Saturday, May 14, 2005

Notes from: Thriving in an 'Amazoogle' (Immediate) Environment: 2003 OCLC Environmental Scan

Presentation by Danial Boivin, Director, OCLC

- Trends in the five landscapes.
- Dominant patterns.
- Comments/questions.
- Worldwide scan: 29 countries.
- Google used quite heavily to gather data 
  used in scan.  Reliability was verified in 
  all cases.
- 100 interviews to validate findings and 
  generate new data.
- Pattern recognition: "What haven't you 
  noticed lately"?

Five landscapes:
- Social.
 - Users navigating 'infosphere' with 
   ease, speed, and confidence.
 - Seamlessness (portable computing?).
 - Google was the main provider in 
   2003.  Now Google is down to 35%.
 - 35% of users are 65 and older 
 - Up to 32% are making purchases on 
   the internet (worldwide).
 - "Why should we go to the library if 
   everything is on the Web?"
  - Most information consumers 
    are content with the 
    information they find in the 
  - Missions of OCLC and Google 
    are very similar (see 
    powerpoint slide).
     - How can libraries 
       compete with such 
       a strong brand 
 - Importance of marketing the library.
 - Anatomy of a gamer (tomorrow's 
   library user?).  They:
  - Compete.
  - Collaborate.
  - Create.
 - 8.4million of 'mini-boomers' in 
   Canada (between the age of 4 and 
- Economic.
 - Economic growth will probably be 
   more limited in the future.
 - 75% of library expenditures from 
   only five countries.
 - Sources of library funds.
  - Mostly public funds (86.9%)
  - To a lesser extent, user 
    fees, and ?
 - Resource allocation.
  - Staff (53%).
  - Materials stock (27%)
  - Other (17%).
  - E-content subscriptions (3%).
- Technical.
 - Difficult to nail down this 
   information (it's a moving target).
 - A "frantic drive" to bring structure 
   to unstructured data.
 - It is possible to be constantly 
   connected (electronically).
 - Technology collaboration and open 
  - IT community has finally 
    'bought in to' open source.
 - Security, authentication, and 
   digital rights management.
- Research and Learning Landscape.
 - Reduced funding.
 - Proliferation of e-learning.
 - Lifelong learning in the community.
 - Changing pattern of research and 
 - Institutional repositories and open 
 - New flows of scholarly materials.
  - Flow between research, 
    peer-reviewed journals, 
    repositories, aggregators, 
- Library
 - Circulation began to drop in about 
 - Reference transactions began to drop 
   in about 1998 (when Google joined 
   the scene).
 - New roles developing in libraries, 
   and old roles becoming less 
 - Content is important, but so is 
   context - providing information 
   where and when it is needed.
 - Metrics applied evaluate the success 
   businesses have some application in 
 - Expectation of immediate service, 
   etc.  User's perspective: If it's 
   not on the web, it doesn't exist.

Three dominant patterns:
- Decrease in guided access to content.
 - Users find information independently 
   but may make use of finding aids.
- Disaggregation.
 - "Least publishable 
- Collaboration.

Open WorldCat
- OCLC put 2milion marc records in to Google 
  and Yahoo (Open WorldCat).
- "Library Search" link in Google Scholar.  
  Also available (sometimes?) in standard 
- Display of each item shows MARC record with 
  locations of items and links to libraries.
- 7million users have clicked all the way 
  through Google or Yahoo to a library web 

- 2003 OCLC Environmental Scan and related 
  documents available online. 

- Q: Why the integration with Google and 
- A: To bring more traffic to library 

- Q: What else has OCLC done to promote 
- A: OCLC:
 - Is trying to build a 
   community-supported knowledge-base 
   for virtual reference.
 - Has developed software to support 
   digitization and uses Dublin Core.
--Notes by Charles Dunham


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