I’ll write more about Code4Lib, but one of my favorite parts of Code4Lib was seeing David Walker’s session providing a first look at OCLC’s grid services. Very promising. If OCLC can deliver a robust api for both member and non-member libraries and provide the infrastructure to make this happen — then maybe it will allow like-libraries the opportunity to build ad hoc consortia around these services. Of course, this does involve having a very robust infrastructure (i.e., data centers) and an api flexible and open enough to provide non-members compelling functionality so not to be left behind, while still providing members access to all the suites of data that they currently license through OCLC.
Fortunately, I was invited to be in the next group of librarians to get their hands on these services. So long as I am able, I’ll periodically post about my experiences and possibly screenshots of things that we try out.