In a June 25 session at the ALA Annual conference in Orlando, John Bracken, VP of media innovation for the Knight Foundation, said that the foundation has been focused on three key questions when working with libraries: What can be done to foster cross-discipline collaboration, possibly learning from projects in other civic sectors such as Code for America, 18F, or the Knight-Mozilla OpenNews collaboration; how can community be put “even more robustly” at the center of the foundation’s work; and how can the foundation help libraries tell their stories to wider audiences? “To succeed, particularly in a time of reduced public investment, it is vital to tell our stories in ways that people can understand the breadth of our work, and on platforms” where the public is present and listening, Bracken said.
Comparing Boomer and Next-Gen Library Leaders: More Common Ground Than Expected | Leading from the Library
OCLC on January 22 announced WorldCat Discovery Services (WDS), a suite of cloud-based applications that combines FirstSearch and WorldCat Local. Beginning in March, the suite will offer FirstSearch subscribers access to a central index that represents nearly 2,000 e-content collections containing articles, ebooks, and other content from providers including EBSCO, Gale, and ProQuest. In total, WDS will enable the discovery of 1.3 billion electronic, digital, and physical resources in libraries around the world, using a single search.
The Wikipedia Library is an open research hub started in 2010 when Credo Reference donated 500 free research accounts to Wikipedia’s most active editors. Partnerships with HighBeam, Questia, JSTOR, and the Cochrane Library followed. Now, the Wikipedia Library is developing into a portal to connect editors with libraries, open access resources, paywalled databases, digital reference tools, and research experts. Two of the project’s leaders discuss the potential for collaboration between libraries and Wikipedia, as well as the new Visiting Scholars pilot program.
Movie and game rental business Redbox and OCLC will launch a pilot program this summer that will sponsor arts festivals, concerts, outdoor movies, and other free public entertainment events in partnership with local libraries. The program, called “Outside the Box,” will begin with five libraries: the Billings (MT) Public Library, the West Town Branch of the Chicago Public Library, the Richland Library in Columbia, S.C., Chattahoochee Valley Libraries in Columbus, GA, and the Cuyahoga County (OH) Public Library.
The HathiTrust Digital Library will become The Digital Public Library of America (DPLA)’s single largest content hub, the two institutions announced on June 18. The metadata records associated with some 3,384,638 volumes (and growing daily) held by the HathiTrust will be accessible on the web at dp.la, and through the DPLA application programming interface (API). (The digitized volumes themselves will continue to reside in HathiTrust.)
Skip Prichard was named the next President and CEO of OCLC, effective July 1. (In the meantime, he will serve as President-elect, effective June 3.) Prichard will succeed Jay Jordan, who will retire June 30, after 15 years as OCLC President and CEO.
Prichard most recently served as President and CEO of Ingram Content Group, a position he left just shy of a year ago, saying he’d met the goals he came to achieve. Previously, he was President and CEO of ProQuest Information and Learning, a position he vacated after the business was sold to Cambridge Information Group in 2007.
OCLC has begun supporting demand-driven acquisition (DDA) through the WorldCat Knowledge Base. DDA pioneer and ProQuest subsidiary EBL will be the first ebook service to provide data, with sister company ebrary to follow soon. Interest in DDA is well established, but there are still challenges facing adopters of these programs.
OCLC recently launched Library Spotlight, a new, free service that uses data from the WorldCat Registry to make it easier for users to find location and contact information for libraries using the web, and includes analytics tools to help libraries examine patron traffic trends or compare their collections and services to other libraries by location, local demographics, or other criteria.