Posts in: May, 2016

Is anything more important than convenience?

woman-hammockIn today’s fast-paced world, people want information quickly and conveniently. In almost all situations, they decide what services to pursue and what resources to use based on ease of access, ease of use and the situation and context of the information need. It doesn’t matter if the person is young or old, the deadline near or far, the task scholarly or personal—familiarity and ease of use within individual workflows reign.

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Connect. Collaborate. Contribute.

OCLC Community Center icons

OCLC was built on a foundation of collaboration. Whenever we can, we look for ways to reflect and replicate that value in other areas. When we reference the OCLC vision, “Because what is known must be shared,” that holds true as much for member-to-member knowledge as it does for sharing library materials with users.

The power of that model was made especially clear to me during the launch of WorldShare Management Services and during each subsequent implementation. This was not just a new service for OCLC—the idea of a cloud-based platform for library management tasks was a new one in our profession. While OCLC staff was, obviously, involved in all of the training, implementation and support, we realized early on that peer-to-peer learning was going to play a huge role in how libraries got the best value from this unique opportunity.

The OCLC Community Center was a direct result of those observations. It’s a place for library staff to connect online, share best practices, stay up to date on new product releases and contribute ideas to improve OCLC services. Since its launch last July, over 5,000 users from

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Mapping the role technology plays in your life

2016-05-12 visitors and residents

Do you ever wonder about the role that technology plays in your life and what services and apps you use? OCLC began collaborating on the Digital Visitors and Residents (V&R) project with funding from Jisc (a digital education services non-profit) in 2011 to investigate how US and UK individuals engage with technology and how this engagement may or may not change as the individuals transition through their educational stages (White and Connaway 2011-2014). Since that time we have broadened the research to include interviews with individuals in Spain and Italy to include a comparative analysis to identify any geographical or cultural differences. The OCLC team also has conducted an online survey with approximately 150 high school, undergraduate and graduate students and college and university faculty. We hope to have these data analyzed so that we are able to share our findings.

We also began conducting mapping sessions with students, librarians, and faculty using the Visitors and Residents framework and differentiating between engagement in professional/academic and personal contexts and situations. Participation in the mapping exercise is a way for individuals to become aware of how they work,

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Benchmarking print book collections: a beginning

Stacks of library books

The role of print books in academic libraries is changing, as it has been for more than a decade. Library and campus administrators are evaluating the role of locally held print collections in the library’s strategy and their contribution to user satisfaction and success.

The factors contributing to this discussion—declining print book use, changes in library spaces, redundancy across the “collective collection” and the cost of maintaining local collections—are well known. Increasingly, shared print monograph programs are seen as a way to provide continued access to the full range of titles, while distributing the costs of storage and management among a number of institutions.

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