November 15, 2004  Vol. 7 No. 46 

OCLC and Yahoo! provide the ability to search the Web and the richest database of items in libraries with a co-branded toolbar

OCLC, the world’s largest library cooperative, and Yahoo! Inc., a leading global Internet company, today announced a pilot program that leverages the strength of the Yahoo! Toolbar and Yahoo! Search to enable consumers to explore the Web and WorldCat® (the OCLC Online Union Catalog) database. The program offers consumers a co-branded toolbar that provides one-click access to 2 million of the most popular records found in WorldCat, a central catalog of library holdings created and maintained collectively by more than 9,000 libraries. WorldCat includes books, movies and audio files.

The Yahoo!/OCLC toolbar is a project associated with Open WorldCat, a new OCLC initiative designed to increase the online visibility of libraries and their collections. OCLC will be promoting the co-branded toolbar on its website, providing consumers access to information previously only available from within libraries. The toolbar enables consumers to narrow their search results to the WorldCat database and helps them locate libraries in their vicinity that have the record they are looking for. OCLC and Yahoo! will work together to increase accessibility to more of WorldCat’s 57 million records as they become available.

“The Open WorldCat program has gained traction and support in the library community because libraries recognize the need for greater visibility on the Web,” said Phyllis B. Spies, Vice President, OCLC Collection Management Services. “The Yahoo! Toolbar with WorldCat searching will help us build on that momentum by making it easy to search for WorldCat content using Yahoo! Search. Working with a powerful partner such as Yahoo! will help us extend the reach of libraries by bringing Web searchers to some of the most reliable and authoritative information available on the Internet. And, we believe this will bring more people into libraries.”

“Having a direct relationship with OCLC enables Yahoo! to provide consumers with content that would otherwise be difficult to access,” said David Mandelbrot, vice president, Yahoo! Search Content. “The co-branded toolbar serves as a vehicle for delivering this content and empowers users with the ability to seamlessly search for information that is available in offline databases.”

How The Yahoo!/OCLC Toolbar Works

To access WorldCat’s most popular records, consumers simply enter a query in the search box located in the toolbar and either click the WorldCat logo or use the drop-down menu which features a “libraries” link. Consumers will then be prompted for their zip code to determine if the library materials they are looking for are available in a nearby OCLC member library. The co-branded toolbar features Yahoo! Search, which provides consumers with a rich research technology to help them access both online and offline databases.

The Yahoo!/OCLC Toolbar also includes a drop-down menu, located next to the WorldCat logo, which provides access to the OCLC FirstSearch service, the NetLibrary eBook service, the OCLC member library list, the OCLC Web site and a link to the About WorldCat site which leads to more information on the database. The co-branded toolbar will also be available in OCLC libraries across the nation.

The Yahoo!/OCLC Toolbar can be downloaded on Monday, November 15th from the OCLC website.

To watch the WorldCat database grow in real time, go to: <http://www.oclc.org/worldcat/grow.htm>.

 

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