Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Karen Calhoun Presentation--Summary

Karen Calhoun, Vice President of OCLC, is speaking about the possibilities opened by the Next Generation Melvyl project. Below are some stream-of-consciousness reflections.

Definition of "next generation": Moving away from purely local Integrated Library Systems, toward more local and coordinated action across a larger system. Essential components for such a system:
  • Data Sharing
  • Syndication
  • Synchronization
  • Linking
"Metadata switch": Ability, within very few clicks, to start anywhere and end up at your local library's holdings. Example: Search in Google Books that ends up in UCR catalog.

Catalogs should be user-driven. Report to read: Online Catalogs: What Users and Librarians Want. Presentation version, from Charleston Conference 2008.

Blurred lines in metadata creation between experts and end users--another trend in cataloging.

OCLC currently conducting an "expert community experiment" that allows expert catalogers to make more changes to records than they could previously.

For detailed information, consider allowing users to add content to the record. From John MacColl, "Are Archives the New Libraries?"

Library of Congress had great success with adding images to Flickr. Similar plans in works for the University of California Digital Special Collections.

Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records (FRBR) a current project that seeks to understand how to make data more shareable across systems (see requirements above.) One aspect of FRBR: Generating tag clouds from LC subject headings that already exist.

Amazon can suggest related works based on people's purchases, an option not available within WorldCat. Can use clustered subject headings to suggest related works.

Law enforcement has strong interest in authority control, to ensure they are dealing with the right people.

Goal for FY09: Launch Next Gen Melvyl cataloging. Hoped for announcement at ALA.

"Cloud computing"
similar to serving up electricity from the grid. Eventually don't even think about it. YouTube video (10 minutes): "What is cloud computing?"

OCLC wants to build cloud services on top of WorldCat to support library resource management.
More info: OCLC Web Scale management services.

Imperatives, in closing:
  • Expose your metadata!
  • Open up metadata silos
  • Develop evidence-based, user-centered definitions of metadata quality; engage with users as metadata contributors
  • Mobe metadata management to the cloud

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