Thursday, July 2, 2009

World library catalogue

A US-based organization named OCLC [Online Computer Library Center] has been grouping together many of the planet's great libraries with the aim of enabling scholars and researchers to know immediately where such-and-such a book is located.

[Click the banner to access their website.]

On its website, this organization defines itself as a "nonprofit, membership, computer library service and research organization dedicated to the public purpose of furthering access to the world's information and reducing information costs".

A fortnight ago, France's great BnF [Bibliothèque nationale de France] signed an agreement enabling OCLC to process an estimated 13.2 million bibliographic records from the catalogue of the national French library, which is considered one of the richest catalogues in the world.

To actually use the OCLC service from your computer, you call upon a software tool called WorldCat.

[Click the banner to access their website.]

I was amused to discover that specimens of my own humble production can be found in 228 libraries across the planet... with my Macintosh book of 1984 largely in top place.

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