Monday, June 18, 2007

OCLC Karen Smith-Yoshimura

The first session of the morning! Here are some sketchy notes.

Karen started off by recapping the union of OCLC and RLG. She went over some of the reasons for the mergers which include: they duplicated services; it would save money for libraries who were paying both OCLC and RLG; RLG would be able to focus on research, not on providing services.

Currently, there are about 150 RLG partners. They’ve added new partners since the union: UCLA, U Washington, Oregon State U, University of Alberta, University of Miami,

Her main focus though was on library research in the age of “Amazoogle.” Most students now look at search engines first when they start research. Only 1% go to the library catalog first.

The challenge to libraries is to get the resources out to the patrons. We need to our internal processes from study, deliberate and finally maybe change to “try it out” if it doesn’t work, take it down.

She showed off one of OCLC’s exciting new programs called “WorldCat identities” which brings together all forms of a name – including different alphabets. It also gives the number of works, publications, and languages and a publication timeline.

Web 2.0/Mobile generation – make the resources viewable on mobile units.

The long tail – scholars want to more obscure things that are not widely held – we should digitize the more unique items – not the most popular.

Unfortunately, the technology wasn’t working to show the Powerpoint, but by not having it, Karen really showed when you absolutely do or don’t need it. Most of the talk went very well, with Karen’s enthusiastic delivery. Occassionaly though, she really could not show her point without the hookup.

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