The Columbus Dispatch, hometown newspaper of OCLC (located in Dublin, OH) alerts us to a video interview with OCLC President and CEO, Jay Jordan, that aired on the Ohio News Network’s, “Ohio Means Business” program.
The Dispatch also offers an edited text transcript excerpt of the interview.
It’s important to point out that the interview was recorded BEFORE we learned that Jack Blount will not become the new President/CEO of OCLC and Jordan will postpone his retirement and continue to lead OCLC.
Here’s One Exchange From the Interview
Q: It’s amazing how far OCLC has expanded its reach in 45 years. Let’s go back 45 years — to 1967 — and to the genesis of the idea: How did it start?
A: Well, interestingly, it wasn’t librarians. It was the presidents and provosts of 54 academic institutions in Ohio that said, “Gee, we’ve got these computing devices over here” — which were, by today’s standards, a little primitive, but more primitive was typing little cards. You’re probably not old enough, Mike, but librarians were typing little cards, redundantly around the world, and putting them in little drawers so that their users could come in, open the drawers and then go try to find a book.
So they hired this librarian from Yale University, Fred Kilgour, and said, “Is there a better way?” And, literally, 45 years ago, Fred’s concept was a “cloud-computing” company. That wasn’t even in the lexicon at that point, but that’s what he invented — a platform on which libraries globally could cooperate and share information with each other and, obviously, with their patrons.