So at some point, blogging became like exercise to me. It used to come easily because I did it regularly, and if I didn’t do it regularly, I missed it terribly. I hear that runners get like this…I wouldn’t know. Despite my hectic pace, it’s more webscale than cardiovascular. So, I’m trying once again to turn over a new leaf, looking for an equivalent to new year’s day to start blogging again. I figured that OCLC’sintroduction of a new brand is as good way to start as any.
I won’t bore any of you with what goes into a new name, a new brand. Let’s just say it’s a lot more work than you might imagine. And OCLC WorldShare is so much more than just a new cloud-based, cooperative library management service. I’ve talked a lot about building webscale with libraries over the last few years. OCLC WorldShare introduces three critical components of our strategy for truly cooperating at Webscale: WorldShare, our commitment to radical collaboration in library service delivery; OCLC WorldShare Platform, where libraries can collectively innovate library services; and the opening of new worldwide data centers that will support OCLC services globally.
Of vital importance to all of us at OCLC–and I think made clear in the introduction of WorldShare–is the hand-in-hand nature in which it co-exists with WorldCat. I still view WorldCat as the most compelling and distinguishing feature of the management services that our global team at OCLC has been building over the last four years. It was nice to see that we are not alone in the assertion of WorldCat’s place in the world of important databases. It is truly an amazing database and a rich source of discovery.
Management Applications and The Platform
OCLC WorldShare Management Services replaces Web-scale Management Services, while giving comfort to the growing community that already affectionately refers to it as WMS. New services–from metadata management to resource sharing and consortial borrowing–will come together under this name.
WMS has served as an example of one of the most exciting developments at OCLC, the platform on which these applications are built and their associated Web Services are exposed and shared. Libraries, developers, and 3rd parties will be able to innovate collectively on a provider-neutral platform–the OCLC WorldShare Platform.
We’re taking our commitment to cooperative innovation very seriously. The OCLC WorldShare platform is intended for the entire library ecosystem–from tech-savvy librarians to developers, from part-time coders to software engineers, from library automation start-ups to established vendors–and all for the benefit of libraries, especially those without the resources to create new services on their own. In my opinion, this is webscale for systems librarianship.
A Pace even more hectic
By no stretch of the imagination can I claim product leadership for all things webscale at OCLC…I have six peers who lead product portfolios with equally lofty and ambitious goals and plans. We work very collaboratively together and with the OCLC membership to ensure that our product paths have meaning to and impact on the library community. But I will admit that building webscale with libraries and helping create a new brand have kept me busier than I expected, and too busy for this blog or even the occasional tweet.
That said, I’m using the occasion of a new brand for OCLC to once again recommit to making Hectic Pace a place for discussion and announcements of import to technology in libraries. I’ve used it selfishly over the last couple of years to talk about the work that I’m intimately involved with on a day-to-day basis. I’m optimistic that the introduction of the OCLC WorldShare Platform, the growth of the WMS community, and other equally ambitious endeavors will provide even more opportunity to share and discuss what goes on in the world of library automation. Let’s keep learning.
This is intriguing, Andrew. I like the potential of a product like this to facilitate sharing among libraries. As part of Iowa Private Academic Libraries, I’m working with IPAL members to find ways for the consortium to better serve its members via collaboration. Perhaps there is a match here.
I’ve read some of the product literature but am having a hard time grasping exactly what WorldShare does in concrete terms. Could you share examples for the various divisions it serves (acquisitions, cataloging, etc.)?
Some pickups from the press:
Marshall Breeding, “OCLC WorldShare Platform: OCLC Brands and Strengthens Its Webscale Strategy, ” Information Today
George Eberhart, “OCLC Launches New WorldShare Platform,” American Libraries magazine
Jennifer Howard, “New Library-Tech Platform Emphasizes ‘Web Scale’ Strategy,” The Chronicle of Higher Education’s Wired Campus blog
Gary Price, “More Collaboration: OCLC Announces Launch of WorldShare Platform and Brand,” INFOdocket.
David Rapp, “With WorldShare Platform, OCLC Emphasizes Data Access and Rebrands Web-scale ILS,” Library Journal/School Library Journal’s blog, The Digital Shift.