DUBLIN, Ohio, USA -- 26 February 2009. OCLC Members Council conducted its first-ever virtual meeting February 9–11 to discuss opportunities and challenges confronting the global information community, to learn more about collaborative services, and to continue the transition to a Global Council and Regional Councils.
"Although extensive planning and communication have gone into all of our preparations for this meeting, this is a test to learn more about virtual meeting technology and its applicability to our Global Council and Regional Council meetings going forward," said Members Council President Loretta Parham, Library Director and CEO, Robert W. Woodruff Library at the Atlanta University Center, in her opening remarks.
In the coming year, the current Members Council will transform into a Global Council that connects with Regional Councils around the world. Some of the meetings in the new governance structure are planned as virtual meetings.
Delegates evaluating the virtual meeting gave it high marks. The 2008/2009 OCLC Members Council met in October 2008 in Dublin, Ohio, and will meet again in May 2009 in Dublin. The virtual meeting approach shortened the length of the typical meeting time, eliminated travel for most delegates and cut costs.
Continuing its governance transition, Members Council voted to ratify the Global Council Bylaws as approved by the OCLC Board of Trustees, and also approved new Membership and Governance Protocols and referred them to the Board with the recommendation that the Board approve them.
In his report to Members Council, Larry Alford, Chair, OCLC Board of Trustees, and Dean of University Libraries, Temple University, stated: "These are exciting times for OCLC as we move forward in our governance plan, and I think this meeting will demonstrate the power of technology to connect OCLC members, to connect libraries and librarians and other cultural heritage institutions from around the world to foster cooperation and collaboration."
"Libraries around the world are facing serious economic disruptions and budget cuts with the reductions in services that those budget cuts mean," said Mr. Alford. "In light of these economic conditions, I believe a strong and vibrant OCLC is more vital than ever. OCLC remains a strong and vital partner for libraries in helping libraries meet the challenges of these times. In my view, libraries of all types are more vital than ever to an informed citizenry, and to ensure that in tough economic times, citizens of the world have access to information they need to prosper."
Jay Jordan, OCLC President and CEO, provided an update on OCLC activities.
"Our strategy of building Web-scale and helping libraries move their workflows to the Web has acquired even greater urgency," said Mr. Jordan, in his President’s Report. "We must continue to move forward, especially during challenging economic times. In the coming year, we will redouble our efforts to be more innovative and efficient and to create more value for the OCLC cooperative."
In other matters, Members Council:
- Discussed the Review Board of Shared Data Creation and Stewardship, convened by Members Council and the OCLC Board of Trustees to represent the membership and inform OCLC on the principles and best practices for sharing library data. The Review Board will discuss the Policy for Use and Transfer of WorldCat Records with the OCLC membership and library community.
- Met via chat in service groups for eContent, Reference & Social Networking, WorldCat, Cataloging & Metadata, OCLC Research, Resource Sharing & Delivery.
- Heard a Transition Committee report from Maggie Farrell, Committee Chair, OCLC Board of Trustees member and Dean of Libraries, University of Wyoming.
- Heard Regional Implementation Committee reports from Patrick Wilkinson, Director, University of Wisconsin—Oshkosh, and Chair, Americas Regional Implementation Committee; Chew Leng Beh, Senior Director, Library and Professional Services and Director of SILAS, and Chair, Asia Pacific Regional Implementation Committee; and Berndt Dugall, Direktor/Librarian, Universitat Frankfurt, and Chair, Europe, the Middle East and Africa Regional Implementation Committee.
- Heard Thomas Finholt, Associate Dean for Research and Innovation School of Information, University of Michigan, present, and participated in a discussion on how to make virtual organizations and teams work.
Recordings of the OCLC Members Council February meeting can be found at http://www.oclc.org/us/en/memberscouncil/meetings/2009/default.htm#february.
The next OCLC Members Council meeting will be held in Dublin, Ohio, May 17–19, 2009.
About Members Council
The 71-delegate Members Council supports OCLC’s mission by serving as the key discussion forum and communications link between member libraries, regional networks and other partners, and OCLC management. By providing a channel for recommendations and questions from Members Council delegates, approving changes in the Code of Regulations and electing six members of the Board of Trustees, Members Council helps shape the future direction of OCLC.
Founded in 1967 and headquartered in Dublin, Ohio, OCLC is a nonprofit library service and research organization that has provided computer-based cataloging, reference, resource sharing, eContent, preservation, library management and Web services to 69,000 libraries in 112 countries and territories. OCLC and its member libraries worldwide have created and maintain WorldCat, the world’s richest online resource for finding library materials. For more information, visit www.oclc.org.