Posts tagged under: Discovery

Can you imagine a world without WorldCat?

WorldCat is a legend—a remarkable achievement in global collaboration. What began as a way for a handful of academic libraries in Ohio to distribute the cost of cataloging has turned into a critical, core asset for libraries around the world.

WorldCat is not just a place for individual libraries to write and store MARC records. Collaboration among our metadata experts, libraries, and many partners has evolved WorldCat to the point where it is a hub for an astonishing volume of library activities every day. The one thing that hasn’t changed is our global, community commitment to ensuring that high-quality, library-centric data is available now and in the future.

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The new WorldCat.org expands the impact of libraries everywhere

Seven years ago, I was the director of e-commerce development for a global brand with more than $USD 2.5 billion in sales, 500 stores, and nearly 12,000 employees. Then I found WorldCat.org.

It was love at first search as I’ve always been a superfan of libraries. I saw the fundamentals of my chosen career—improving online services, intuitive interface design, and an exceptional user experience—put to use in the service of libraries. That moment moved me to join OCLC.

Today I can say, without hesitation, that our recently rolled-out work to reimagine, redesign, and rebuild WorldCat.org has been the highlight of my career.

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Global library discovery and fulfillment: How we’re the same and how we differ

When we presented last year’s Global Council report on access to open content, we got a lot of great feedback. Both from Council delegates—who reported that it exceeded their expectations—and from our membership and the library community in general. The report provided insights on an important topic that hadn’t been explored in that way before: to gain a collective global understanding of the activities, investments, and efforts libraries are engaged with around open content. This report is just one of the ways that Global Council works on behalf of libraries by gathering insights each year to help inform the profession and OCLC on topics of importance to the library profession.

This year Global Council sponsored a survey to gather “Global Perspectives on Discovery and Fulfillment,” with a goal of gathering enough information from each of our three geographic regions to be able to make statistically significant comparisons if and when possible. I’m pleased to share that we hit that mark and can report back on a few interesting differences.

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To the rescue: How academic libraries can support humanities monographs through open access

academic_monograph_02

When we think about open access (OA) publishing in academia, it’s very often about articles. That is, relatively short, data- and research-focused pieces in peer-reviewed journals. Trends in open science, public funding, cost containment, and library collection development have driven a lot of those conversations, and they’re important.

Today, though, I’d like to talk about the scholarly monograph. Book-length content published as a stand-alone work is not the norm for many of the hard sciences. But it is often the end result of important work done in the humanities, liberal arts, and social sciences—and often required for tenure and promotion in those disciplines.

The trends we’re seeing in OA for article-level materials are very promising. But they also often work against monograph publishing, which is not good for academic presses working in the humanities.

There is an opportunity here, however, for academic libraries to engage in OA publishing to promote and protect the work being done by their humanities scholars.

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The long tail of library discovery

long-tail

One of our first OCLC symposium speakers was Chris Anderson, the technology writer and former editor of Wired. He spoke for us at ALA Annual back in 2005 on the subject of his famous Wired article and soon-to-be published best-seller, The Long Tail. Like many others in our profession, I found the subject to be both interesting and appropriate to libraries, as did others whom we quoted in a NextSpace article at the time.

Libraries have been collecting, preserving and promoting “long tail materials” for centuries, of course. That’s the long tail of content. But we’ve also found that, when it comes to WorldCat, there’s a long tail for discovery.

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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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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

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