OCLC Research 2011: FutureCast conference

This conference that OCLC Research sponsored back in June 2011 and which was summarized in a series of blog posts that month continues to influence our work. It was constructed around three areas that we imagined would shape the future expectations of library users and therefore of libraries themselves which was why we subtitled it Shaping Research Libraries in a Networked Age. We built around changing patterns of data consumption, the futures of publishing, and the future of higher education. We had distinguished keynote speakers – George Oates, Brian O’Leary and Ben Wildavsky – get the discussions of each underway.

All of them were terrific and in different ways. All of them set up good discussions and energized panels that followed them. And they became friends to OCLC Research. I’ve been following them ever since. I think you should as well.

George left the Internet Archive on 23 December to become the art director at a design studio in San Francisco so I’m not sure whether or how she’ll have time to keep up her blog. You can see some of her presentations here.

Brian keeps up his blog with an enviable output of thoughtful commentary about publishing and helpfully separates it into three areas concentrating on magazine, book, and association publishing. Go over to his site and get the RSS feed on your reader. If you need to be tantalized one of his recent posts featured this quote from a conference exchange

I don’t want to see them figure out how to change; I want them to get out of the way so that the rest of us can get on with it.

Ben keeps up a steady flow of interesting observations about higher education directions. The most recent piece I saw of his was called Crossing to the dark side? and discussed for-profit versus traditional higher education. I don’t believe he keeps a blog so I just keep a Google Alert to keep up.

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About Jim Michalko

Jim coordinates the OCLC Research office in San Mateo, CA, focuses on relationships with research libraries and work that renovates the library value proposition in the current information environment.

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