Tripti Joshi

Lorcan Dempsey

Name  Lorcan Dempsey

Lorcan Dempsey wwwoclcorgcontentdamoclcimagespeopleamde
Books  Libraries, networks, and OSI

Research in context lorcan dempsey

Lorcan Dempsey is the Vice-President and Chief Strategist of the Online Computer Library Center (OCLC).


Lorcan Dempsey Lorcan Dempsey and Ken Varnum on The Network Reshapes the Library

He is a native of Dublin, Ireland, where he worked for some years in public libraries. He writes and talks about libraries and networked information. In recent years, Dempsey has been a regular panellist at the LITA Top Tech Trends at the American Library Association annual conference. He is interested in the impact of changing patterns of research and learning on libraries, in libraries as public institutions, and in the architecture of digital information environments.

Lorcan dempsey and ken varnum on the network reshapes the library


Lorcan was appointed director of UKOLN, a research and policy unit at the University of Bath, in 1994. He served on the editorial board of The Public-Access Computer Systems Review from 1992 to 2000.

During most of his time at UKOLN, he also served as a director of Ariadne magazine. He was a co-founder of the Resource Discovery Network, which later became known as Intute.

In May 2000, Lorcan moved to work for the Jisc; part of his assignment involved being Programme Director of the DNER. In 2001 he joined the Online Computer Library Center (OCLC) as Vice-President of Research. He was named OCLC Chief Strategist in March 2004.

Lorcan is currently an Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth.


Lorcan maintains a blog aimed at the wider library and digital information sectors, and tweets on similar issues.

A 2007 blog post was responsible for the coining of the term amplified conference. He has introduced many other concepts and terminology into the library community, including the network level; collective collection; disclosure; sourcing and scaling; library logistics; making data work harder; Amazoogle; in the flow; discovery happens elsewhere; inside out and outside in (of collections) and web scale. He introduced the term memory institution into popular use.

Lorcan has written and presented extensively on library issues. His published works cover topics such as the Warwick Framework, libraries in the contemporary world, the evolution of the digital library, and the library catalogue.

Views on Wikipedia

In 2006 he noted the importance of Wikipedia as an addressable knowledge base: Wikipedia makes it easy to include in any online communications a pointer to more knowledge on any topic using a convenient stable URL. "The economy and convenience of doing this is enormous", he said.

Rather than continuing a tedious Wikipedia good/Wikipedia bad conversation, we should recognize the attraction it has as an addressable knowledge base, understand the variety of uses to which it is put, and remind folks of the judgments they need to make depending on those uses.

In 2012 he noted: "Wikipedia is already an 'addressable knowledge base', which creates huge value. DBpedia aims to add structure to this. Perhaps more importantly, Wikidata is an initiative to create a machine- and human-readable knowledge base of all the entities in Wikipedia and allow them to be augmented with further data and links."


  • Course Director, TICER Summer School, Tilburg University, The Netherlands, 21 to 24 August 2012.
  • Principal presenter, Hong Kong University Libraries Leadership Institute, Bangkok, Thailand, 29 April to 3 May 2011.
  • Contributions to invitational lecture series

  • The Research Library: Scalable Efficiency and Scalable Learning. 2012 SLIS David Kaser Lecture Series, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana, 7 October 2012.
  • Universities, libraries, collections, futures. Miles Conrad Lecture, NFAIS 52nd Annual Conference, Philadelphia. 1 March 2010.
  • Discovery, Delivery, Disclosure. University of Minnesota Libraries Planning Speaker Series. Minneapolis, 23 November 2009.
  • The Changing Scholarly and Cultural Record. Hall Center for the Humanities, University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas. 5 December 2007.
  • The Network Rewrites the Library. Phineas L. Windsor Lectureship, UIUC-Graduate School of Library and Information Science, Urbana-Champaign, Illinois. 23 February 2007.
  • Libraries and the network platform: A new cooperative context. Inaugural Frederick G. Kilgour Lecture in Information and Library Science, The School of Information and Library Science, UNC, Chapel Hill, North Carolina. 22 February 2006.
  • Awards

    Lorcan is the co-recipient of the 2004 ALCTS presidential citation and the 2010 NFAIS Miles Conrad award. In June 2014, Lorcan was awarded the Honorary Degree of Doctor of the University (DUniv) by The Open University of the UK.


    Lorcan Dempsey Wikipedia

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