19.200 library database reaches 1 billion items

From: Humanist Discussion Group (by way of Willard McCarty willard.mccarty_at_kcl.ac.uk>
Date: Sat, 13 Aug 2005 08:23:52 +0100

               Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 19, No. 200.
       Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
                     Submit to: humanist_at_princeton.edu

         Date: Sat, 13 Aug 2005 07:31:32 +0100
         From: "Murphy,Bob" <murphyb_at_oclc.org>
         Subject: OCLC News: World's largest library database
reaches billionth milestone

World's largest library database reaches billionth milestone

Worthington (Ohio) Libraries contributes historic holding in WorldCat

DUBLIN, Ohio, Aug. 12, 2005. WorldCat, the world's richest online
resource for finding library materials, now contains information about
where to find 1 billion books, journals, theses and dissertations,
musical scores, computer files, CDs, DVDs and other items in thousands
of libraries worldwide.

At 2:21:34 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time on Thursday, Aug. 11, Anne Slane,
a cataloger at Worthington (Ohio) Libraries for 23 years, entered the 1
billionth holding in WorldCat for the book, The Monkees : The day-by-day
story of the '60s TV pop sensation. By entering this holding information
to the WorldCat database, Worthington Libraries shows that it owns the
book so that librarians, researchers, students and other interested
readers worldwide know where to find what they're looking for in a

We're just thrilled to have reached this milestone in WorldCat, said
Meribah Mansfield, Director of Worthington Libraries, in Worthington,
Ohio, USA. I started library school in 1971, the same year WorldCat
went online, so I feel like we've grown up together. I remember library
school was all abuzz about this great new advance in technology. Now,
whenever I see a new development in library technology, I think in terms
of =91son of WorldCat'=ADor building on the idea of sharing resources that
WorldCat began.

OCLC Online Computer Library Center, Inc., the world's largest library
cooperative, developed a shared cataloging service that first went
online in 1971. The idea was for libraries in Ohio to share cataloging
information from one central electronic database, now known as WorldCat.
The OCLC shared cataloging model revolutionized the librarian's workflow
and helped make it easy for library patrons to find and get the library
materials they needed. What was once a database shared by libraries in
Ohio, grew to a national union catalog, and today, is a global library
resource used by more than 54,000 libraries in 96 countries.

Through WorldCat, libraries share not only cataloging information, but
library materials as well. If a library does not own a particular item a
patron is looking for, that item can be located and borrowed from
another library by using the ownership information on the catalog

Today, 34 years after going online, WorldCat contains more than 61
million unique catalog records representing 1 billion items in
libraries. The Bible, Mother Goose, Huckleberry Finn, and Alice's
Adventures in Wonderland are among the top 10 titles in WorldCat, and
together those 10 titles represent more than 1 million items in
libraries worldwide. On the other end of the spectrum, there are many
unique items cataloged in WorldCat, treasures held in only one place in
the world such as a Babylonian temple receipt for cattle and sheep used
in temple services around 2350 B.C., or a papyrus manuscript of an edict
issued by Publius Petronicus dating from 22 B.C.

The WorldCat of today is vastly different from that of 1971. Today's
WorldCat technological platform makes it possible to accommodate
virtually all languages, formats and scripts. It is now possible to load
records of entire collections from libraries all over the world. And
what was once a resource used only by libraries and librarians is now
available to searchers worldwide using their favorite Web search
engines. Search engines like Google and Yahoo! make these detailed
library records universally available.

Librarians have always recognized the value of cooperation in libraries,
and WorldCat is the product of that kind of cooperative effort to serve
library patrons.

Thirty four years ago this month, 54 libraries in Ohio began a
cooperative effort to build an online union catalog, said Betsy Wilson,
Chair, OCLC Board of Trustees, and Dean of Libraries, University of
Washington. Today, that cooperative effort extends to more than 54,000
libraries in 96 countries. On the occasion of the one billionth holding
symbol being added to WorldCat, I would like to thank OCLC member
libraries, regional service providers, networks and international
distributors for their continuing commitment to OCLC's public purposes
of furthering access to the world's information and reducing library
costs. Thousands of catalogers and librarians around the world have
worked together these past 34 years to create, keystroke by keystroke,
record by record, and symbol by symbol, a unique and valuable library
resource for knowledge seekers everywhere. We have much to be proud of
and much to celebrate.

Passing the one billion mark in holding symbols is an impressive
example of what long-term focus and collaboration can produce, said Jay
Jordan, President and CEO, OCLC. As WorldCat continues to grow in depth
and breadth, our new technological platform is amplifying the power of
its information and holdings and facilitating resource sharing on a
global scale. Groups of libraries can now access customized views of
their WorldCat holdings. The database now supports Cyrillic, Greek and
Hebrew scripts in addition to Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Korean and
Latin scripts. The general public can search WorldCat on the Open Web
and be directed to specific library catalogs and holdings. Very soon
libraries will start to enrich WorldCat with reviews, readers'
advisories and other full text. In short, as we pass the one billion
holdings mark, WorldCat will continue to become even bigger, better and
more accessible. Three cheers for WorldCat and the OCLC cooperative!

About WorldCat WorldCat is the world's largest bibliographic database,
the merged catalogs of thousands of OCLC member libraries. Built and
maintained collectively by librarians, WorldCat provides the foundation
for many OCLC services. To watch the WorldCat database grow, see:

See the top 1000 Titles held by OCLC member libraries in WorldCat:

About OCLC Headquartered in Dublin, Ohio, OCLC Online Computer Library
Center is a nonprofit organization that has provided computer-based
cataloging, reference, resource sharing and preservation services to
54,000 libraries in 96 countries and territories. For more information,
visit www.oclc.org.

OCLC and WorldCat are trademarks and/or service marks of OCLC Online
Computer Library Center, Inc.

Third-party product, service and business names are trademarks and/or
service marks of their respective owners.
Received on Sat Aug 13 2005 - 03:42:48 EDT

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