Posts in topic: membership

Stronger together: Libraries focus on the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals

Lorely Ambriz

As I’ve spent more time working with OCLC’s Global and Regional Councils, I’ve come to an agreeable realization that’s maybe a bit of a paradox. The wider our professional networks become, the more likely we’ll find faraway colleagues whose local solutions fit our situations. Sometimes the best answers don’t come from next door, but from across the globe.

It’s not a surprise, actually, so much as a challenge. There just aren’t a lot of mechanisms for sharing great ideas across library types and geographies. But this year, I’m pleased that we’re bringing two great platforms together—OCLC Global Council and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)—to help libraries around the world promote and improve their best ideas.

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

Helene Blowers

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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Always together, even when we’re apart

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Do you remember—so, so long ago, back in January—when the idea of working from home for a couple of days seemed like a nice option? An opportunity to catch up on the buried emails, check off a few paperwork “to dos” from your list, or spend some focused time on a pet project.

Now? Even though I’m starting to get used to this “new normal,” I tell you this: once it’s safe to return to work, I may live in my library for a week.

Because while we’ve been doing an amazing job of staying in touch through our web meetings, email, chat, and texts, it’s just not the same. I miss real interactions with people. I miss the social interactions that make our libraries real communities.

It’s the same people I miss so much who are making isolation not just bearable, but truly remarkable. Library colleagues are approaching this crisis with the same mix of pragmatism and optimism that I’ve encountered throughout my years as a librarian. Nowhere was this more evident than in our virtual OCLC Global Council meeting last month.

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Library Futures: Three very special kinds of networking

Helene Blowers

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I’ve been to literally hundreds of library events over the years. Of all kinds. The one thing they all seem to have in common—according to both attendees and people who help plan and produce the events—is the opportunity for “networking.” I put “networking” in quotes, because I think we use it as a catch-all term for a variety of activities.

“Networking” can be, I think, anything from informal hanging out with colleagues to actively cultivating specific professional relationships with new influencers. All of which can be enjoyable. But it leaves me thinking about the specific networking opportunities that events can offer.

Having just attended the first of our OCLC “Library Futures: Community Catalysts” Regional Council Conferences in Phoenix, Arizona, I realized that these membership events provide three different kinds of networking opportunities that are invaluable, especially to career-climbing professionals.

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OCLC Global Council: going after the big questions

Helene Blowers

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I’ve gotten to the point where I feel as if almost any question should have an easily findable answer. Maybe the question will require some research time and effort … or (of course) the help of one or more librarians to uncover. But the answer has to be “out there” somewhere.

Sometimes, though, it just isn’t. And sometimes it’s about something important, like libraries’ efforts around open content resources. What do you do when the information you need simply doesn’t exist? If you’re OCLC’s Global Council, you find a way to get answers to the big questions, especially those that impact libraries globally.

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ARC 2018: Changing the game for libraries with vision, courage, and persistence

Helene Blowers

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In October, I had the privilege of joining around 220 members and colleagues at the OCLC Americas Regional Council Conference in Chicago, Illinois, USA. Our theme, “Change the Game,” was developed with input from the OCLC Global Council, who were integral to driving the agenda as well as participating in the event.

Despite all the unique institutions and situations among attendees, we found that many of our challenges—and many of our responses—had a lot of overlap. When “changing the game” is difficult, the support and confirmation of your peers can make all the difference.

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Making a smarter library…and a smarter cooperative

Helene Blowers

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Late last month, the OCLC FY18 Global Council meeting was held in Dublin, Ohio, USA. Global Council is comprised of 48 member-elected delegates, each representing one of three regions (the Americas; Europe, Middle East, and Africa; and the Asia Pacific Region). Delegates work on behalf of the global membership to reflect the needs of member institutions and elect representation for OCLC’s Board of Trustees. A total of six members of OCLC’s Board of Trustees are elected by Global Council.

In addition to electing new members to the Board, Global Council  also wrapped up a year of council activity around the theme for the year: The Smarter Library. This was the first time all three regions shared a common theme, and it drove our choices for speakers, panels, discussions, and activities. By focusing on a similar set of topics, we were able to share key learnings across all three regional meetings … and what a fantastic year it has been!

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Global Council at a crossroads

Peter Sidorko

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I recently attended the OCLC Asia Pacific Regional Council Meeting in Hong Kong where the theme was “Libraries at the Crossroads.” It was a great topic, one that is relevant to us all. As librarians, we continuously face crossroads—changing patron preferences, evolving institutions, new technologies. We had excellent discussions about how we can best move forward, together. It’s the same theme we’ll explore at the upcoming Europe, Middle East and Africa Regional Council Meeting in Germany in February. I’m greatly looking forward to continuing the discussion.

This “crossroads” analogy also has framed recent Global Council discussions and decisions. At our meeting this past November, Delegates agreed to sharpen our focus on member activities, such as OCLC regional meetings and product, user and working groups that advance the interests of our member institutions.

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Celebrating 45 years of WorldCat

Scott Seaman

WC-45-blog-color-green[1]Ohio University’s Alden Library was the first library to use WorldCat to catalog a book online. It was August 26, 1971, the day the OCLC Online Union Catalog and Shared Cataloging System began operation. Catalogers at Ohio University cataloged 133 books online from a single terminal that day.

Our contribution and participation in the creation of WorldCat with the submission of the first record is an incredible legacy and an incredible part of our history. And what WorldCat has become in the 45 years since is just as extraordinary. It speaks to the dedication and the hard work of librarians everywhere.

I know firsthand that sense of dedication.

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Inspiring breakthroughs in global librarianship – hopes, dreams, insights

OCLC IFLA Fellows

One of the most rewarding aspects of my job at OCLC is managing the IFLA/OCLC Early Career Development Fellowship Program each year. This program promotes librarianship globally and champions rising leaders from countries with developing economies.

Since 2001, we’ve welcomed 80 library and information science professionals from 38 countries, many of whom, after completing the program, go on to serve in leadership roles and have a significant impact on those they serve in their home countries.

ifla_videoAs we prepare to name the 17th class of Fellows at the 2016 IFLA World Library and Information Congress, I am remembering so many of the Fellows who participated in the program. We recently re-connected with Rashidah Bolhassan from Malaysia from the very first class for a Skype interview. She is now the CEO of the Sarawak State Library in Malaysia. In the interview, she talks about the challenges of managing the library and how the training she received 15 years ago in the Fellowship program, particularly on the power of collaboration, has served her well in her current role.

Of course the memories that

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