Seems like a guy can barely put a print column to bed before there’s another change in the library automation landscape. Back (and exhausted) from ALA, I gleefully submitted my column copy for the August issue of the magazine (during the day even, and not the few minutes before midnight on the day of my deadline as usual) when what should appear but another press release from OCLC. With this much e-mail, Bob Murphy should be on my buddy list!
OCLC has just purchased the remaining shares of OCLC PICA, the European arm of the library cooperative. OCLC PICA was formed as an organization in 2002, two years after OCLC acquired a majority of shares (60%) in PICA. Cooperation between the two entities was already decades old when that deal was struck. This deal, the value of which is unreported (but which is likely forthcoming), gives OCLC the remaining 40%.
Rein van Charldorp will continue as managing director at PICA. OCLC recently reorganized its management structure “to achieve global integration of services and to establish teams comprised of staff from various geographic locations.” Clearly there is more to internationalization than North America and Europe, but OCLC is on its way to establishing a truly global strategy.
This latest step will not be without controversy, though. PICA has been a main instrument for acquiring pieces of a large library automation picture that make some question the cooperative’s not-for-profit status. Talis’s Paul Miller already blogged on that subject today.
Just when you thought things could not get more interesting . .
[This post originally appeared as part of American Libraries’ Hectic Pace Blog and is archived here.]