I’m a deadline kind of guy. I think it comes from writing for magazines. I do much better (even at the last minute) if I know I have a deadline. Frankly, it’s one of the reasons I haven’t been blogging as much as I used to. When Hectic Pace was atAmerican Libraries, they were smart enough to contractually obligate me to four posts per month. I should have told OCLC that if they really wanted me to blog, they should have put it in my contract.
So my deadline for a year end review of activities is, naturally, the end of the year. It’s been a good one for the Networked Library Services product portfolio at OCLC. And the excitement does not begin and end with WMS. Well, maybe it does begin there.
Web-scale Management Services
After several months of testing with a half dozen pilot libraries, WMS launched to Early Adopters after ALA in June. I’m happy to say that in that short time, seventeen libraries have already committed to be early adopters. Four of them are already live and using the services in production.
With the new WMS technology stack comes the opportunity for the real fruits of a Service Oriented Architecture. OCLC will be expanding the existing Developer Network by working with a few key WMS libraries in developing services on the new platform. There is some very exciting work going on here. Stay tuned.
The Developer Network site got a nice facelift this year. The new Drupal site brings new content and functionality to the dedicated group of developers working with OCLC APIs. The new deisgn was so popular that it became the basis for the Web-scale Management Services User Support Center.
WorldCat Collection Analysis
WCA continues to provide libraries with valuable information about their own collections while also comparing holdings to WorldCat, peer libraries, and several authoratative lists. Some new analysis tools are currently under investigation and should provide some promising opportunities for even better analytics, including new technologies, integration with library workflows, and clean new displays. Again, stay tuned!
In the Summer of 2009, OCLC began working with a small handful of libraries to turn the most popular remote access tool for libraries into a hosted solution. On December 2, OCLC announced the general release of the Hosted EZproxy service. Several libraries are already signing up. I don’t like to quibble over superlatives like first, best, and biggest….oh who am I kidding…EZproxy is all three.
That’s just a quick overview of a year that had a lot of activity. I didn’t even hit some of the enterprise level activities that go into supporting not only the products within my own product portfolio but several others as well–things like OCLC’s new Identity Management (IDM) services, Service Configuration (for products like WorldCat Local and the OCLC knowledge base, and other products), and, of course,stats.oclc.org.
Our team continues to grow, as does our commitment to the libary cooperative. Membership involvement in the strategic direction, the development process, and product creation has been tremendously helpful and rewarding–from the pilots and early implementers to the focus groups, commentators, and everyone in between. The validation we have received from libraries is the best reward. Here’s to even more fruitful and productive year in 2011.