Friday, October 28, 2005

More on Members Council

Alice mentioned earlier on the blog that Members Council met here in Dublin this week. What a group! The delegates to Council are among the most interesting, articulate, and creatively challenging people it's been my pleasure to work with. This meeting primarily focused on small and rural libraries, both in North America and around the world. We had some wonderful presentations: Chew Ling Beh (eLPEDIA, Singapore), Ellen Tise (University of Western Cape, South Africa), Ernie Ingles (University of Alberta, a delegate from OCLC Canada, and Council's vice-president/president-elect), and Andrew Wang (OCLC Asia Pacific) comprised a fascinating panel to talk on the state of libraries in various regions on Sunday night.

On Monday morning Jay Jordan gave his state of the cooperative meeting, with a special focus on what we are doing outside the US. Then, Jay Starratt (Southern Illinois University - Edwardsville/ILLINET delegate) led the delegates through a discussion of three questions about globalization that resulted in many insights.

Monday afternoon, Bruce Newell (Montana Library Network/OCLC Western delegate) and Jeff Baskins (William F. Laman Public Library, North Little Rock, Arkansas/Amigos delegate) offered a fascinating program on issues facing small and rural libraries, with the focus on US institutions. (Bruce's excellent white paper, "Montana Libraries: Good Neighbors," is available on WebJunction.)

There were also lots of discussions in interest group and type of library meetings. The minutes, small group meeting notes, and other proceedings will be up on the Members Council website soon.

The Council also passed a resolution asking OCLC's Board and management to approve funding for a Council meeting outside of the usual sanctuary of Dublin, Ohio. We have some spade work to do on identifying sites and costs, benefits and ROI, but more on that later!

The meeting concluded with a presentation by Cathy De Rosa on the new study of public perceptions of library and information services that I mentioned in my previous post. I am sure that Alane Wilson, as one of the principal authors of this report, will post here as soon as the report is available online, but I've been informed that it should be available very soon. Watch this space or the OCLC web site.

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