Top posts for 2018: Wikipedia, Linked Data, Container Collapse, and … the Blues?

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The Blues? Yes, the Blues. Along with the library/Wikipedia connection, the promise of linked data, and the collapse of information containers, our “Three Cures for the Humdrum ILL Blues” post was one of the topics that got the most traffic in 2018.

Overall, the OCLC Next blog continued to grow in 2018. About 55,000 readers stopped by nearly 70,000 times this year to check out our posts. From those, we’ve chosen five of the most popular to share with you again.

The Top #OCLCnext Blog Posts of 2018 Click To Tweet

From all of our authors and editors, thank you for reading and sharing our work and making the blog successful! We hope you’ll continue reading. Have a happy holiday season and joyful new year!

Three reasons Wikipedia needs libraries, and vice-versa

By Merrilee Proffitt, Senior Manager, OCLC Research

wikipedia_sliceI believe that Wikipedia is important for the future of libraries. I also believe that libraries are equally important to Wikipedia. In editing the recent Leveraging Wikipedia: Connecting Communities of Knowledge, it became clear to me why we’re natural allies. Wikipedians and librarians share similar passions and purposes. Working together, we can create a better and stronger Wikipedia with more visibility for library resources. And there are three ways that our communities reflect each other in the work we do. Read more


To keep people happy … keep some books

By Saskia Leferink, General Manager Benelux, OCLC 

books_sliceAt the 2017 Dutch Contact Day, we heard how staff at the library of the Free University of Amsterdam are going to renovate their library space. One request students made? Surprisingly (perhaps), they wanted books around them. Not just because of the information that physical books provide, but because of the atmosphere and comfort they provide. So, the library kept the books as part of its renovation. This may seem counterintuitive in our digital world as more and more of our experiences happen online. And it raises a few questions: What role does the physical library play in a digital world? And what makes people want to come to this place?  Read more

What is “container collapse” and why should librarians and teachers care?

By Lynn Silipigni Connaway, Ph.D., OCLC Director, Library Trends and User Research 

container_sliceIn today’s smartphone world, when all of our media can be scrunched down into one device, we face what our research team calls container collapse. The visual context and cues that print containers provide used to help individuals identify a document’s origins and measure its value. These cues are now obscured or more difficult to discern. In digital format, a document is decanted from its original container and must be carefully examined to determine the journey it took to reach the individual. As knowledge professionals, we care deeply about the origin and authority of the content our users and communities consume. Read more

Three cures for the “Humdrum ILL Blues”

By Robyn Clark-Bridges, MLS, Evening Supervisor & Interlibrary Loan Associate, Mount Mercy University

blues_sliceLike many jobs—resource sharing librarianship can become routine and draining. We tried to answer the question: how can you do a job with many necessary, detailed, repetitious job functions while still maintaining energy, enthusiasm, and drive? While everyone’s answer is going to be slightly different, I think we uncovered a few ways that might help you maintain your LOVE for a job that many of us got into in the first place because of a passion for helping library users. Read more


Linked data in libraries: From disillusionment to productivity

By Andrew K. Pace, OCLC Executive Director, Technical Research

linked_data_sliceI’ve been talking about linked data a lot lately. Before you say, “Oh, that’s so five minutes ago,” let’s frame linked data technologies and principles as a technology trend in libraries that continues to get (and deserves) extra attention. I’m naturally skeptical when libraries try to apply new technologies to long-solved problems, but I am now thoroughly convinced that the library needs linked data platforms. It’s one of our last chances to embark on innovations that we’ve known for a long time are not possible with the increasingly arcane and anachronistic MARC record. It’s not always easy to see “what’s in it for me?” in linked data, so let me attempt a view from the many rocks we stand on. Read more