On the second day of the OCLC Global Council meeting [agenda PDF] there was a presentation by Robin Murray (VP, OCLC Global Product Management) and Jim Michalko (VP, OCLC Research Library Partnership) called “Linked Open Data”. The title of the presentation was an understatement because the real heart of the matter was WorldCat data as linked open data. The presentation was about an hour long, and despite the technical difficulties was fascinating to listen to through the streaming video feed. OCLC says the archive of the meeting will be available at some point, and I urge you to check it out when it becomes available.
I’ve been away from DLTJ Thursday Threads for a while, but that doesn’t mean the fun hasn’t stopped. This week there are stories about the beginning and the end of the Research Works Act (again, one might add), Amazon’s continuing shifts in the ebook marketplace, and an announcement of beta access to OCLC’s Website for Small Libraries service.
This is the just-in-time-for-the-holidays edition of DLTJ Thursday Threads. The U.S. House Judiciary Committee suspended work on SOPA, and there was much relief from the technology community. The Palo Alto Public Library announced plans to lend Chromebooks (laptops with Google’s cloud-based operating system) to patrons. And OCLC announced a rebranding and expansion of its webscale activities with the WorldShare Platform.
Inclusive of all holidays of the season I wish you a safe, restful and happy celebration.
Today was the second day of the Open Repositories conference, and the big highlight of the day for me was the panel discussion on using Fedora as a storage and service layer for DSpace. This seems like such a natural fit, but with two pieces of complex software the devil is in the details. Below that summary is some brief paragraphs about some of the 24×7 lightning talks.
It has been the longest of weeks and the shortest of weeks. Longest because of a working weekend with the ALA Midwinter conference in San Diego. Shortest because the activities leading up to, during, and after the conference didn’t leave much time for reading items to prepare a DLTJ Thursday Threads article. This edition has three short pointers: a report from Midwinter on a project from OCLC to offer a basic website for every library, why governments are coming around to liking open source software, and a discussion of measurements of reliability.
They created a sample library called Loremville, TN public library to demonstrate key aspects of the service. I did not ask them how long that particular example will be around, so you may follow that link at a later date and not find it.
A last-minute change to my plans for ALA Midwinter came on Tuesday when I was sought out to fill in for a speaker than canceled at the ALCTS Digital Preservation Interest Group meeting. Options for outsourcing storage and services for preserving digital content has been a recent interest, so I volunteered to combine two earlier DLTJ blog posts with some new information and present it to the group for feedback. The reaction was great, and here is the promised slide deck, links to further information, and some thoughts from the audience response.
One of the baffling elements I’ve found in discussions of the history of OCLC is that of its tax exempt status under Ohio law. The latest example of this comes from documents filed in the SkyRiver/Innovative-vs.-OCLC case that make disparaging remarks about how OCLC got its state tax-advantaged status. (The text of the remarks in those documents are included below.) I was curious about this a while back and so did some research on the topic. I had set it aside and forgotten about it until this latest lawsuit brought it up again. So, to set the record straight, here is at least one version — hopefully written from a neutral perspective — of what happened nearly three decades ago.
Within the span of a recent week we’ve had two views of the OCLC cooperative. In one we have a proposition that OCLC has gone astray from its core roots and in the other a celebration of what OCLC can do. One proposes a new mode of cooperation while the other extols the virtues of the existing cooperative. Both writers claim — independently — to “talk to librarians” and represent the prevailing mood of the profession. Can these two viewpoints be reconciled?
On September 9th, OCLC filed its first substantial response with the court to the antitrust lawsuit file by SkyRiver and Innovative Interfaces. And in a motion where OCLC requests a change of venue from the Northern District of California to the Southern District of Ohio — something seemingly mundane — they certainly pulled no punches:
Through a lengthy recitation of inaccurate facts, Plaintiffs allege six claims against OCLC. In short, Plaintiffs allege that OCLC, a forty-year old non-profit entity, is making it difficult for Innovative and its one-year old sister-company, SkyRiver, to compete and gain market share in the ILL, ILS, and the online cataloging library world. Through a variety of uncited references in their Complaint to “prominent library-related internet blogs,” unnamed commentators, and unattributed articles and reports, as well as through creating an anti-OCLC website, Plaintiffs have levied a propaganda war on OCLC simply because Plaintiffs have been unable to compete successfully with OCLC’s membership base and bibliographic data which OCLC earned through forty years of dedicated service to its member libraries. SkyRiver Technology Solutions, LLC et al v. OCLC Online Computer Library Center, Inc. Filing: 16. Page 4. Retrieved from Justia Docs on 18-Sep-2010. (link added)