Small campus library bolstered by the cloud

Before, students were using books and articles that weren’t varied enough for major end-of-semester projects, Mindeman said.

“Citations were more limited in previous years,” he said. “It seemed like students just weren’t doing a great job with their library searches. Citations now, however, show a broader range of exposure to resources.”

OCLC was formed in the 1960s when a group of Ohio libraries joined to create a nonprofit membership organization aiming to expand information access to the public.

The OCLC’s first step was to merge the catalogs of libraries across Ohio into one electronic database. Combining library resources helped those first member libraries streamline behind-the-scenes work and keep costs down.

The technology world in general is shifting more toward cloud computing, where everything is done remotely, including data storing, said Marshall Breeding, director of innovative technologies and research at Vanderbilt University.

And it is a trend libraries have started to follow.

“If you look forward five years from now, a much larger number of libraries would have moved in that direction by then,” Breeding said.

Copyright (c) 2011, the Chattanooga Times/Free Press (Chattanooga, Tenn.), with additional reporting from eCampus News. Visit the Chattanooga Times/Free Press online at Distributed by MCT Information Services.