Thursday, March 25, 2010

Libraries in the Cloud: Sharing Resources at Web Scale – Chip Nilges

Genie’s welcome - ILLiad10# is the twitter hash tag, feedback is important.

Genie’s story; Chip been at OCLC since 1994. Karen Oye was giving a presentation to OCLC about ILLiad. Chip asked if ILLiad was too good to be true “nothing is that good,” Genie admits – yes, ILLiad is that good.

User’s dilemma – confusing paths to information landscape – where is the library in this picture. Getting the library in the users’ workflow is important.

Cloud computing – pinnacle of hype-curve – computing platform – web-based applications with shared data and services.

KPMG report:

Infrastructure: Amazon web services

Platform: Google, Facebook

Applications: Sales force, Netsuite

? missed this slide, but the slides are available from ILLiad’s website.

Web scale value proposition – according to Amazon, cloud computing is a market shift away from % resources in infrastructure to initiative.

  1. Data is the Intel inside
  2. Shared platforms create network effects
  3. Syndication creates web reach

From What is Web 2.0 – Tim O’Reilly

Aggregating data contributed by libraries – at a global level, data sharing arrangements have power to provide service to users – increasing access points. Argues that all the access points help users. Given how confusing the world is, gravitational pull towards library data would be nice – that is the problem.

Libraries worldwide: 1,212,383

Circulation / ILL: 4.9B

OPAC searches 105.6B

Annual transactions 5,265 transactions / second – pulling these transactions within a handful of commodity servers is possible.

OCLC Goal:

Help libraries to deliver their full capacity to the user at the point of need on the Web, in a manner that’s consistent with user expectations shaped by global Web brands.

Libraries and Web Scale: Where are we today?

Chip has nice slides showing timeline of library services 70s, 80s, 90s, etc.

Lots of disconnects in the systems that evolved, mass digitization projects creating a new access point. Collective collection emerging: Orbis Cascade Alliance, Open Library, Hathi Trust, Georgia public libraries...

We need to connect data – make a large collective collection.

User expectations are changing. OCLC’s Online catalogs report shows differences between user and librarian expectations.

So what is OCLC doing about web scale?

  • Data – syndication – services
  • Data: Make data work – available.
    • Worldcat has 169.9+ million records, 1.5+ billion holdings.
    • Unicode / languages supported
    • 34 national libraries are loading records into worldcat.
    • Collective collection – integrating data that describes content;
    • Licensed digital content; databases, journal articles – Informatics; about 2M ebook records.
    • Special collections; archives & manuscripts, institutional repositories, theses & dissertations
    • Local library content being digitized; mass digitization projects, Google Books, Hathi Trust, Library digitized content. Worldcat synchronizes 12 million titles scanned from library collections. Archive Grid – database describing primary source materials and indexed in; OAIster moved into OCLC.
    • Registry growth 2007-2009: 70K records to 130K records.
    • Cataloging authors and researchers – OCLC Identities: Syndication:

  • Over 9K registered affiliates through our self-service searchbox and open linking... Google, Yahoo, Bing, EasyBib,, Baidu, LibraryThing, etc.
  • Example of finding a worldcat record from google – not high up in ranking because data does not contain as much review content as other sites <- interesting dilemma for library systems – note; we should be able to work with our users in their workflow to help reviews; i.e. promote using links, programs, etc.
  • EasyBib – helps students format references – they integrated Worldcat API.

Worldcat traffic: mobile 1%, direct access to 11%, worldcat local 34%, search engines 30%, etc.

Services:, Worldcat local – traffic to openURL resolvers and requests significantly increased. Willamette University; ILL book requests up 270%.

2010 webscale: Circulation Components in alpha testing, acquisitions in development since early 2009; in the works; license management, etc. Unified selection and acquisitions; library, users, suppliers, data, etc.

Andrew Pace has a Web Scale Management team.

Constance Malpas – OCLC Research: Cloud-sourcing collection management: NYU libraries, ReCAP, HathiTrust. Team is looking at cooperative agreements – reduce duplication, maybe reduce cost by 20% potentially.

Harris study results:

  • End user services; web scale home delivery, survey results; lots of favorable survey results showing users interested in this, and even willing to pay for the cost of shipping, many using credit cards.
  • Get it from a library using Amazon makes sense.
  • Linking librarians in answer services – identifying authoritative resources to use, finding appropriate materials, etc.
  • If you can have one library card that could use at all participating libraries? About 65% say a global library card would be useful.

1 comment:

Alice said...

Thanks for the description for those of us not able to attend, Cyril. Awesome!