My OCLC Global Council Statement

The OCLC global council election will run from September 20, 2021 through October 1, 2021. I was accepted as a candidate. You can read all the candidate statements on the OCLC page dedicated to the 2021 slate. I have included my full candidate statement below.

Biography – Please compose your professional profile, which will be used to promote your candidacy if you are selected by your Regional Council Nominating Committee.

I have 22 years library experience with 12 years’ experience as Executive Director of the SWAN Libraries resource sharing consortium. Leading a library consortium has allowed me to become experienced in all facets of library services. I have always welcomed the challenge of providing solutions for the immediate needs of libraries, all the while retaining a wider view of how libraries can strive to meet the next challenge. 

Why is membership in the OCLC cooperative important to you and your institution? 

Integrating libraries within the regional, national, and global presence is critical for libraries as their presence is increasingly an online presence. OCLC’s WorldCat bibliographic holdings and central index of online resources provides libraries the heavyweight fighter needed in the world of big tech. Our SWAN library consortium relies on OCLC services and shared bibliographic resources throughout all processes of library automation, including cataloging, extended worldwide discovery, and resource sharing. Effective configuration, training, and support for our member libraries in these services have enabled our libraries to respond to any patron request knowing that the extended network is accessible and willing to share resources and expertise.

Please explain why you want to be a delegate and describe the contributions you would like to make to the Global and Regional Councils to promote global cooperation and OCLC membership. 

OCLC has the technology and the tools for libraries to thrive and be successful. I believe the OCLC messaging to public libraries is somewhat lost within the battle for library staff and leadership attention. To take advantage of OCLC services, libraries need to be proactive in seeking training and support. In libraries of all sizes, staff are stretched thin. It is difficult to keep up with new tools and enhancement of services. I believe library systems, consortia, and networking groups can help share this knowledge and support within their membership circles. We have implemented a new tier of support in our 100-member library consortium to integrate OCLC configuration, support, training, and value-added services for members. It took some effort to get the initial configurations established. This effort has been well worth the benefits of extended services to our patrons and expansion of tools, resources, and expertise demonstrated daily by library staff throughout our consortium. 

I would champion the collaborative work of libraries in developing tools through the developer network and encourage more active work in this area. SWAN staff, working in collaboration with other Illinois library consortium and the teams at OCLC, developed a service to update large consortium holdings in OCLC. The OCLC Holdings Manager (OHM) is shared in GitHub and works with a group-level web services key to update holdings across 6 consortia in Illinois. This is representative of work that can be accomplished in collaboration with other libraries and the OCLC team.

Please describe your leadership responsibilities within your library. Include relevant library data (e.g., size of collection, number of branches, number of staff, etc.). 

I am the Executive Director of SWAN Libraries, an enterprise library consortium of 100 libraries in Illinois. SWAN serves 1.2 million registered library users and contains 1.5 million unique items in its catalog. SWAN circulates 19.5 million annually, making it the one of the busiest library technology platforms in the United States. Under my watch, SWAN has expanded library resource sharing through the addition of 25 libraries over the past five years, growing from 75 to 100 members strong. I have overseen multiple strategic planning initiatives and executed their accompanying tactical plans.

Please list any professional affiliations (e.g., member of a consortium, a library association, etc.) and contributions you have made to local, regional, or global library communities. 

Illinois Library Association, Nominating Committee, 2015-2016

Future of Resource Sharing Committee, Illinois State Library, 2011-2012

RAILS Board Consortia Committee, Reaching Across Illinois Library System, 2012 – present

Illinois Library Association, Member

American Library Association, Member

What other relevant information, if any, would you like to share with your Regional Council Nominating Committee?

SWAN has built a tool to help maintain for our Illinois library resource sharing consortium the OCLC Holdings Manager (OHM). The purpose of OHM is to ensure Illinois libraries collections are accurately reflected in WorldCat, but it could be used by any library or organization. The OHM tool is designed to set the library collection holdings for millions of records within OCLC, ensuring large shared bibliographic databases are synchronized with OCLC WorldCat. OHM relies on OCLC WorldCat Metadata API. It was designed for consortia but will work for single libraries. 

This work was completed with the assistance of Bruce Crocco, OCLC Vice President – Library Services for the Americas, OCLC consultants, and input from individuals at the Resource Sharing Alliance, Pinnacle Library Cooperative, Cooperative Computer Services, PrairieCat, and Illinois Heartland Library System SHARE. The tool is freely available on SWAN’s Github for libraries to download and install or enhance and contribute to its code base.

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