Es ist zwar nicht der Bill&Melinda Gates Foundation Access to Learning award, den z.B. die Stadtbibliothek Helsinki als erste erhielt, aber dafür sind es doch 1,2 Mio $, die OCLC von der Stiftung erhält für weitere Trendforschungen.
The $1.2 million grant will be used by OCLC to conduct research, develop strategies, create materials and test elements of a national marketing campaign to demonstrate the value of libraries, and the need to increase support for libraries to meet the changing needs and expectations of library users.
Trends suggest that U.S. public libraries will find it difficult to adequately fund operations over the next 3 to 5 years—a period in which public libraries will come under increasing pressure to modernize programs, facilities and electronic infrastructure and offer more Internet-based services and electronic collections. At the same time, studies indicate that most people are unaware of all the types of information and services libraries make available to their patrons.
„Libraries must more effectively communicate their current services and value in this era of rising costs and increased competition,“ said Cathy De Rosa, Vice President, OCLC Marketing and Library Services and principal contributor to Perceptions of Libraries and Information Resources, a report issued in December 2005 based on Harris Poll findings. „Many libraries lack the resources, expertise and funding to build the library advocacy and marketing programs required to create an environment that can sustain and increase support. It is our goal to help libraries communicate their value to the communities they serve.“
Ein weiterer Beleg für die Qualität der eingeschlagenen Wege bei OCLC, so skeptisch man auch Trend- und Zukunftsforschung gegenüber sein mag.