It’s just not enough for OCLC to grab up good software, create cool new tools, and be the behemoth of the library world; they have to snatch up some great librarians to go along with it!
Last month, Karen Calhoun, senior associate university librarian for information technology and technical services at Cornell University Library, left her post to become vice president for OCLC WorldCat and Metadata Services. Yesterday, it was announced that Roy Tennant will be leaving the California Digital Library (CDL), where he has worked since 2000, for a new position at OCLC. Tennant will be senior program manager with the RLG Programs unit of OCLC Research and Programs, reporting to Jim Michalko.
Calhoun’s position was part of a larger reorganization at OCLC “designed to achieve global integration of services provided by the world’s largest library cooperative.” Though there were no formal press releases on some of the other changes, you can see them in some of the new titles of the executive management in Dublin. Chip Nilges is now vice president, New Services (the partner stuff); Mike Teets is vice president, Global Product Architecture (the product-focused software development stuff), and Robin Murray is vice president, Global Product Management (the stuff stuff). Murray, you might recall, was CEO of Fretwell-Downing before it was acquired by OCLC PICA. There are surely other changes that have happened, but these are the ones I know about for sure.
This is surely bitter news for Cornell and CDL, and as Roy says, bitter-sweet for him. OCLC continues to impress with an upper- and middle-management staff that truly seems to get what is going on in the world. Their grappling with changes was likely part of the decision to launch a governance study of the organization. The focus of the study seems to be on the internationalization of OCLC.
“As OCLC becomes an increasingly global cooperative, we need to adjust our governance to ensure representation and participation by our members around the world,” said Lizabeth Wilson, chair, OCLC Board of Trustees and dean of university libraries, University of Washington. “This study will review and evaluate current and alternative governance forms for OCLC. The committee will recommend a governance structure appropriate to the roles that OCLC is expected to carry out in the next decade.”
This study, as well as the organization changes occurring, should be fun to watch in the coming months. Congratulations to Karen and Roy on their new positions—you have joined OCLC in what are most certainly interesting times.
[This post originally appeared as part of American Libraries’ Hectic Pace Blog and is archived here.]