In this issue
From the President
From the Editor
News and Announcements :
News from OCLC
OLAC Cataloger's Judgment:
News From OCLC
Compiled by Jay Weitz
OCLC Releases New Report, Online Catalogs: What Users and Librarians Want
The research report, Online Catalogs: What Users and Librarians Want, is now available for order and download. Authored by an OCLC research team headed by Karen Calhoun, Vice President, WorldCat and Metadata Services, the report presents findings about the data quality expectations of catalog end users and librarians. Please visit http://www.oclc.org/reports/onlinecatalogs/default.htm to order the report, download a copy, and to learn more. Among the report’s key findings are:
• The end user’s experience of the delivery of wanted items is as important, if not more important, than his or her discovery experience.
• End users rely on and expect enhanced content including summaries/abstracts and tables of contents.
• An advanced search option (supporting fielded searching) and facets help end users refine searches, navigate, browse, and manage large result sets.
• Important differences exist between the catalog data quality priorities of end users and those who work in libraries.
• Librarians and library staff, like end users, approach catalogs and catalog data purposefully. End users generally want to find and obtain needed information; librarians and library staff generally have work responsibilities to carry out. The work roles of librarians and staff influence their data quality preferences.
• Librarians’ choice of data quality enhancements reflects their understanding of the importance of accurate, structured data in the catalog.
OCLC, RSPs to Improve Service Efficiencies to Lower Costs for Libraries
OCLC and its network of U.S. Regional Service Providers are implementing new programs designed to increase value and reduce overall service costs for OCLC member libraries. These new infrastructure and service design changes are intended to make it possible for most OCLC members to see flat or reduced cost levels for OCLC service for the next fiscal year. These service cost savings, in combination with OCLC’s goal to keep product prices at current levels, will help libraries face the challenges brought on by the current economic downturn.
The new service initiatives, developed by OCLC and its network of U.S. Regional Service Providers over the last 24 months, include: streamlined billing statements; more account information online; simplified account administration; a centralized training calendar offering easy access to national training and education opportunities, and strengthened product support infrastructure. The programs are designed to take full advantage of current technologies and collaborative programs, to enhance access to OCLC products and services, and to improve cost efficiencies for libraries. OCLC and its U.S. Regional Service Providers continue to strive to deliver consistent, high-quality services to all member libraries, regardless of location, size or type. OCLC was created with the idea that libraries can do more by working together than they could ever do by themselves. This is particularly important in difficult economic times.
Gates Foundation, OCLC to Develop Campaign to Increase Support for Libraries
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation announced a $5 million grant to the OCLC library cooperative to develop a public information campaign that will help public library leaders heighten awareness of the needs of local libraries and increase support for the services they provide during these challenging times. OCLC will pilot the campaign in select areas of Georgia and Iowa starting summer 2009 as well as a limited number of other communities selected in spring 2009. Later in the year, OCLC will make available community awareness campaign materials and other guides to assist library leaders throughout the country in their efforts to strengthen support for local libraries. The current economic crisis has led to dramatic increases in library visitation across the nation, as people rely on libraries for free computer and Internet access to conduct job searches, access government services, learn new workforce skills, and use other resources they can no longer afford at home. The tightening economy has also put library funding—80 percent of which comes from local sources—at risk. Many library systems predict deep state and local funding cuts in 2009, a growing burden for the roughly half of all libraries struggling against declining or flat budgets. OCLC will work with Leo Burnett USA, a Chicago-based marketing communications agency, to design and test the community support campaigns in Georgia and Iowa with the help of field managers. They will use advertising, direct marketing, online engagement, public relations, and grassroots community initiatives to heighten awareness of the need for increased library support. Approaches will be informed by market research OCLC and Leo Burnett conducted in 2007 that identified factors which drive and limit support for public libraries. OCLC will solicit proposals from libraries that wish to participate in the early pilot campaign and will award a limited number of small grants to support the campaign in select communities. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation began investing in computer and Internet services in U.S. public libraries in 1997. To date, it has provided $350 million in grants and other support to install and sustain computers in libraries and train thousands of library staff in nearly 13,000 libraries in all 50 states and U.S. territories. In recent years, the foundation has also supported advocacy training and awareness efforts that will help libraries sustain high-quality online access for patrons in partnership with their communities.
Reference and Discovery
OCLC Partners with Popular Social Book Community weRead
weRead will provide WorldCat.org with more than 2.3 million reviews, 17 million ratings, and use of its recommendations engine. OCLC has partnered with weRead, a social reading site and community for book lovers, to provide valuable content on WorldCat.org, which now features weRead customer reviews alongside Amazon, Educational Media Reviews Online, and original user review submissions. In addition, WorldCat.org also uses the weRead recommendations engine to make “Read By Others” suggestions for additional titles of interest on a WorldCat.org detailed record page. weRead helps people find other readers who have similar interests and provides title recommendations. It is the latest organization to join the WorldCat partners program. With one of the largest and most popular social book discovery applications on Facebook, MySpace, bebo, Hi5, and Orkut, weRead is a natural fit to partner with OCLC to enhance the social networking and user-discovery aspects of WorldCat.org.
Digital Collection Services
OCLC Further Expands the FirstSearch Base Package with CONTENTdm
Earlier in 2009, OCLC expanded the FirstSearch® Base Package to include the OAIster, CAMIO®, and ArchiveGrid® databases at no additional charge to subscribers. Now, beginning 2009 May 1, OCLC further expanded the FirstSearch Base Package to include access to CONTENTdm “quick start.” CONTENTdm “quick start” is available for digital collection building to Base Package subscribers at no additional charge. This entry-level, hosted version of CONTENTdm® will support efforts to increase access to the digital content that libraries provide. FirstSearch Base Package subscribers are eligible to receive: (1) the CONTENTdm software hosted by OCLC, (2) three downloadable Project Clients for building digital collections, and (3) 10 GB of storage for up to 3,000 digital items. If a library finds that their requirements exceed any of these limits, OCLC will work with them to review purchasing options to continue seamless growth of their digital collections. Libraries that currently have a CONTENTdm license and a FirstSearch Base Package subscription may choose to take advantage of this offer and utilize CONTENTdm “quick start” as a second implementation to support additional projects. The goal of this Base Package addition is to facilitate access to libraries’ unique digital resources via the Web, and to do so in a way that highlights their unique online presence. Connecting these resources through WorldCat® also allows users to find high-quality materials more easily through local libraries. Starting in July 2009, CONTENTdm users will be able to add their collections more quickly to WorldCat.org by using the Digital Collection Gateway. This new capability will be a self-service, Web-based interface that enables them to synchronize their CONTENTdm metadata with WorldCat and provide increased visibility of CONTENTdm collections to end users through WorldCat.org. End users can search, discover and retrieve digital items through WorldCat.org (and all the places where WorldCat appears) and view them via CONTENTdm. For more information, please contact email@example.com.
WebJunction Connects Staff Competencies to New Social Learning Platform
WebJunction, the online learning community for librarians and library staff, has released Library Management Competencies, a guide to courses and resources to help current and aspiring library managers to be more successful in their work. Library Management Competencies, available on WebJunction.org, includes links to related courses and dynamic resources that will help users build knowledge and skills and increase on-the-job effectiveness. By identifying the key aspects of managing a library and defining the associated knowledge, skills, and behaviors, library managers will be better able to tailor their personal learning plans to address any gaps in their skills sets. All WebJunction courses and programs take place within its unique social learning platform, where people come together around course work and content to gain the most interactive learning experience available to library staff anywhere on the Web. There are two paths of discovery from competencies to learning resources at WebJunction. For direct access, users can go to www.webjunction.org/catalog/coursecatalog/competencies to browse the list of Library Management Competency categories. Click the Details & Learning button for each competency statement to see related courses as well as a guide to additional resources available on WebJunction.org. Or, when browsing the Course Catalog, the Details page of any course associated with a competency will link to the associated competencies page. WebJunction's Library Management Competencies are the first set to be launched from the full Competency Index, an aggregate of competency statements that cover a broad spectrum of library practice and service. In the coming months, WebJunction will continue to roll out additional sections on the Web site, and plans to produce the full Index as a WebJunction publication later this year.
WebJunction's Custom Course Catalog, LibraryU Make Staff Training Easy
WebJunction is now offering a Custom Course Catalog, a new service that provides a central location to host, promote, and track library staff training. The Custom Course Catalog allows a library organization to build a training catalog to meet the specific needs of its staff. The catalog can combine an organization's own course listings with selections from WebJunction's online course offerings in an easy-to-manage, always-accessible Web environment. With the Custom Course Catalog, the library staff learner experiences a straight-forward registration process for courses selected and gathered together from multiple suppliers. A standard Web browser is all the learner needs to access the catalog and courses. Each learner can manage his or her own learning progress—taking multiple courses, tracking individual learning history, and printing certificates of completion. With the Custom Course Catalog, a library organization's training coordinator has a low-cost way to advertise courses and to monitor staff enrollment, usage, and completion rates. The coordinators can choose to include webinars, face-to-face training, and other live learning events in addition to self-paced courses. The coordinator can also opt to tie in the Competencies Index, which WebJunction is currently rolling out to help library staff assess and build their skills in key areas of library work. All training offerings are housed in a unique, private online location, so that each library organization can make courses available only to its designated staff. The catalog is hosted by WebJunction on its proven and widely used platform and backed by WebJunction's support and training groups. WebJunction's course catalog contains nearly 700 courses selected to help library staff build the skills required to meet the needs of rapidly changing libraries. In February 2009, LibraryU courses joined the WebJunction catalog, bringing many topics relevant to today's library workforce: Web-based reference, marketing, library management, shelving, cataloging, readers advisory, children's services, and many more. Visit www.webjunction.org/catalog and click on LibraryU for details on the courses and how to enroll. The Custom Course Catalog is available in several different configurations, depending on an organization's needs. For more information on these options and on pricing, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.