Right Time, Right Place

2010 January 15
by Karen

It seems like much of my life has been about being in the right place at the right time. Back in September I made the decision to leave UH and set out on a journey to figure out how I could get paid to do the things I loved the most- code, teach, write, problem-solve, experiment, and work with developers. My solution was to go solo and pick up a variety of work which interested me: from web development to teaching and consulting. Something about the best laid plans and me always results in the unexpected.

The unexpected came in the form of a full-time job. In November OCLC advertised for a Product Manager for the Developer Network. It shouldn’t be a surprise given my work over the last year, that I applied. As of January 19th I’m officially the Product Manager for the OCLC Developer Network. To say I’m excited is beyond an understatement. In the last year and a half I’ve been exploring OCLC web services and finding new and interesting ways of using them. As a result, I’ve had the opportunity to collaborate with a variety of folks at OCLC. Never a shrinking violet, I’ve both offered constructive criticism and complemented. What I realized over time was that I bring a different perspective to the table because I’m both a librarian and a developer who participates in developer communities, and works extensively with developers. I can see the power and potential in the current set of web services and also potential new web services. But I also understand the realities of smaller libraries and the concerns of library open source evangelists (being an OSS geek myself) and developers. What I want most is for libraries (of all sizes) and others to be able to leverage this data to facilitate better user access to library resources and an overall better user library experience.

Ultimately, I’m joining OCLC because I believe that growing DevNet can substantially impact libraries and move libraries back into the foreground as a source for easily accessible, reliable, quality information. It’s simple math. More libraries collaborating, contributing + more data to work with = better solutions to problems and better user experiences. Without each library having to reinvent the wheel or some libraries potentially being left out in the cold.

For me OCLC is a nexus that can facilitate this in a way no other library entity can. I don’t see another organization with the necessary leverage or the ability to deal with the sheer scope of some of the problems at hand. But making DevNet shine is going to take participation from developers and librarians. DevNet is a relatively new entity in OCLC, what it is and will be is likely to be shaped by those who participate in it. Participation means sharing, critiquing, collaborating, discussing, teaching, and learning.

If you have a question/concern/issue whatever, contact me (don’t have OCLC email setup yet), I’ll do my very best respond and/or answer the question. I’m looking forward to hearing from you.

3 Responses leave one →
  1. 2010 January 16

    Congrats Karen.

  2. 2010 January 17

    We’re excited, too, and glad you are joining the team!

  3. 2010 January 19

    huge congrats, Karen! they’re lucky to have you :)

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