Since 2003 OCLC has been a leader in providing
the library community reports that inform the way we as librarians
and governing officials will need to think about library service
in the 21st century. The
goals of the reports are to publish “in-depth studies and topical
surveys that let you understand issues and trends that affect
librarianship and help you plan for the future.” All of
the studies have met this goal and provided valuable information.
During the week of October 22, 2007 OCLC released
its fourth major report, Sharing, Privacy and Trust in
Our Networked World. This
report is an international report on online social spaces including
information about the attitudes of our users as well as libraries. Harris
Interactive, Inc. surveyed the general public in five countries
in addition to the United States. They also surveyed library
directors in the U.S. As with all OCLC reports, it is
full of charts and data and will be an opportunity for all of
us to digest what our public is telling us about this important
the report at: http://www.oclc.org/reports/sharing/default.htm.
The three other reports that OCLC has produced
still have compelling information for us to use and should
not be dismissed since we have this new report. We should all
be challenged to reading the 2005
Perceptions of Libraries and Information Resources, the 2006 College
Students’ Perceptions of Libraries and Information Resources,
and The 2003 OCLC Environmental Scan: Pattern Recognition. All
of these can be accessed at http://www.oclc.org/reports/default.htm.
Each of these reports is available for purchase
from OCLC at a very reasonable price. I believe that every
library should have at least one printed copy of each of these
reports available for librarians, staff, and governing officials
to use for making decisions that affect the future of the library.