major upgrade. We’re happy with the results and excited about the possibilities ahead. But getting to this point wasn’t easy. It’s been a long road. And like many large-scale tech projects, the takeaways go well beyond the new software.

Every twist and turn offered lessons about how to better create valuable content and meaningful connections with our users. The truth is, we learned a lot more than ever expected about building community. And we’re hoping our experience can provide insights that inspire and inform your work to connect and engage with the communities you serve.

Read More

Expand horizons with diversity and inclusion

I shared earlier this month that we were once again ranked first in Computerworld’s “Best Places to Work in IT.” Among midsize companies globally, we’re in the top ten for IT growth and in the top position for benefits and diversity strategy programs. By focusing on technology, staff, and diversity, we can deliver better results for OCLC member libraries.

In my last post, I shared how our focus on technology and staff enables us to continuously innovate and more than occasionally transform how libraries work and serve their users. Now I’d like to talk a bit more about how nurturing an inclusive and diverse culture takes us even further.

Read More

Celebrating excellence: How being the “Best Place to Work in IT” elevates library services

I’m delighted to share that OCLC has once more earned the top spot on Computerworld’s “Best Place to Work in IT” among midsize global organizations. Such distinction matters. This isn’t just an accolade for our team—it’s an affirmation of the vibrant culture, innovative spirit, and unwavering dedication we share with the library community.

You may be pondering, “What does this mean for me?” Let’s unpack the myriad ways this workplace recognition directly enriches your library’s experience.

Read More

Benefits of prioritizing proactivity

banner for OCLC Next blog post on prioritizing proactivity, duotone images of check-lists

The difference between being proactive and reactive has been swirling for me recently. It can feel empowering to be able to get ahead of something instead of having to respond in the moment. By prioritizing proactive measures—including training—we can create a more stable and sustainable future for our organizations and the communities we serve. And hopefully, minimize stress for ourselves, our staff, and our stakeholders.

Helping library workers do just that was part of the motivation for our recent update to the REALM project, an effort funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services and led by OCLC.

Read More

Co-create authentically with your community

Co-creation is one of the most effective ways for libraries to turn diversity, equity, and inclusion ideals into real-world services. Fundamentally, co-creation happens when the people who are most impacted by a service or program take the lead in developing and implementing it. It requires intentional time and resources around supporting the aspirations of systematically excluded communities. And these communities, not the library, determine what goals a project should reach for, what success looks like, and what actions are most likely to lead to that success.

To get started with or deepen partnerships for greater equity, consider three important elements of a co-creative approach.

Read More

Four ways improves library visibility

Just over a year ago, I wrote about how the new expands the impact of libraries everywhere. I went on to say (with no hesitation) that the redesign and rebuild had been the highlight of my career. Well, I’ve changed my mind.

Over the past year, we’ve seen how well the site helps people find the information they need in libraries. There’s encouraging data about improved reach, utility, and accessibility. But most of all, we view the launch of the redesigned site not as a “job completed,” but as inspiration to do even more.

So, what’s the new highlight of my career? The ability of to serve as an ongoing, growing, centralized platform for library discovery.

Read More