The Network Reshapes the Library

Sep 2014 | 320pp

Paperback
9781783300419
Price: £54.95
CILIP members price: £43.95


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The Network Reshapes the Library
Lorcan Dempsey on libraries, services, and networks

Lorcan Dempsey and Kenneth J Varnum

This collection of insights from library technology guru Lorcan Dempsey offers readers valuable reflections on emerging trends and key areas of concern as well as a visionary approach to libraries’ future.

Over the last decade, Dempsey’s writing has covered diverse and wide ranging topics including the evolution of libraries, from how library organization, services and technologies are co-evolving with the behaviours of their users to support their changing research and learning needs, to how the curatorial traditions of archives, libraries and museums have come together in the digital environment.  

This selection of posts, originally from Dempsey's blog, has been expertly curated by Kenneth J Varnum to showcase Dempsey’s dual ability to firstly explore an issue and then to reveal the higher-order trends. Using this method, Dempsey provides his incisive  perspective on where libraries have been in the last decade as well as his prescient insights into future trends and directions. 

The book is organised into 9 topical chapters:

  • Networked resources
  • Network organization
  • The research process and libraries’ evolving role
  • 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’.  

Readership: The book concludes with a selection of favourites hand-picked by Dempsey himself and will be essential reading for students, library strategists, administrators, technology staff and anyone with an interest in the future of libraries.

Preface - Lorcan Dempsey
Editor's introduction - Ken Varnum
1. Networked resources
2. Network organization
3. In the flow
4. Resource discovery
5. Library systems
6. Data and metadata
7. Publishing and communication
8. Libraries
9. Lorcan's picks

"I thoroughly enjoyed this book and would recommend it to audiences at any level of engagement within the Knowledge, Learning, Libraries or Information professions. Dempsey is a master of assessing emerging trends, providing an overview, separating what is important from what may simply be a passing fad and contextualising all of this within the complex information environment. In The Network Reshapes the Library, Dempsey delivers impressively on the promised panoramic view."
- Library and Information Research

"Dempsey thinks web-scale. His breadth of interests and his ability to outline appropriate organizational responses in the 'Amazoogle' age make this a compelling read ... Recommended? Yes, for all of us, because the network has reshaped the library."
- Australian Library Journal

"It is inevitable that the role of a librarian is going to evolve along with technology, but Dempsey has made this process more understandable and adaptable for all professionals. His straight-forward writing style and Vernum’s editorial skills are what set this book apart and make for an interesting and compelling look at the network over the past twelve years. Dempsey will leave you with a new perspective of what the library profession means today, and the question of how it will have evolved in another twelve years."
- The New Zealand Library and Information Management Journal

"This well chosen collection is an invaluable reference work looking back at a decade of change."
- CILIP CLSIG Journal

Lorcan Dempsey oversees the research division and participates in planning at OCLC. He has worked for library and educational organizations in Ireland, England (as Director of UKOLN), and the US. He has written and spoken extensively on policy, research, and service development, and in the areas of networked information and digital libraries.

Kenneth J. Varnum is Web Systems Manager at the University of Michigan Library, US.  His research interests include open source software, discovery environments, and personalized information delivery systems.