December 2011 Archives

Away at the Ref Desk

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(to the tune of Away in a Manger)

Away at the Ref desk,

His last chat complete,

The quick reference shelver

Had a desk shift so sweet.


Exams were all over,

The staff were downstairs,

The few that were left were

Asleep in their chairs.


His status was current,

His Scrabble move made,

The birds were not angry,

His iPhone mislaid.


He loves the library,

He will sometimes sigh,

One more "Where's the bathroom?"

Just might make him cry.


He's cool and efficient,

And finds all the facts,

He could have been April

In Men of the Stacks.


Bless all the libraries,

Librarians too,

He loves his true calling,

And does it for you.

for previous Hectic Pace Christmas parodies, see:
Jingle Books (2009)

Can we be more with what we have?

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Many thanks to my colleague, Katie Birch, for pointing out a relatively random Wikipedia page about "Doing more with less."  
"David Simon has professed that despite being an oft-repeated command to dying institutions, the ability to do more with less is an inherent impossibility."

Please don't infer that I am calling libraries "dying institutions."  My more radical point is that a library who says they are attempting to do more with less is pigeon-holing itself in the 'dying institution' category with that mindset.  

As a systems librarian, my professional goal has always been to implement efficiency into library workflows (with, admittedly, the occasional whiz-bang, cool tool for coolness' sake).  So efficiency, to me, means an opportunity to do more with the same amount of resources, something that could be possible.  

There's been a lot of buzz this week about OCLC WorldShare, one of the first implementations of which is WMS (WorldShare Management Service), which libraries are using to create efficiency at the local level.  WorldCat has allowed them to be more.  But I don't want to use that as my example today.  OCLC WorldShare is also the moniker for the newly released platform.  

The announcement of the OCLC WorldShare App Gallery, part of the OCLC WorldShare Platform, was made on Monday.  The App Gallery was launched with a handful for new apps that use a handful of new services that OCLC is now exposing. Over the past two days, there was a Mashathon in Frankfurt.  Today, there are eight new Apps!!  This means there will be more Apps in the OCLC WorldShare App Gallery.   The Gallery is more with what we already had.  Libraries can be more with what they already have.  Very cool.

A New Brand Day

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So at some point, blogging became like exercise to me.  It used to come easily because I did it regularly, and if I didn't do it regularly, I missed it terribly.  I hear that runners get like this...I wouldn't know.  Despite my hectic pace, it's more webscale than cardiovascular.  So, I'm trying once again to turn over a new leaf, looking for an equivalent to new year's day to start blogging again.  I figured that OCLC's introduction of a new brand is as good way to start as any.


OCLC WorldShare

I won't bore any of you with what goes into a new name, a new brand.  Let's just say it's a lot more work than you might imagine.  And OCLC WorldShare is so much more than just a new cloud-based, cooperative library management service.  I've talked a lot about building webscale with libraries over the last few years.  OCLC WorldShare introduces three critical components of our strategy for truly cooperating at Webscale: WorldShare, our commitment to radical collaboration in library service delivery; OCLC WorldShare Platform, where libraries can collectively innovate library services; and the opening of new worldwide data centers that will support OCLC services globally.

Of vital importance to all of us at OCLC--and I think made clear in the introduction of WorldShare--is  the hand-in-hand nature in which it co-exists with WorldCat.  I still view WorldCat as the most compelling and distinguishing feature of the management services that our global team at OCLC has been building over the last four years.  It was nice to see that we are not alone in the assertion of WorldCat's place in the world of important databases.  It is truly an amazing database and a rich source of discovery.

Management Applications and The Platform

OCLC WorldShare Management Services replaces Web-scale Management Services, while giving comfort to the growing community that already affectionately refers to it as WMS. New services--from metadata management to resource sharing and consortial borrowing--will come together under this name.

WMS has served as an example of one of the most exciting developments at OCLC, the platform on which these applications are built and their associated Web Services are exposed and shared.   Libraries, developers, and 3rd parties will be able to innovate collectively on a provider-neutral platform--the OCLC WorldShare Platform.

We're taking our commitment to cooperative innovation very seriously.  The OCLC WorldShare platform is intended for the entire library ecosystem--from tech-savvy librarians to developers, from part-time coders to software engineers, from library automation start-ups to established vendors--and all for the benefit of libraries, especially those without the resources to create new services on their own.  In my opinion, this is webscale for systems librarianship.

A Pace even more hectic

By no stretch of the imagination can I claim product leadership for all things webscale at OCLC...I have six peers who lead product portfolios with equally lofty and ambitious goals and plans.  We work very collaboratively together and with the OCLC membership to ensure that our product paths have meaning to and impact on the library community.  But I will admit that building webscale with libraries and helping create a new brand have kept me busier than I expected, and too busy for this blog or even the occasional tweet. 

That said, I'm using the occasion of a new brand for OCLC to once again recommit to making Hectic Pace a place for discussion and announcements of import to technology in libraries.  I've used it selfishly over the last couple of years to talk about the work that I'm intimately involved with on a day-to-day basis.  I'm optimistic that the introduction of the OCLC WorldShare Platform, the growth of the WMS community, and other equally ambitious endeavors will provide even more opportunity to share and discuss what goes on in the world of library automation.  Let's keep learning.

About the Author

Andrew K. Pace

I am Executive Director for Networked Library Services at OCLC. I am also a past President of LITA. On occasion, I am known for pontificating "on stage, in writing, and via the web" on a variety of issues important to libraries.

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