Karen Calhoun – OCLC – The emergent library: new lands, new eyes
Proust – “The real act of discovery is not in finding new lands, but in seeing with new eyes.”
Talking about connections, content and conversations between institutions. Help each other so that in turn we can do the share the same with our end users.
Breakthroughs come about when conventional wisdom and established beliefs are set aside. eg. Copernicus. (earth is round – saw with new eyes)
World has moved on to cloud computing which has empowered connections and conversations in an entirely new way.
Newspapers and other mainstream media are being majorly disrupted by the availability of this content on the internet.
Disintermediation of libraries is running in parallel to media. 2005 OCLC study showed that students began their information searches at search engines as opposed to library websites/catalogues (89% vs 2%).
Brace for change, embrace change. Darwin – “It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.”
We need plan B, need to adapt to the new conditions facing us. Issues are too big to be solved by libraries working alone. Cooperation on a scale not previously realised, will be required – eg. OCLC, Libraries Australia, NASL.
If we were starting over, what would we be doing?
Embed collections in the web – collections are becoming more universally available and less institutionally focused. Do we know any more what the collection is? (Ross Atkinson – Janus) Karen Calhoun 2006 report to Library of Congress, recommended leadership, expansion, extension. Putting collections out where their users are. Long term vision: local catalogue linked to a chain of services, infrastructure to support multi level global access, aggregation of content, many starting points and integrate collections and learning spaces. Check out the Discoverability report from University of Minnesota Libraries in 2009. National Library NZ has synchronised and syndicated their images through Flickr Commons, their catalogue, World Cat and other partners. Pushing metadata out, pulling users in.
Cooperating to enable discovery and delivery – of more than just traditional content provided by libraries. Now includes digitised rare content, primary source materials, images, communications, research data, learning objects and more. Problem – these can’t be collected in the traditional sense. Digital collections have been shown to attract a new, interested group of users. Studies show that digital collections are attracting more traffic. Library of Congress has nearly 3 times more visits to their American Memory site in contrast to their catalogue and legislative information. Open repositories are also gaining in visibility and impact.
Cooperating to understand and engage with local communities – we do not have to choose between local, group and global communities. We are still place, but not restricted to our geographic location. Books continue as the mainstay in US public libraries (study 2004 to 2008), but they are spending a lot more on media and about the same on magazines and electronic resources. Check out the re-imagining libraries project from NASL. Is there a ways for libraries to collaborate – make their spaces more useful for their users? eg. Information commons, collaboration spaces. ARL Statistics showing that both circulation stats and number of reference enquiries are on a downward slide. There is a marked drop in use of printed materials in libraries.
Cooperating to realise a culture of continuous improvement – can’t do your best, have to know what to do and then do your best. You may be doing great work, but is it the right work. (W. Edward Dennings quote).
Cooperative systems at the crossroads – need to find new levels of library cooperation.
Libraries could more readily share the effort and costs of collection management – collection analysis, new collection development off-site storage, preservation, e-resources, networked knowledge bases?
What if we could manage collections in the cloud?
What if we could cooperate to move from isolated digital collections to interoperable digital libraries? Eg, OCLC Digital Collections Gateway- a web based self-service tool.
What if we could collectively take better advantage of meta-data already produced and meta-data we could get from other places? Check out World Cat Identities and VIAF.