Nicole\’s got a library blog (again)

July 26, 2006, 10:24 pm
Filed under: catalogs, searching

Baby CatsFrom everywhere in the IS blogosphere, but for me, from LibrariesDirect:

OCLC has announced that it will launch a new destination website that will allow users to search the holdings of libraries participating in the WorldCat database directly rather than finding the records as part of search-engine results.

The firm says the aim of,to be released in beta form in August, is “to make library resources more visible to Web users, and to increase awareness of libraries.” Unlike the Open WorldCat program, which inserts “Find in a Library” pages into the results from Google and other search engines, the new site will give library holdings greater visibility by providing a permanent destination page with a search box to access all 70-million-plus records in the WorldCat database, not just the 3.4-to-4.4-million-record subset harvested by Open WorldCat’s search-engine partners.

As in Open WorldCat, each linked search result leads to a “Find in a Library” information page for an individual item. By entering geographic information, users get a list of nearby WorldCat libraries that own the item and links to the libraries’ online catalog records.

OCLC will also offer a free modularized version of the search box that users or organizations can install on their websites, as well as free web toolbars and other plug-ins and a variety of open-source software and web services such as RSS feeds.

Chip Nilges, vice president of OCLC New Services, said in Information Today online July 17 that is designed to complement the syndication model of Open WorldCat rather than to replace it. “There’s a symbiosis,” he said. “There’s value in having a place to go to search the world’s largest library catalog and there’s also value in capturing users who may not know about libraries.”

When I was in library school, WorldCat was one of my favorite tools. Well, that and ISI Web of Science. I think this is really exciting. Formerly you’d have to have a w3 to use WorldCat (unless you knew how direct to it through google). But now it will be coming with all kinds of bells and whistles like toolbars and RSS feeds. I can’t wait to play!