When OSU’s Terry Reese was named a Mover & Shaker by Library Journal, was featured in the magazine, and then picked up a major award from the American Library Association, people in the library profession weren’t particularly surprised.
That’s because Reese, the OSU Libraries digital production unit head, is known throughout the library world for his skills in developing applications that save staff time in performing tasks within a library’s online catalogs and services.
His Open Source applications are freely available to any library and are used in libraries worldwide. Most notable is his improvement upon the Library of Congress’s MARC editing system, which has more than 50,000 users.
“I do a lot of work with other libraries,” Reese says. “I write software that they use and then I end up doing a lot of consulting with them on projects they’re using the software for.” It’s not unusual for him to get 100 questions in a week from his various program users.
He offers consultant work pro-bono as a service to the library community, and he is frequently called upon to make presentations at various library and information technology meetings.
Last summer he worked with librarians in Lahore, Pakistan, to get their first library conference set up, and he has worked with UNICEF on a project in Africa. “A hospital in a small village in Kenya had a medical library that needed to be migrated to a new system,” he says. “We had to send data back and forth for a half year but we finally got it done.”
Reese is now working on building a metasearch program to bring all library resources into a single interface. “We have commercial software for that, but it doesn’t work as well as we’d like,” he says.
And, with all the demands on his time, he still finds time to bicycle to work each day from his home in Independence, Ore., 25 miles from the campus.