April 2011 Archives

I was very excited to see so many people at our second-ever Global Council meeting last week in Dublin, Ohio, USA. In addition to the people who could make it here, we had more than a hundred people attending virtually by video/conference calling. That makes the meetings more inclusive (and interesting), which is a great addition over what we were able to do in previous years.

One of the important tasks we take care of at Global Council is the announcement of newly elected Executive Council members. You may have already read the notice that ChewLeng Beh, Senior Director, Library and Professional Services, National Library Board in Singapore, has been elected Vice President/President-Elect. His term will begin July 1, 2011, followed by a one-year term as President of Global Council beginning July 1, 2012. To further quote from the press release:

Election results for OCLC's three Regional Councils, Americas (ARC), Europe, Middle East and Africa Regional Council (EMEARC), and Asia Pacific Regional Council (APRC), were also announced during the Global Council Meeting in Dublin, Ohio, April 11-13. This year, 44 delegates representing 17 countries participated in the meeting under the direction of Jennifer Younger, President, OCLC Global Council; Chair, Board of Directors, Catholic Research Resources Alliance; and Librarian, Hesburgh Libraries, University of Notre Dame.

You can see all of the election results at the link above.

We also had a number of very interesting and relevant presentations from OCLC staff, guests and Global Council members, which included:

  • Reports from Jay Jordan, OCLC President and CEO, Jennifer Younger, Global Council President and Larry Alford, Chair of the Board of Trustees, on the cooperative's strategic direction and most challenging issues
  • A Cost Sharing Models Task Force Update and discussion with John Helmer, Executive Director, Orbis Cascade Alliance and Chair of the Cost Sharing Models Task Force
  • An overview of "Collaboratively Building Web-scale with Libraries," by Robin Murray, VP of Global Product Management
  • Some thoughts on "Ensuring Robust Communications and Member Engagement for the OCLC Cooperative," from Bill Maes, University Librarian, Dalhousie University, and Robin Green, Deputy Librarian, University of Warwick (Co-Chairs of the Global Council Communications Task Force)
  • A financial update and Q&A from Rick Schwieterman, Executive Vice President and CFO
  • A presentation on the "Europeana" project by Elisabeth Niggemann, Director General, Deutsche Nationalbibliothek and Member, OCLC Board of Trustees
  • An update on "WorldCat in the Global information Space," beginning with "The National Library of Australia/OCLC Partnership" presented by Warwick Cathro, Assistant Director-General, Resource Sharing and Innovation, National Library of Australia. It was followed by "Issues and Priorities in Enhancing WorldCat Quality," presented by Berndt Dugall, Direktor/Librarian, Universität Frankfurt, and Karen Calhoun, VP Metadata Applications
These were in addition to a number of governance, election and general "update" sessions. The full agenda is available here.

As with any group of highly motivated, concerned professionals, important questions were raised on a number of topics. We took quite a bit of time to discuss issues related to the cooperative's cost-sharing model, the need for localization of OCLC services around the world, how to move forward with interest groups, and the appropriate attention to give to communications efforts within the cooperative. These are important issues, and taking the time for the questions and concerns of members is another important part of the Global Council agenda.

The best part of these meetings, though, is, of course, getting a chance to see so many librarians from so many parts of the world and from every kind of library professional discipline. It is a blessed reminder (though, at times, somewhat overwhelming!) of the size and scope of our cooperative. We often, necessarily, focus on the challenges going on in our institutions and communities, but these meetings also give me great hope. The intelligence, savvy, friendliness, focus and commitment that our Global Council delegates bring to the cooperative is a huge part of what makes OCLC successful. My thanks go out to all of them for the gift of their time and input.
This is one of my favorite times of year around OCLC: the new class of Jay Jordan IFLA/OCLC Early Career Development Fellows is about to arrive in Dublin. This year's class consists of five outstanding librarians:


OCLC, the American Theological Library Association (ATLA), and the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) sponsor this program, which provides early career development and continuing education for library and information science professionals from countries with developing economies. The most exciting aspect of the program, which always happens, and which we always tell the Fellows and which they never believe at first, is that we will learn at least as much from them as they do from us. This is a true exchange and we all benefit.

Over the years, we've hosted more than 50 Fellows from over 30 different countries and regions. This year, they began their Fellowship at the OCLC offices in Leiden, the Netherlands. They'll visit the IFLA headquarters and the Koninklijke Bibliotheek as well as university and public libraries in the Netherlands and Belgium. On Saturday, April 9, they'll arrive in the States and by Sunday they're into the second whirlwind, starting with the Global Council Annual Meeting. During their four weeks in the US, they will visit the Library of Congress, the offices of the American Library Association and the American Theological Library Association, and numerous public, school, special, and academic libraries in Washington, Chicago and Ohio. Along the way, there's also sightseeing, social events, shopping, and opportunities to celebrate the spring holidays in the homes of OCLC staff members.

The selection process for next year's Fellows is already under way. There are 41 candidates for the five seats available in the class of 2012. The application process for the class of 2013 will open in September 2011. If you're interested in learning more about the program and the application process, check out our website.