For immediate release | September 8, 2014

Lorcan Dempsey on libraries, services and networks

CHICAGO — Since he began posting in 2003, Lorcan Dempsey has used his blog to explore nearly every important facet of library technology, from the emergence of Web 2.0 as a concept to open source ILS tools and the push to web-scale library management systems. As well as providing a commentary on the issue of the moment, the more than 1,800 posts have offered thousands of readers valuable perspectives and insight as well as a visionary approach to libraries’ future. A new compendium that library planners, administrators and those interested in technology will find enduringly stimulating, “The Network Reshapes the Library: Lorcan Dempsey on Libraries, Services and Networks,” published by ALA Editions, is editor Kenneth J. Varnum’s expertly curated selection of entries from Dempsey’s blog. Showing where libraries have been in the last decade and where they’re heading now, this book covers such keystone topics as:

  • networked resources;
  • network organization;
  • the research process and libraries’ evolving role, featuring the seminal post “In the Flow”;
  • resource discovery;
  • library systems and tools such as search indices and OpenURL link resolvers;
  • data and metadata;
  • publishing and communication, including blogs, social media, and scholarly communication;
  • libraries, archives, museums and galleries as “memory institutions.”

Dempsey oversees the research division and participates in planning at OCLC. He has worked for library and educational organizations in Ireland, England and the U.S. He has written and spoken extensively on policy, research and service development and in the areas of networked information and digital libraries. Before moving to OCLC he worked for JISC in the UK, overseeing national information programs and services, and before that was Director of UKOLN, a national UK research and policy unit at the University of Bath.

Varnum has been the Web systems manager at the University of Michigan Library since 2007. In his 17 years working as a technology librarian, he has served in a variety of libraries, including a small special library at the Open Media Research Institute in Prague, a large corporate library at Ford Motor Company and a small academic library at Tufts University. His previous books include “The Top Technologies Every Librarian Needs to Know: A LITA Guide” and “Drupal in Libraries (THE TECH SET® #14).”

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Related Links

"The Network Reshapes the Library: Lorcan Dempsey on Libraries, Services and Networks"

"The Top Technologies Every Librarian Needs to Know: A LITA Guide"

"Exploring Digital Libraries: Foundations, Practice, Prospects"


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