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WorldCat Registry offers management of organizational data

DUBLIN, Ohio, USA, 26 February 2007—OCLC has launched the WorldCat Registry, a comprehensive directory for libraries and consortia, and the services they provide. The WorldCat Registry will help libraries and consortia manage and share data that define their organizations--such as institution type, location, URLs for electronic services, circulation statistics, and population served--through a single, authoritative Web platform.

Profile data in the WorldCat Registry can include details such as branch library locations that can be used as part of WorldCat.org, the Web service that allows free access to the world's richest resource for finding materials held in libraries, enabling searchers to find what they need at the nearest library.

"The Registry was created to help libraries and other cultural heritage institutions make themselves more visible on the Web, and to ease libraries' administrative burdens associated with providing the same types of information to many sources," said Chip Nilges, Vice President, OCLC New Services. "Using data from the WorldCat Registry, WorldCat.org will expand its location listings and make it possible for Web searchers to locate, with greater accuracy, the library nearest them."

The Registry also helps solve an increasingly common administrative burden for libraries and library groups: keeping multiple institutional identities up to date across different internal and third-party applications and through a variety of methods, including Web interfaces, faxed paper forms and phone calls.

"Libraries, consortia, and electronic content vendors all need to maintain current files of information such as computer-network IP addresses, local administrative contacts, and size of the user community," said Celeste Feather, Electronic Resources Librarian at The Ohio State University Libraries. "The problem for libraries is that they are expected to maintain this information in many places if they want to ensure reliable service. Vendors also need an efficient way to maintain this information in their systems."

"A centralized database such as the WorldCat Registry for this type of information would facilitate efficient sharing of critical information among many interested parties. If widely adopted, the Registry service could provide a solution to a difficult workflow issue for librarians," said Ms. Feather.

Any institution or consortium—OCLC members and non-members alike—can use the WorldCat Registry to share their profile with other libraries, technology vendors, e-content providers, funding agencies, and other parties that could benefit from access. A WorldCat Registry profile is shared via a special Web link that provides instant, read-only access to the most current data.

A WorldCat Registry profile will let an institution or consortium maintain and share information, such as:

Institution name, "also known as" alias, and type
Identifying codes issued by industry organizations
Physical location
Consortial memberships
Parent-child relationships (main and branch institutions)
Computer-network IP addresses
Web-based services such as online catalog, "Ask-a" virtual reference and OpenURL servers
Budgetary and service statistics
Administrative contacts
Sensitive information such as personal IP addresses and contact names, phone numbers or e-mail addresses are not made publicly available in the WorldCat Registry.

Web services that allow the query and retrieval of specific Registry data by online applications are also available. Two Web services have been released for free, non-commercial use as part of the WorldCat Affiliate Program at http://worldcat.org/affiliate/default.jsp.

Visit the WorldCat Registry at http://worldcat.org/registry/institutions.

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