Monday, November 23, 2009

Lorcan Dempsey on Campus

Today marks the beginning of an interesting speaker series for the U of M Libraries. The series is described thus:

"The University Libraries have invited speakers to engage the Libraries staff in broad strategic themes that will shape the future of the University Libraries. These themes capture an arena of strategic importance to the University and to the Libraries. Through the process, we will explore directions and potential investments...."

Today's theme is "Discovery and Delivery" and the speaker is Lorcan Dempsey of OCLC. Here's the little blurb that accompanies today's theme and speaker:

The Libraries' classic roles in providing collections and information access have undergone fundamental changes in the context of new models of distributing content, new technologies and players in the discovery environment, and changing expectations for delivery among our users.

When "discovery happens elsewhere" and users expect discovery and delivery to coincide, how should libraries respond? What mechanisms should be developed to meet the needs of students and faculty?

What roles do major players (such as Google and Amazon) currently have in the overall search and discovery environment and how will these roles evolve? In the years ahead, how will the library interact with these players and their services?

What is the future role of the local library catalog? Does it exist? What should it contain? How should it be defined?

What are library staff roles in this new discovery and delivery environment? Where are the future alignments for library expertise?

We have been given a number of readings in preparation for today's presentation. These include:

* Horizon report 2009: The Horizon Project produces a yearly report identifying emerging technologies that are likely to have a large impact on learning-focussed organizations. Worth reading because it places the technological developments affecting academic libraries in the context of the key trends and challenges facing the learning institutions that they serve. Includes executive summary and a summary of the key trends reviewed.
* University of Minnesota Libraries Discoverability report executive summary (staff access only; don't know why). The Libraries' Phase 1 Discoverability report identifies key trends related to discovery and offers principles to guide decisions involving discovery. The full report also provides an analysis of usage data for the Libraries' main discovery systems.
* Mark Dahl, "Evolution of Library Discovery Systems in the Web Environment". Dahl recounts his work on a series of projects that take him beyond traditional library discovery tools. Provides an engaging narrative framework for understanding the need for new types of discovery and the development of technology to support them.
* Peter Brantley, "Architectures for Collaboration: roles and expectations for digital libraries". Former Executive Director of the DLF offers some personal views on what libraries need to do to adapt to their changing environment. A broad, high-level view of the changing responsibilities and opportunities facing libraries.
* Lorcan Dempsey, Four Sources of Metadata about Things. Our speaker, Lorcan Dempsey, delineates four kinds of metadata which libraries can use to enhance their discovery services.

And, finally, here's a little bio blurb for Lorcan Dempsey:

Lorcan Dempsey, Vice President, OCLC Programs and Research and Chief Strategist, oversees the research division and participates in planning at OCLC. He is a librarian who has worked for library and educational organizations in Ireland, England and the US. He has policy, research and service development experience, mostly in the area of networked information and digital libraries. He writes and speaks extensively, and can be followed on the web at Lorcan Dempsey's weblog and on twitter. Before moving to OCLC, Lorcan worked for JISC in the UK, overseeing national information programs and services, and before that was Director of UKOLN at the a national UK research and policy unit at the University of Bath.

I'm debating whether or not to live blog this event. We'll see.

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