University of Oklahoma Libraries
Oklahoma City Conference
March 4-5, 2010
Summary of Presentations
Tim J. Watts
Jay Jordan, President and CEO, Online Computer Library Center, “Climbing Out of the Box and Into the Cloud: Building Web-Scale for Libraries.”
Libraries will be able to spend more money and effort on innovation instead of maintenance by moving to the computing cloud, where applications and data are stored on the Internet instead of locally. This “web-scale” will increase the sharing of data and allow more interoperability, giving staff time to be more innovative. WorldCat Local, from OCLC, is an example of moving into the cloud.
Dennis Dillon, Associate Director for Research Services, University of Texas, Austin Libraries, “Sacred Longhorns, Ox Carts, Arranged Marriages, the Ego-Centered User & the Information Aristocracy.”
are full of sacred cows – things we have always done – but economic realities
will force us to give them up. Librarians must change and concentrate on the
users; when people’s expectations, information needs and behaviors change,
libraries must change with them. Delivery of information makes up the supply
chain, and libraries must concentrate on individuals and be hooked into the
Charles Lowry, Executive Director, Association of Research Libraries, “Year Two of the Depression – North American Research Libraries in Fiscal Crisis.”
Lowry reported on how the economic crisis has affected research libraries. Revenue consists of varying percentages of public funding, tuition, gifts and endowments, and grants, depending on the type of institution. Last year, most institutions took cuts in staffing and protected acquisitions. This year, cuts have been among staff. Even if no further reductions are made, accelerated changes will result in libraries. These changes include: reduction or elimination of low-impact areas and services; redefined large-scale strategies for delivering information, such as institutional repositories and digitization; and, more multi-institutional collaboration in collection management.
Joan Giesecke, Dean of Libraries, University of Nebraska-Lincoln Libraries, “Finding the Right Metaphor: Restructuring, Realigning, and Repackaging: Today’s Research Libraries.”
“Nimble Dinosaurs” is a metaphor being used for libraries trying to change to meet today’s needs. Other metaphors have been used in the past and today to help people see libraries and librarians differently and understand them better. Some metaphors have been more positive than others. Those used today include the library as ecosystem and the librarian as scholar/practitioner. No perfect metaphor for libraries has been found, since we keep changing.
James Neal, Vice President for Information Services and University Librarian, Columbia University Libraries, “Collaboration by Cliché: The Radicalization of the Academic Library Commitment to Cooperation and the ‘Two Cool’ Initiative.”
Libraries can become terminally extinct or evolve into something else. Innovative, even radical, strategies for partnership are necessary. Requirements for radical collaboration include only 2-3 institutions, a sustainable business plan, a legal framework, governance, risk capital, and competitiveness. Public-private partnerships, such as Google’s plan to digitize books in public institutions, are potentially good collaborations, and may also include off-site storage, scholarly publishing, and data storage and archiving. The 2CUL (Too Cool) collaboration between Columbia and Cornell has achieved real collaboration. Initial areas include technical services, collection development, technology and digital preservation, grants, resource development, and new services/outsourcing for other libraries.