OCLC’s Expert Community Experiment

March 31, 2009

“In response to requests from the cataloging community, OCLC is introducing the Expert Community Experiment, which enables cataloging members to make more changes to WorldCat records. During the Experiment, members with full-level cataloging authorizations have the ability to improve and upgrade WorldCat master records. The Experiment begins in February 2009 and lasts six months.” 
                      – from http://www.oclc.org/worldcat/catalog/quality/expert/default.htm

Also on this webpage are the guidelines, some FAQs and an introductory webinar.


OCLC News

February 12, 2009

After hubbub in the library world over OCLC’s new Policy for Use and Transfer of WorldCat Records (click here for the summary) and its postponement, OCLC has released this statement about a new “Review Board of Shared Data Creation and Stewardship to represent the membership and inform OCLC on the principles and best practices for sharing library data. The group will discuss the Policy for Use and Transfer of WorldCat Records with the OCLC membership and the global library community.”   

 


OCLC pilots WorldCat Copyright Evidence Registry

August 27, 2008

From the August 25th OCLC news release:

“OCLC is piloting a new service for libraries that encourages librarians and other interested parties to discover and share information about the copyright status of books.

“The WorldCat Copyright Evidence Registry is a community working together to build a union catalog of copyright evidence based on WorldCat, which contains more than 100 million bibliographic records describing items held in thousands of libraries worldwide. In addition to the WorldCat metadata, the Copyright Evidence Registry uses other data contributed by libraries and other organizations.

“Digitization projects continue for books in the public domain, but books whose copyright status is unknown are destined to remain in print and on shelves until their status can be determined. The process to determine copyright status can be lengthy and labor intensive. The goal of the Copyright Evidence Registry is to encourage a cooperative environment to discover, create and share copyright evidence through a collaboratively created and maintained database, using the WorldCat cooperative model to eliminate duplicate efforts.”

Visit the beta site for the WorldCat Copyright Evidence Registry.

Click here to read the full news release.


Metalogue

July 16, 2008

Karen Calhoun, Vice President, WorldCat and Metadata Services for OCLC is hosting a new blog called Metalogue.  It is “a forum for sharing thoughts on all things related to knowledge organization by and for libraries.”  Also posting to the blog will be “friends and colleagues from all over the globe, who contribute perspectives and experiences about the current and future state of cataloguing and metadata.”

Take a look at some other OCLC blogs:


Sandra Yee elected to OCLC Board of Trustees

June 17, 2008

Dean Sandra Yee

Congratulations to Sandra Yee, Dean of the Wayne State University Library System and DALNET Board Member, on her election to the OCLC Board of Trustees!

Read the OCLC press release here.

View the WSU press release here.


Google Book Search and WorldCat

May 20, 2008

From the press release:  “Under terms of the agreement, OCLC member libraries participating in the Google Book Search™ program, which makes the full text of more than one million books searchable, may share their WorldCat-derived MARC records with Google to better facilitate discovery of library collections through Google.

Google will link from Google Book Search to WorldCat.org, which will drive traffic to library OPACs and other library services. Google will share data and links to digitized books with OCLC, which will make it possible for OCLC to represent the digitized collections of OCLC member libraries in WorldCat.”

http://www.oclc.org/news/releases/200811.htm

 


MLA’s Academic Libraries Day Report

May 15, 2008

The 2008 Michigan Library Association’s Academic Libraries Day was held on Friday, May 9 at Central Michigan University in Mt. Pleasant, MI. The theme was “Virtual Libraries/Virtual Learners: A Matter of Perspective”.  There were approximately 80 attendees.  Debbie Morrow from Grand Valley State University Libraries, ARLD Chair, did a wonderful job organizing this event.

Roy Tennant, presently the Senior Program Officer for OCLC Programs and Research, was the keynote speaker. Prior to his current position at OCLC, Tennant worked in academic libraries his entire adult life with a majority of it being at the University of California-Berkeley.

He stressed that it is important to know about our users and where to find them. According to OCLC’s 2006 report titled College Students’ Perceptions of Libraries and Information Resources: A Report to the OCLC Membership very few begin their search at the library’s web site. A majority begin their search using a search engine such as Google. Also this report states that the library brand identity is books. Tennant stated that this should concern us.

Tennant brought up the term “satisfice” coined by Herbert Simon. “Satisficing” means deciding what constitutes a satisfactory outcome and then looking for ways to achieve it. For any given task the user is willing to go through some pain to get results, but users have different tolerances, and our library users may have a low threshold for pain. Many view our library catalogs and systems as painful. He gave an example of the University of California-Berkley online catalog. He stated that it is a home grown system that UC Berkeley made for UC Berkeley librarians, not for students or faculty. And its search terminology did look painful! He added that librarians need to remember that not everyone likes the search as most of us do; users like the find, not the search.

The integrated library system is still needed but a new kind of finding tool on the user-end for searching must occur, Tennant said. He referred to next generation library search engines such as Primo from Ex Libris and Encore from Innovative Interfaces, Inc. (III). Open source systems Tennant mentioned were VUFind from Villanova University and Koha from LibLime.

WorldCat Local from OCLC offers a customized view of WorldCat.org which is the OCLC database open to the public. Presently WorldCat has over 1.25 billion holdings. WorldCat Local puts local items first which differs from the ranking of WorldCat.org. The ranking in WorldCat.org is based on the number of libraries that own the item—the more that own the item the higher the ranking. All of these systems use faceted browsing.

He asserted that searching will happen anywhere such as from cell phones and it will be more disaggregated. The library needs to be where the user is; we need to build a search around them, not around us. And the user is on virtual spaces such as Facebook, Flickr, Meebo, etc.

Our goal needs to be to get users to what they need as quickly and painlessly as possible.  Tennant states that open url resolvers are a good start, but we need to do more. The Getting Users to Full-Text (GUF) Project at the University of Rochester is like a “link resolver on steroids” according to Tennant. This is a move in a positive direction for our users, he believes.

One of the best points Tennant made was showing the audience a picture of very intricate plumbing. Most of us do not care about plumbing unless it doesn’t work and then we call a plumber. He equated it with our catalogs. Our users do not need to see the guts, they just want the catalog to work.

He acknowledged the following barriers: lack of resources, lots of bad data, lack of appropriate vendor solutions, institutional inertia, and staff skill, with the latter being solved by retooling our staff. He viewed our opportunities as follows: working collaboratively, reallocating resources, creating agile institutions, using the library as a user would, and being in physical as well as virtual spaces.

After Tennant’s keynote, there were morning and afternoon breakout sessions. The titles follow:

  • Research Help Now: Virtual Reference Service with a Multi-Library Arrangement
  • Embedded: Librarians in the Online Trenches
  • E-Books: Issues, Perspectives and the Future
  • Navigating the Stream with a Paddle: Video Streaming Applications and Management

I attended two of them and found both very informative. Dr. Richard Cochran, Dean of the Library at Ferris State University, was excellent at facilitating the discussion and wrap-up of the day. The last presentation was from Russ Knopp of Traverse Management Resources. He spoke about the MLA restructuring, transitional leadership, and communities of practice.

This was the first Academic Libraries Day I have attended, and I found it enlightening. The Park Library at Central Michigan University is spectacular!

(Report by Cathy Wolford)


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