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Thursday, April 19, 2012

Reflections on OCLC (Jay Jordan retires)

Some interesting thoughts sprinkled throughout the interview portion...

OCLC now serves 72,035 libraries in 170 countries, with more than 260 million records—up from 39 million records in 1998. Its businesses have shifted radically, with an increasing proportion of its revenues derived from the library automation business rather than metadata services.

Jordan’s tenure has not been without controversy. Some in the automation field charge that OCLC has an unfair competitive advantage as a nonprofit. Its records use policy has been a point of contention, too, and OCLC is still involved in a lawsuit over members sharing of bibliographic data.

But Jordan’s track record has also been marked by innovative R&D and hires of respected librarians to facilitate that. Under his leadership, OCLC has taken a role in major surveys of customer perceptions of libraries worldwide that have impacted library service. It launched WebJunction, an online learning community that has particular value for staff in small and rural libraries, as well as the Geek the Library community awareness campaign. In addition to the WorldShare platform and WorldShare Management Services, earlier this year, it debuted the beta cloud-based ­Website for Small Libraries, so they can build low-cost websites with basic patron inventory management features.

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