Jay Jordan

So, librarians and those library-ish, my class attended a presentation by Jay Jordan today, the CEO and President of OCLC this afternoon. 

Let me tell you: it was a treat. He’s bound to be an impressive man, but I was taken by the practical application of his six-point presentation and his absolute, genuine humility as he shared what his company has done during his tenure. 

Briefly, he reviewed six points libraries/librarians should get on board with: student-produced applications, mobile devices, evolution of search engines, cloud-sourcing collections (Google Books, Haithi, etc), cloud services (WorldCat Local) and linked open data. 

With each point, Mr. Jordan offered simple examples exhibited by OCLC/WorldCat and other innovators. 

A couple points I found particularly useful were: 

-Student Apps, cooperative app devlopement (which led directly to mobile devices) 

-Search engines with tailored relevancy rankings: Wolfram Alpha (computational knowledge) and Yebol (semantics based, tracks librarian search terms/patterns)

-Espresso Book Machines (yeah, sorry all, I just didn’t know about it before!)

-WorldCat Local (solution for small libraries) and WorldShare

-DBpedia, an example of link based data, DBpedia mines Wikipedia pages

It was a lot. It was fun. There was beer afterwards. More tomorrow, perhaps?


I’m sure you’ve all been busy browsing the SLC Library Catalog during your break for the books, CDs, and DVDs you want to check out the second you get on campus.

But for those of you who haven’t been, there’s something different - we have a new library catalog! We’ve partnered with everyone’s favorite database WorldCat to bring you a catalog that not only lets you search for what items the SLC Library has, but also what every library has, and articles from many of our databases.

There’s a lot more to this catalog, but a word of warning - we’re still testing it, so if you have any problems or find any errors, please be sure to contact us.

How Diverse is the Dewey Decimal Classification When It Comes to Comics? You'd Be Surprised What One Librarian Discovered!

How Diverse is the Dewey Decimal Classification When It Comes to Comics? You’d Be Surprised What One Librarian Discovered!

How diverse are graphic novels?  Not in themes, or character representation, but in actual non-fiction subjects?

Is there a graphic novel about hot air ballooning?  How about the architectural history of bathrooms?  Or maybe you’d prefer an autobiographical history of Benihana?  Or maybe a history of Andorra?

Those exist, and more.  I spent seven years (on and off) searching online for…

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Listening to a WorldCat Discovery webinar and learning that in about a month, they’re adding a “Buy now” button to search results that links to “content providers." 

Hmm. The speaker explained that it’s an excellent option for patrons who need something faster than we can interlibrary loan it.  Obviously, but is that WorldCat’s job to present that option? Thanks to recently reading some articles on neoliberalism and libraries, my first thought when I heard that was "OH HAI CAPITALISM.”

Christoper Hitchens on Leonard Cohen

When you fall ill, people send you CDs. Very often, in my experience, these are by Leonard Cohen. So I have recently learned a song, entitled “If It Be Your Will.” It’s a tiny bit saccharine, but it’s beautifully rendered and opens like this:

If it be your will,

That I speak no more,

And my voice be still,

As it was before…

I find it’s best not to listen to this late at night. Leonard Cohen in unimaginable without, and dissoluble from, his voice.

Hitchens, Christopher. Mortality. New York: Twelve, 2012. 48-49. Print.

Hitchens’ recent memoir recounts his bout with cancer. I know many people who have suffered from what Hitchens calls “The Big C,” yet after reading Mortality I realized that I had never fully understood how debilitating cancer is, how it affects all aspects of the body and psyche.

Hitchens’ insightful account is philosophical, witty and irreverent, yet still formal. He wrote the end of the book during his final days, so the story ends on sad a note, but it’s beautifully told:

Find Mortality at your local library: The World's Largest Library Catalog

I don’t want this blog to just replicate all of the posts and work that others are doing. At some point I may work to compile and index those web-based resources, but for now there are so many witches offering their expertise and it doesn’t take much digging to find their work. I am more interested in info literacy for witches. Word of mouth is how most of us hear about which authors to avoid, but that’s not enough for me. I want witches to know how to pick up a book or look at a website and tell if it is going to help or hinder them in finding out what they really want to know. Now, because of things like UPG and the hard to pin down nature of The Craft this isn’t an easy task. But I’ll try.

The other thing I want to teach is access. A lot of witches can’t afford resources. I won’t condemn anyone for their choices, but I think the best option for access is always libraries. Everyone wins! Libraries get checkouts and know that witch resources will circulate which means they will acquire more of them. Witches get to learn from the resource for free and they don’t have to find space for it in their house or on their device forever! If there are correspondence tables or spells or something I want to remember I’ll scan it to my Evernote app. I’ve found myself doing that so much with a couple of titles that I realized I wanted to buy them and make space for them in my house.

So, today I’m going to let you all know about

This is resource sharing at its finest. Libraries put their catalog records up on this site for everyone to see. Other libraries can see the records and request the resources be sent to them for their patrons. Isn’t that amazing?!? Now libraries don’t have to send the item out, but more often than not they will. If your library or library system or consortium doesn’t have a dvd, article, or book you want ask at the reference desk if they can inter-library loan it for you. Checking your libraries catalog from home? Call or email the library (or chat or text with some libraries!) this is also good for people with anxiety or fear of being judged (and trust me, your witchy read is probably not even remotely the weirdest thing the reference desk we’ve heard that day.)

Libraries are for patron access and we want to help you find the materials you need. And inter library loan is one of the best ways we can do that.

Also, searching in worldcat is a way to see what all exists out there! It’s a great place to start research too.

Yesterday I took an entirely unintentional survey of several intelligent friends, most of whom are involved in academia in some capacity. A surprising number of them had never heard of WorldCat. WorldCat is essentially a collected catalog of all the items in all the libraries in the world. Obviously, it is entirely bad ass. You should be ashamed of yourselves.