From your 1998-99 OCLC Users' Council Delegates:
Arlene Luster Marcia Talley
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ph: 808-449-2209 ph: 410-293-6905
> FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
> FOR MORE INFORMATION:
> Richard Van Orden +1-614-761-5132
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> Brad Baker +1-773-794-2615
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> OCLC USERS COUNCIL DISCUSSES THE FUTURE OF THE INFORMATION INDUSTRY
> DUBLIN, Ohio, Oct. 27, 1998--The Oct. 4-6 OCLC Users Council meeting
> focused on new technology and what it will mean to libraries and OCLC
> in the coming years.
> The topic of the meeting was "Digital Libraries: Looking at the
> Future of the Information Industry." It was the first of three
> meetings under the 1998/99 annual theme "Digital Library Futures:
> Libraries, OCLC and New Models of Cooperation."
> Users Council president Brad Baker--university librarian, Ronald
> Williams Library, Northeastern Illinois University--said that the
> goals of the 1998/99 Users Council include discussing the rapidly
> expanding variety of digital information resources and their impacts
> on libraries, networks and OCLC; studying how all types of libraries
> are balancing new and traditional collections and services; and
> reviewing OCLC's activities in contributing to the development and
> deployment of the digital library.
> "We need to examine the technological trends that are affecting
> libraries everywhere," said Mr. Baker. "By working together, we can
> help assure that OCLC member libraries have the information and
> systems they need to remain on the vanguard of information services as
> we enter the 21st century."
> In an important step for Users Council and OCLC Asia Pacific Services,
> Janine Schmidt, university librarian, University of Queensland
> (Australia), attended the meeting as an observer from the Asia Pacific
> region. Network and regional representation to Users Council is based
> on contributions to WorldCat (the OCLC Online Union Catalog). Ms.
> Schmidt's presence indicates that Asia Pacific is close to having its
> first representative on the council.
> Users Council honored two people with resolutions. Delegates
> applauded Marshall Keys for his contributions to OCLC and libraries in
> general as a delegate to Users Council and as executive director of
> the NELINET network. Mr. Keys, who has announced his retirement from
> the network, was attending his final meeting as a delegate. Users
> Council also honored Liz Bishoff, former vice president, OCLC Member
> Services, for her work with OCLC and as a member of the American
> Library Association's executive board.
> A study group chaired by Merryll Penson recommended the establishment
> of a task force on OCLC WorldCat to consider issues related to the
> addition of complete holdings information to the database and the use
> of records. The task force will discuss these issues at the January
> Users Council meeting and make recommendations to the Users Council
> executive committee by May 1999.
> The three-day meeting featured these speakers:
> * Jay Jordan, OCLC president and chief executive officer, opened the
> meeting by reporting on his first five months at OCLC. "In visiting
> libraries this summer, it was clear to me that OCLC is valued as a
> membership organization for the value it has delivered over the past
> 30 years and, perhaps more so, for the value it can deliver over the
> next 30," he said.
> * Clifford Lynch, executive director, Coalition for Networked
> Information, delivered an address on "Information Technology and
> Evolving Library Futures." "I think we may be a little constrained in
> our thinking about what constitutes the information technology
> sphere," he said. "We need to recognize that there are a lot of new
> components." Mr. Lynch cited e-mail, net-conferenced meetings and
> digital video as being among the newer media that pose new
> opportunities and challenges for libraries.
> * Terry Noreault, director, OCLC Office of Research and Special
> Projects, spoke on "Computing and Information Technology: Looking at
> the Future" in which he predicted some coming trends for information
> and library science. "Metadata, which is cataloging by a new name, is
> going to be an increasingly important thing," he said. "Of particular
> importance is the ability for us to integrate our MARC data, our form
> of metadata in libraries, with other forms of metadata that exist in
> other communities--for instance, the geospatial and museum
> * Rick Weingarten, senior policy fellow, ALA Washington Office,
> presented "International Political Developments Affecting the Digital
> Library." "As they move into cyberspace, libraries will have to
> renegotiate their roles," he said. "Libraries are creatures of
> information policy. It guides what they do from day to day. Policy
> shapes the technology and information services they use, and
> information policy is globalizing."
> * In a talk titled "Publishing: Looking at the Future," Kate
> Wittenberg, editor-in-chief, Columbia University Press, said, "Most
> publishers would agree that there is definitely a future for print
> publications, however, what kinds of materials continue to be
> published in print will depend on the characteristics of the content.
> Publishers are realizing what end users have known--certain materials
> are appropriate for print, others are not."
> In addition, Phyllis B. Spies, OCLC vice president, Worldwide Sales,
> updated delegates on OCLC's recent activities, and Rick Schwieterman,
> OCLC vice president, Finance and Human Resources, provided an overview
> of OCLC finances.
> In small groups, Users Council delegates discussed emerging global
> trends and developments affecting OCLC libraries. Jerry Stephens,
> librarian and director, Mervyn H. Sterne Library, University of
> Alabama-Birmingham, summarized those discussions in a general session
> for the delegates.
> The next OCLC Users Council meeting will be held Jan. 10-12, 1999.
> Minutes from OCLC Users Council meetings, from October 1990 through
> the May 1998 meeting, are available on the Internet. Minutes from the
> October 1998 meeting will be available by November 15. To receive
> meeting minutes via the Internet, send a message to [log in to unmask]
> Commands should be typed on separate lines in the body of the message,
> not in the subject line. Enter the command, index uc, to receive the
> index of archived minutes. Enter get minutes.[monthyear] for the
> desired meeting minutes. For example, enter the command get
> minutes.oct98 to receive a copy of the October 1998 Users Council
> meeting minutes.
> The Users Council comprises librarians from networks and other
> partners whose contributions to WorldCat qualify them for membership.
> Representing the various interests of OCLC member libraries, delegates
> ratify amendments to the Code of Regulations and advise OCLC on
> strategic direction.
> OCLC Online Computer Library Center is a nonprofit, membership,
> computer library service and research organization whose computer
> network and services link more than 30,000 libraries in 65 countries
> and territories <http://www.oclc.org/>. (GP)