At the OCLC Library Futures Conference, I sat through many sessions that looked at different aspects of the library of the future. One such session was a pre-conference that looked at Stewardship and Services. Following are some of the comments from Lorcan Dempsey that I found interesting and will require more consideration. Libraries are in the middle of a change without knowing the trajectory of where we will land. The just-in-case model of collection building is outmoded, but not superseded. When looking at the collections of 281 libraries, 48% of the items in these collections have never circulated.
So what does this mean for our library? There are three trends that we should consider moving forward as we consider our collections. Collective Collections, Facilitated Collections, and Inside Out Collections.
Collective collections are concerned with collaboration between libraries. OCLC believes that a large part of existing print collections will move into shared stewardship over the next few years.
Facilitated collections are focused on the services related to our collections. One of the quotes that I found very helpful is that “expertise must be seen” within these collection. Value = the ability to meet a variety of research and learning needs.
Inside Out collections are outcomes and process generated from within an organization. The discoverability of special collections is vital and is linked to research, reputation, and relevance. The collections are built from all areas of the research process. Not just the initial process of research, but also the areas that follow in the aftermath of research where others discuss, revise, and re-use sections of the research.
One final thought from this session is that the library’s story is transitioning from its collections to its services. We will no longer be known for our collections, but how we serve our community. How do we use this information to shape the direction of the library so that we’re prepared for the future?