August 2011 Archives

OCLC WorldCat Turns 40

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Today marks the 40th anniversary of the launch of WorldCat, the world's most comprehensive database of resources held in libraries around the globe.

On August 26, 1971, the OCLC Online Union Catalog and Shared Cataloging system (now known as WorldCat) began operation. That first day, from a single terminal, catalogers at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio, cataloged 133 books online. Today, WorldCat comprises more than 240 million records representing more than 1.7 billion items in OCLC member libraries worldwide.

"We congratulate the thousands of librarians and catalogers around the world who have helped to build WorldCat over the past 40 years keystroke by keystroke, record by record," said Jay Jordan, OCLC President and CEO. "We who work at OCLC are proud to have been a part of this remarkable story, and I want to thank our member institutions and employees for the years of dedicated effort that helped build this unique resource. Fred Kilgour's vision - improving access to information through library cooperation -- is every bit as vital today as it was in 1971. This anniversary is an important milestone in a shared journey that, I believe, will continue for many decades to come."

WorldCat is a database of bibliographic information built continuously by OCLC libraries around the world. Each record in the WorldCat database contains a bibliographic description of a single item or work and a list of institutions that hold the item. The institutions share these records, using them to create local catalogs, arrange interlibrary loans and conduct reference work. Libraries contribute records for items not found in WorldCat using OCLC shared cataloging systems.

"In retrospect, I have to say that in those early days, I don't think we really understood the enormity of the system that we were embarking upon, much less did we consider what the future possibilities might be," said Lynne Lysiak, who had just started her career at Ohio University Libraries when WorldCat first went online, and is now retired. "As OCLC forges ahead now with WorldCat Local and cloud-computing developments, they are embarking on a new era and suite of services for libraries and their users. It's an exciting time."

"OCLC cataloging and resource sharing services and our library management systems continue to help libraries improve their productivity, save money and improve access to their collections," said Mr. Jordan. "Against a backdrop of continuous technological change, WorldCat and the OCLC cooperative have continued to grow."

Since 1971, 240 million records have been added to WorldCat, spanning more than 5,000 years of recorded knowledge, from about 3400 B.C. to the present. This unique collection of information encompasses records in a variety of formats--books, e-books, DVDs, digital resources, serials, sound recordings, musical scores, maps, visual materials, mixed materials and computer files. Like the knowledge it describes, WorldCat grows steadily. Every second, library members add seven records to WorldCat.

Once records have been added to WorldCat, they are discoverable on the Web through popular search and partner sites, and through WorldCat.org.

Records entered into WorldCat since 1971 have been continuously migrated, reformatted and updated to conform to newly issued cataloging standards. They have been touched and enhanced hundreds of times by librarians around the world and by OCLC staff and automated systems.

The first OCLC cathode ray tube terminal was the Irascope Model LTE, which was manufactured by Spiras Systems. OCLC deployed 68 LTES, one of which is now on permanent display in the National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington D.C., and another in a new OCLC Museum dedicated today in Dublin, Ohio. The LTE was connected to OCLC via a dedicated, leased telephone line from AT&T; message traffic moved at the rate of 2400 baud (2,400 symbols per second).

People can now use their mobile phones to access WorldCat via WorldCat Local, where 4G wireless downloads are 2,500 times faster than the original OCLC network. Wired networks are now 416,000 times faster.

Find more about WorldCat on the OCLC website, and watch WorldCat grow as libraries around the world contribute to the database.

Upcoming Minitex RDA Training

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Minitex Bibliographic and Technical Services has scheduled the following webinars on RDA and FRBR/FRAD for August through December of 2011. Further sessions may be added due to demand or by request.

Regrettably, circumstances have forced us to now charge for these cataloging webinars. Compared to other online training courses on RDA and FRBR/FRAD available elsewhere, however, our pricing is very competitive.


FRBR and FRAD: Keys to RDA

FRBR and FRAD, acronyms for the titles of two published studies on the structure and content of library catalogs, promote concepts that underpin the new cataloging code, RDA. Familiarity with these studies—the new perspectives and vocabulary they bring to the table, for instance—will aid the cataloger in understanding RDA. This 2-day, online workshop gives catalogers an overview of FRBR/FRAD, highlighting new terminology and key themes that manifest themselves in RDA cataloging.

  • Summer Series
    • Day 1: Tuesday, August 16, 9:30 AM – 12:00 PM (Central)
    • Day 2: Thursday, August 18, 9:30 AM – 12:00 PM (Central)
  • Fall Series
    • Day 1: Wednesday, November 16, 9:30 AM – 12:00 PM (Central)
    • Day 2: Friday, November 18, 9:30 AM – 12:00 PM (Central)
  • Winter Series
    • Day 1: Monday, December 19, 9:30 AM – 12:00 PM (Central)
    • Day 2: Wednesday, December 21, 9:30 AM – 12:00 PM (Central)

Register for “FRBR and FRAD: Keys to RDA”


RDA for the Solo/Copy Cataloger

With RDA implementation likely in early 2013, now is a good time for catalogers to become familiar with recognizing, reviewing, and creating records based on the new cataloging standard. Directed to small library catalogers and those copy catalogers with basic experience, this 3-day, online workshop describes the fundamentals of RDA cataloging for most formats. Though emphasis will be placed on bibliographic records, there will also be a brief look at what's new for RDA authority records.

  • Summer Series
    • Day 1: Wednesday, August 24, 9:30 AM – 12:00 PM (Central)
    • Day 2: Friday, August 26, 9:30 AM – 12:00 PM (Central)
    • Day 3: Tuesday, August 30, 9:30 AM – 12:00 PM (Central)
  • Fall Series
    • Day 1: Thursday, September 8, 9:30 AM – 12:00 PM (Central)
    • Day 2: Monday, September 12, 9:30 AM – 12:00 PM (Central)
    • Day 3: Wednesday, September 14, 9:30 AM – 12:00 PM (Central)

Register for “RDA for the Solo/Copy Cataloger”


RDA for the Seasoned Copy Cataloger: Print Monographs

Printed textual materials are the focus of this 4-day, online workshop designed for experienced copy catalogers. We will concentrate on using RDA to review and build MARC bibliographic records and address briefly what the new cataloging code brings to MARC authority records.

  • Day 1: Tuesday, September 27, 9:30 AM – 12:00 PM (Central)
  • Day 2: Friday, September 30, 9:30 AM – 12:00 PM (Central)
  • Day 3: Tuesday, October 4, 9:30 AM – 12:00 PM (Central)
  • Day 4: Monday, October 10, 9:30 AM – 12:00 PM (Central)

Register for “RDA for the Seasoned Copy Cataloger: Print Monographs”


RDA for the Seasoned Copy Cataloger: Continuing Resources

As with other formats, continuing resource cataloging will see some changes under RDA. This 4-day, online workshop introduces the new cataloging standard to experienced copy catalogers, aiming particular attention to the descriptive parts of the MARC bibliographic record. RDA-MARC authority record changes will also be touched upon.

  • Day 1: Wednesday, October 19, 9:30 AM – 12:00 PM (Central)
  • Day 2: Monday, October 24, 9:30 AM – 12:00 PM (Central)
  • Day 3: Thursday, October 27, 9:30 AM – 12:00 PM (Central)
  • Day 4: Wednesday, November 2, 9:30 AM – 12:00 PM (Central)

Register for “RDA for the Seasoned Copy Cataloger: Continuing Resources”


RDA for the Seasoned Copy Cataloger: Audiovisual Materials

Experienced copy catalogers of audiovisual materials who have an interest in learning more about RDA are welcome to participate in this 4-day, online workshop. This webinar series will focus on the descriptive portions of RDA-MARC bibliographic records, with a brief tour of changes made to MARC authority records.

  • Day 1: Wednesday, November 9, 9:30 AM – 12:00 PM (Central)
  • Day 2: Monday, November 14, 9:30 AM – 12:00 PM (Central)
  • Day 3: Thursday, November 17, 9:30 AM – 12:00 PM (Central)
  • Day 4: Tuesday, November 22, 9:30 AM – 12:00 PM (Central)

Register for “RDA for the Seasoned Copy Cataloger: Audiovisual Materials”


RDA for the Seasoned Copy Cataloger: Music Materials

Music scores and music sound recordings share the spotlight in this 4-day, online workshop introducing RDA to experienced copy catalogers. Attention will be paid to the descriptive parts of MARC bibliographic records; we will also look at what RDA brings to MARC authority records.

  • Day 1: Thursday, December 1, 9:30 AM - 12:00 PM (Central)
  • Day 2: Tuesday, December 6, 9:30 AM - 12:00 PM (Central)
  • Day 3: Friday, December 9, 9:30 AM - 12:00 PM (Central)
  • Day 4: Wednesday, December 14, 9:30 AM - 12:00 PM (Central)

Register for “RDA for the Seasoned Copy Cataloger: Music Materials”

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This page is an archive of entries from August 2011 listed from newest to oldest.

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