Economics

Advocacy: public library as amenity and necessity

Downward pressure on the cost of public services creates issues for public libraries. A growth in advocacy is a natural response, and this in turn creates pressing questions about value, and in particular about how different stakeholders potentially perceive value differently. Who one is addressing, and with what message, has become very important. These topics … Continue reading Advocacy: public library as amenity and necessity

A small note on sustainability, business models and words …

Sustainability is an important aspect of digital library initiatives. Partly because they are often funded by grant or special monies, out of the mainstream of business as usual. For this reason, it is not surprising to see how much attention the topic has received. Before coming to OCLC I worked for JISC in the UK. … Continue reading A small note on sustainability, business models and words …

The library network and the scholarly record

The library community is a highly interconnected one. Networks are motivated both by library mission and effective management of resources. This trend will accelerate as the Internet favors shared services, and libraries will see more benefit in building such shared services. The Hathi Trust is an important example. The growth of interest in sharing library … Continue reading The library network and the scholarly record

The cloud is currently a question, not an answer

I will be on the LITA Top Technology Trends panel on Sunday. I have yet to finalize my thoughts, but I am sure that mobile and cloud will figure. We are increasingly familiar with the twin discussions about mobilization and the cloud, and about how each trend supports the other. As networking spreads, we have … Continue reading The cloud is currently a question, not an answer

Institutional sourcing …

There was a nice press release last week about the digitization of a Chaucer manuscript at Petworth House by staff from The University of Manchester’s John Rylands Library. I was interested to see the notes about the role of the library: It is part of a 18-month project – funded by JISC – which showcases … Continue reading Institutional sourcing …

Sourcing and scaling

One of the major issues facing libraries as the network reconfigures processes is how appropriately to source and scale activities. What does it make sense to do at institutional level, what does it make sense to source elsewhere (repository services in the cloud, for example, or insitutional email services from Google), and what should be … Continue reading Sourcing and scaling

Patterns of publication and library collections as measure of technology shifts?

We were pleased to welcome Dr Michelle Alexopoulos from the University of Toronto to OCLC last week. Michelle is an economist whose recent research has focused on creating and analyzing new measures of technical change for developed economies. The abstract of her talk gives a flavor of some of this work, and why it was … Continue reading Patterns of publication and library collections as measure of technology shifts?

The information, er, protocol society …

The ‘information society’ is a vague term, but seems to convey enough of something useful to stay in currency. Frank Webster reviews the concept as it is used in the social sciences and communications studies here. Reductively, one might point to two emphases in thinking about an Information Society, which emerged successively. In the first, … Continue reading The information, er, protocol society …

Shifting the sourcing model

A recurrent theme of this blog has been that networking changes the way we think about organizational boundaries. So, we have seen a major shift to webscale which has reconfigured whole industries as well as individual organizations. Some obvious examples are the influence of Expedia/Orbitz/Travelocity on travel, Amazon on retail, Netflix on movie distribution, and … Continue reading Shifting the sourcing model

Data flows in the book world

One of the recommendations of the Library of Congress Working Group on the Future of Bibliographic Control was that ways should be found of harnessing publisher data upstream of the cataloging process. The rationale was that this would make data about materials available earlier and reduce overall creation effort. OCLC recently organized an invitational symposium … Continue reading Data flows in the book world