The decentered library network presence

Think of two trends in the development of the library’s network presence. These have emerged successively and continue to operate together. A centripetal trend producing a library network presence centered on the institutional website, as the library wants to offer an integrated service. A centrifugal trend, unbundling functionality and placing it in a variety of … Continue reading The decentered library network presence

Roses are red …. the top love stories?

One of the nice things about WorldCat is that is has sufficient scale to be a good proxy for a large part of the scholarly and cultural record. The aggregate holdings of thousands of libraries contain not just books, but movies, music, and so on. It is not complete but it gives good results. In … Continue reading Roses are red …. the top love stories?

Full library discovery

The scope of library discovery services continues to evolve. We might characterise the situation we are in now as full collection discovery. The model is of a cloud-based, central index, where the goal has been unified results across collection types delivered in a single search box.The full collection includes material from the catalog, journal articles, … Continue reading Full library discovery

Three challenges: Engaging, rightscaling and innovating

I was in Australia recently, primarily to attend the conference intriguingly entitled ‘The edge of the world‘. The presentation I gave is here, and is embedded below. This was the latest Theta conference, the Australian parallel to Educause. I very much enjoyed the host city, Hobart, not least because of the smell of the sea … Continue reading Three challenges: Engaging, rightscaling and innovating

Names and identities: looking at Flann O’Brien

Names and identities are a major focus of interest for OCLC Research. I adapt this discussion of our work in this area from the recent OCLC Research Quarterly Highlights. We know very well that names are not always straightforward. Brian O’Nolan and Brian Ó Nualláin are the English and Irish versions, respectively, of the name … Continue reading Names and identities: looking at Flann O’Brien

Defining the library … reflexively

It occurred to me recently that the library definitions I most like have a reflexive quality … Dan Chudnov, for example, is admirably succinct and direct: My professional mission as a librarian is this: Help people build their own libraries. That’s it. That’s all I care about. [One big library] This is from 2006. Interestingly, … Continue reading Defining the library … reflexively

Twit-therapy .. a quick note

I am reading Bedsit Disco Queen: how I grew up and tried to be a pop star, a memoir by Tracey Thorn. Here is a quick note to record what I thought was an interesting discussion about Twitter. Thorn writes about frustration with record company and producer, and goes on to say … If I … Continue reading Twit-therapy .. a quick note

A fragmented reading experience: locally and anecdotally speaking ..

In February 2011 I noted … A while ago I was interested to observe that I had begun to resist buying paperback novels. … In thinking about it, I realised that I only wanted to buy the experience not the physical item. My bag and our house is already cluttered enough. I wanted the few … Continue reading A fragmented reading experience: locally and anecdotally speaking ..

Systemwide organization – sourcing and scaling redux

Libraries are increasingly taking a system-wide perspective of their roles and services. This can take different forms. Think of the close collaboration within the Orbis Cascade Alliance for example, where academic libraries in Washington and Oregon are moving to a shared systems infrastructure. Or think of the various initiatives looking at managing down individual print … Continue reading Systemwide organization – sourcing and scaling redux

Discovery vs discoverability …

I have been interested in the different dynamics of the inside-out and outside-in library for a while (see here for example). One especially interesting characteristic is the quite different approach to discovery in each case, even though this distinction has not yet crystallized in clear service categories. I was struck by the distinction during a … Continue reading Discovery vs discoverability …

On libraries, services and networks.