DUBLIN, Ohio, USA, 14 December 2009. OCLC is working closely with a Library Advisory Council and four pilot library groups to continue development of OCLC Web-scale Management Services, a next-generation Web-based suite of library management services for metadata management, acquisitions, circulation, license management, and workflow.
Pilot participants include CPC (Craven, Pamlico, Carteret) Regional Libraries in North Carolina; Idaho Commission for Libraries, including Boundary County Public Library, Payette County Public Libraries and the Cooperative Information Network (CIN); Orbis Cascade Alliance and Linfield College Libraries; and Pepperdine University Libraries. These libraries are already testing circulation and patron management modules and will continue iterative testing and product feedback as new functionality becomes available.
"Libraries are looking for new ways to address the complexities of managing disparate collections, maintaining multiple workflows and supporting increasingly complex IT environments," said Andrew Pace, OCLC Executive Director for Networked Library Services. "This is an ambitious project and it is essential that libraries are fully engaged in its development. Our collaborative effort will continue through general release and beyond because these services are being built to accommodate ongoing enhancements. We are fortunate to be able to work closely with library leaders and leading libraries to help build the first cooperative Web-scale Management Services for libraries."
The collective vision for Web-scale Management Services is to move services to the network or "cloud" whereby libraries use the same shared hardware, services and data, rather than hosting hardware and software on behalf of individual libraries. The cooperative nature of this project leverages the powerful ethos of library resource sharing—opening up opportunities for cooperative intelligence by making sharable data available to all users—a "network effect" not available when library management systems are simply hosted by another organization.
"Our relationship with the OCLC team has grown in recent years with our adoption of CONTENTdm, ILLiad and now WorldCat Local—innovative, cutting-edge tools which support seamless access to information," said Mark Roosa, Dean of Libraries, Pepperdine University. "We see this pilot project as a way to bring similar improvements and efficiencies to our circulation and acquisition functions."
"A Web-based approach, in particular, makes a great deal of sense to us; we want to manage information, not hardware," said Mr. Roosa.
"The Boundary County Library is participating in OCLC's Web-scale Management pilot because OCLC has proven time and time again that combining forces achieves more—from WorldCat to WebJunction, and more and more," said Sandy Ashworth, Director, Boundary Public Library, in Idaho.
OCLC continues its work with the Library Advisory Council put in place to provide advice to OCLC on an overall direction, validate strategic positioning and be a sounding board for new ideas not yet in the development plan for Web-scale Management Services. Members of the Library Advisory Council, announced in July, are:
- Helene Blowers, Digital Strategy Director, Columbus Metropolitan Library
- John F. Helmer, Executive Director, Orbis Cascade Alliance
- Jan Ison, Executive Director, Lincoln Trail Libraries System
- R. David Lankes, Associate Professor, Syracuse University
- Sarah McHugh, Statewide Projects Librarian, Montana State Library
- Mary Piorun, Associate Director, University of Massachusetts Medical Center Library
- Tim Rogers, Executive Director, NCLIVE
- John Teskey, Director of Libraries, University of New Brunswick
- Andrew Pace, OCLC, ex officio
Plans are in place to form a global advisory council in the coming months to address specific needs of libraries outside North America.
"This project holds the potential for real advancement in shared maintenance of bibliographic records, advanced discovery and could be a boon to efficient resource sharing and cooperative collection development as well," said John Helmer, Executive Director, Orbis Cascade Alliance.
The Library Advisory Council met in October and will continue to convene every four to six weeks to communicate regularly about developments in the project.
"OCLC is uniquely positioned to build services using 21st century technologies, and build them upon the great assets of the cooperative—the WorldCat database, the WorldCat Link Manager Knowledgebase and 40 years of cooperative, network-level applications," said Mr. Pace.
OCLC will host a meeting during the ALA Midwinter Meeting for those interested in learning more about OCLC's work to move library management system functionality to Web scale. Mr. Pace will present Web Scale for Libraries: A Sea Change for the 21st Century on Saturday, January 16, from 4:00-5:30 p.m. at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center, Room 162 A/B. Those interested can register for the event on the OCLC Web site at www.oclc.org/info/ala/.
OCLC will be treating cloud computing as a central theme at its first EMEA Regional Council Meeting in February 2010. Matt Goldner, OCLC Product and Technology Advocate, will be presenting on The opportunities that cloud computing presents for libraries in its opening session. A workshop will also be held during the meeting for librarians interested in learning more about OCLC's work to move library management system functionality to Web scale. Mr. Pace will present Web-scale Management Services: a truly "next-generation" of library management services on Wednesday, February 24, from 9:45 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. The Meeting is taking place at the CORPUS Congress Centre in Leiden, the Netherlands. Those libraries wishing to attend can register at https://www3.oclc.org/app/emea/council/.
Founded in 1967, OCLC is a nonprofit, membership, computer library service and research organization dedicated to the public purposes of furthering access to the world's information and reducing library costs. More than 72,000 libraries in over 112 countries have used OCLC services to locate, acquire, catalog, lend, preserve and manage library materials. Researchers, students, faculty, scholars, professional librarians and other information seekers use OCLC services to obtain bibliographic, abstract and full-text information when and where they need it. OCLC and its member libraries cooperatively produce and maintain WorldCat, the world's largest online database for discovery of library resources. Search WorldCat.org on the Web at www.worldcat.org. For more information, visit www.oclc.org.