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The Future of Library Collaboration

“The network reshapes the library,” and one of the most common ways for libraries to enjoy network effects is by participating in cooperative organizations. OCLC, LYRASIS, and the plethora of regional membership collaboratives have historically offered many benefits in both collection development and library systems management: shared cataloging, database licensing, streaming resources, cloud-sourced discovery systems, library management platforms, collaborative research, and continuing education. However, COVID-19 and the global economic effects of community health measures have already impacted library budgets, staffing, and capabilities, and have forced many libraries and cultural heritage institutions to “pivot” and re-consider their basic mission and operations. The pandemic might challenge the field, but it also can provide opportunities for re-imagining collective ideals of library service, and the same cooperatives can help libraries re-envision and transition into a new normal. Join representatives from three regional library membership cooperatives and OCLC, to hear a vibrant discussion about the future of library collaboration in the age of COVID, hosted by the Association for Information Science & Technology and the Midwest Regional Chapter of ASIS&T. Participants will learn about trends in library collaboration since the start of the pandemic, and in the re-opening time. They will discover challenges and opportunities for library cooperatives to help the information science profession in the age of COVID. They will enhance their understanding about the practical and theoretical benefits of library collaboration moving forward.


Timothy J. Dickey, Columbus Metropolitan Library, Kent State University (Moderator) 

Timothy J. Dickey is an Adult Services Librarian with the Columbus Metropolitan Libraries and has worked as well for the libraries of Amherst College, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, and the University of Connecticut.  As an LIS educator, Timothy teaches courses in Library technology, Reference, Cataloging, Research methods, and Music librarianship, for the iSchool at Kent State University, the University of Washington iSchool, San José State University, Catholic University, and ALA's eLearning division. He also has assisted Dr. Lynn Silipigni Connaway at the OCLC Office of Research, with work in data mining, user studies, and an IMLS grant project evaluating virtual reference services. He holds a Ph.D. from Duke University, and the M.L.I.S. from Kent State University.  Dr. Dickey's book Library Dementia Services: How to Meet the Needs of the Alzheimer’s Community was published in 2020 by Emerald Press.  




Brittany Brannon, Research Support Specialist, OCLC

Brittany Brannon is a Research Support Specialist at OCLC. She works on several multi-institutional research projects studying user information behavior, including how students find, evaluate, and access information in the digital environment; how scholars find and evaluate data for reuse; and how people engage with public library resources and services. Most recently, she’s been part of a project talking to global library leaders to discuss emerging library models in response to the changes caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. 







Nancy Kirkpatrick, Executive Director, OhioNET 

Nancy S. Kirkpatrick is the Executive Director and CEO of OhioNET, a multi-type library consortium representing a diverse membership throughout Ohio and the region. She has over a decade of experience working with and in libraries, including as the Director of Library Services at Marian University Indianapolis. Before entering librarianship, she practiced non-profit law and advocacy. A 2005 ALA Spectrum Scholar, she is currently serving on the Spectrum Advisory Board and the Diversity Research Grants Committee. She also holds appointments on the MLIS Advisory Board for the Kent State University School of Information, the LIS Advisory Board for the School of Informatics at Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI), the North American Library Advisory Board for Springer Nature, and is a member of the ICOLC Coordinating Committee. Recent speaking invitations have included Building Trust at Your OrganizationResiliency and other Myths, and Revisionist History. In addition to monthly contributions to the OhioNET newsletter, recent articles include “Creating Diversity in Libraries: Management Perspectives” in Library Leadership and Management, “Leading with Authenticity: My Perspective” in the Journal of Library Administration, and a contribution to the forthcoming “The Six Step Guide to Library Worker Engagement” by Elaina Norlin (ALA Editions/Neal-Schuman, June 2021). Nancy holds a BA in Journalism from Drake University, a JD from the TC Williams School of Law at the University of Richmond, and an MS in Library and Information Science from the iSchool (formerly Graduate School of Library and Information Science) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. 


Wes Osborn, Executive Director, Central Library Consortium 

Wes started working in libraries during high school in 1996. He started as a page in the Newark Public Library and was promoted to the position of Assistant Systems Administrator. Wes joined the CLC as part of an LSTA grant that digitized thousands of Columbus Citizen Journal photographs and decades of Central Ohio high school yearbooks. As System Administrator and later Executive Director of the CLC, he helped the organization grow from eight to seventeen member libraries. CLC is now one of the busiest Polaris ILS systems in the world. Wes met his wife (Laura) while they were both working at the Newark Library. They share the same passion for the critical role that libraries play in providing equal access to information for all.  Wes lives in Lancaster, Ohio where he enjoys gardening, cooking, and performing with the Lancaster Men’s Chorus and Lancaster Community Chorus. He is also a board member of New Horizons, a non-profit mental health services agency serving Fairfield County. 




Amy Pawlowski, Executive Director, OhioLINK 

Amy Pawlowski, Executive Director of OhioLINK, has nearly 20 years of experience in special, public, and academic libraries and library-related private industry, with expertise in library technology and the e-books/e-journals publishing ecosystem. Not only responsible for the organization's vision and strategic projects, she also continues to lead contract negotiations for consortial scholarly electronic resources.  Pawlowski earned her MLIS from Kent State University, and a master’s degree in music performance from the University of Hartford.