August 6, 2007  Vol. 10 No. 30  

WorldCat Registry more global with the help of national libraries

Since its launch earlier this year, the WorldCat Registry continues to help libraries manage and share essential data that define their organizations, such as institution type, location, URLs for electronic services, circulation statistics and population served. National libraries in Australia, New Zealand and South Africa recently agreed to load their files into the WorldCat Registry, enhancing and extending the global reach of this Web-based directory. OCLC just loaded 1,200 records from the National Library of South Africa and is preparing to load more than 8,000 records from the National Library of Australia.

“The trend to globalisation has shone a spotlight on humble directory data, in the form of records which describe library organisations and their systems,” says Debbie Campbell, Director, Collaborative Services Branch, National Library of Australia. “The National Library of Australia (NLA) is pleased to be able to contribute the Australian Libraries Gateway metadata to the WorldCat Registry project, as more of this type of metadata is surfaced in open registries to support the global information network.

“In the longer term, sharing of directory metadata will streamline workflow processes for Australian libraries, and make the ‘getting’ part of the ‘finding and getting’ function more efficient and successful for library patrons. The international standard ISO 2146 Registry Services for Libraries and Related Organisations, produced at the NLA, was successfully used as a benchmark for this project.”

Adds Lorcan Dempsey, Vice President, OCLC Programs and Research and Chief Strategist, “As our networked environment becomes richer, so does the need to provide ‘intelligence’ about the entities in that environment. Metadata about libraries, and their collections, services and policies, is now scattered across many systems and services.

“The aim of the WorldCat Registry is to consolidate as much of that data as possible, making the network work much more effectively for libraries and their users. Once data about an institution and its services is available, it may be used by many others. The registry is available as a Web site for human lookup. More importantly it is designed for other applications to use as a source of information.”

The registry is open to all libraries and consortia inside and outside the OCLC cooperative. OCLC has automatically created WorldCat Registry profiles for many institutions, including its member libraries, and pre-populated those profiles with existing data. Visit the WorldCat Registry home page and search the registry for an auto-generated profile of your library.

Those attending the IFLA Congress August 19-23 in Durban, South Africa can learn more about the WorldCat Registry by attending a special meeting: OCLC Initiatives: Tools and Registries for Cooperative Development of Next Generation Library Services, presented by Janifer Gatenby, OCLC PICA, Wednesday, August 22, 11.15-12.00.

Learn more about the WorldCat Registry.