Wednesday, October 13, 2004

CML mi fe

So Monday saw Alane and I down at the Columbus Metropolitan Library's Staff Expo Day.

Alane gave a keynote session about the Environmental Scan, and then Jack Blount of Dynix gave an overview of their new ILS system. CML is in the process of migrating from their homegrown proprietary software system to an open-source, off-the-shelf modular system.

Questions ranged everywhere from people asking Alane about the Open WorldCat Program, "When are the full 56 million records going to be available through Yahoo! Google, MSN?" to broader questions of how we can help our users recognize that the materials they need are in fact on the shelf already.

An "oh yeah" moment
That was an "Oh Yeah..." moment for me. I had forgotten that perspective. Here at OCLC, we tend to think that the information world is your oyster--if materials are out there somewhere, you as a user should be able to get your hands on them.

Sometimes we (I) forget that everyday public library users would usually (maybe?) be just as satisfied with a similar book that is on the shelf right now, as opposed to the exact one they found on WorldCat that is half-way across the country. ILL is fantastic, but there's little need to request Fodor's 2004 Guide to Siena, when the Lonely Planet Tuscany 2003 Guide happily awaits you at 5 paces. For example.

Still, it's always good to hear what's on people's minds, when they have a chance to step back and think about the library profession as a whole and how they serve their particular clientele.

A funny side note
The CML Executive Director, Patrick Losinski, listed off a litany of improvements CML has made in the past year. They've opened a new branch, implemented a new call center with a new phone system, streamlined self-checkout, improved cataloging turnaround to a mere 48 hours...the list goes on. But what, you may ask, got the most applause from a roomful of CML library staffers? New photocopiers in all the branches.

So that just goes to show, all improvements are appreciated. Even seemingly small ones.

Friday I'm heading over to the Otterbein academic library, to learn more about a reference librarian who has teamed up with the MBA curriculum professor and team-teaches the classes. Through Blackboard. Or so I am given to understand. I will let you know what I find out.

Until then, I leave you with one of my favorite Dante quotations, vis a vis Ezra Pound, "Siena mi fe, e disfece mi Maremma." ("Siena made me, the Maremma destroyed me.")

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Alice, a library student from Australia here and an old Waste Land fan.
Think it's T.S.Eliot who quotes Dante in " The Waste Land" actually and not Pound. But it's nice to see Siena mi fe turn up - I also like the dedication to Pound at the beginning of the poem, il miglior fabbro
( the best maker?)