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As individual libraries across the globe strive to do more with less, a global group has strengthened its collaboration in order to reduce library management functions. A University of Wisconsin Oshkosh employee will continue to play a leadership role in the ever-evolving organization.

Patrick Wilkinson, director of UW Oshkosh’s Polk Library, has served as a delegate on the Online Computer Library Center’s (OCLC) Members Council since 2004.

“The Members Council — now Global Council and Regional Councils — provide input and ideas for new services and products that meet the needs of the people using electronic information and the Web,” Wilkinson said. “I wanted to play a role in helping to develop library services for the future.”

As chair of the Americas Regional Council, Wilkinson will have a chance to do just that. With a territory that encompasses more than 75 percent of the OCLC Member Libraries, including Canada, Latin America/the Caribbean and the U.S., Wilkinson will create forums where OCLC management can have wide-ranging and productive two-way discussions on the needs of libraries and its users.

The OCLC, a nonprofit computer library service and research organization, was founded in 1967 to further access to the world’s information and reducing information costs. Today, more than 71,000 libraries in 112 countries and territories around the world have used OCLC services, including WorldCat, the world’s largest and richest database of bibliographic information that contains nearly 1.5 billion items from libraries across the globe.

Beyond working on the Membership Council, Wilkinson has served on the Executive Committee of the Councils three times. He has been active in the area of electronic information and played a leading role in the recent transition from old governance structure to a new one that will extend participation to an increasing number of libraries and cultural heritage institutions around the world.

Working with the OCLC also gives Wilkinson ideas for changes to improve Polk Library. For example, a discussion with a library administrator at the New York Public Library gave him the idea to develop the position for an emerging technologies librarian at UW Oshkosh.

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