Early adopters will be able to implement OCLC's Web-Scale Library Management Services starting on 7/1/10.
Here's an excerpt from the press release:
Beginning July 1, OCLC will work with libraries that are interested and prepared to implement Web-based services for acquisitions and circulation. This will be followed by successive updates for subscription and license management, and cooperative intelligence—analysis and recommendations based on statistics and workflow evaluation among participating libraries. The cloud computing environment and agile development methodology will facilitate incremental updates while minimizing impact to library operations.
Faced with scarce resources, disparate systems and local maintenance issues during a time when demand for library services has never been higher, OCLC members have made it clear that new, innovative responses are needed to meet these challenges. For the past eight months, OCLC has worked with an Advisory Council and six libraries and library groups as pilots for Web-scale management services. These groups have provided advice to OCLC on an overall direction, offered new ideas that were not in the original development plan, and validated strategic positioning for the service. . . .
OCLC Web-scale Management Services offer a next-generation choice for traditional, back-office operations. Moving these functions to the Web alongside cataloging and discovery activities allows libraries to lower the total cost of ownership for management services, automate critical operations, reduce support costs and free resources for high-priority services. It will also allow libraries and industry partners to develop unique and innovative workflow solutions that can then be shared across the profession.
"OCLC is extending our well established metadata management, resource sharing and discovery services to include the back-office management components of acquisitions and circulation which will allow libraries to extend their use of WorldCat for full library management functions and improved workflow,” said Andrew Pace, Executive Director, OCLC Networked Library Services. “This is a natural extension of OCLC’s mission to help libraries share costs and extend the power of cooperation."