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for library fanatics

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  • Jill Littlewood
    ** WorldCat Launches With 10,000 Libraries Worldwide Searchable
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 10, 2006
      ** WorldCat Launches With 10,000 Libraries Worldwide Searchable

      Why yes, I am still catching up. I'm ALWAYS
      catching up. Anything else? Anyway, WorldCat.org
      has officially launched: http://www.worldcat.org .
      It's in beta. Over 10,000 libraries in the OCLC
      cooperative are searchable from this one little
      box. How groovy is that? (And if you're having a
      hard time wrapping your head around this, or the
      fact that there are over 70 million entries for
      items in this database, check out
      http://www.oclc.org/worldcat/grow.htm , which'll
      give you a window to watch stuff being added into
      the database in real-time. I found this
      fascinating. I am a nerd.)

      >From the front page you can do any kind of search
      that you'd do in the library -- search for a
      person, subject, title, etc. I did a search for
      Robert J. Conley since I've been on kind of a
      westerns kick lately. I got 86 results. The
      results are listed on the right but a nav showing
      the authors and formats were on the left. I was
      expecting fiction books, but WorldCat surprised me
      by also offering sound recordings and other non-
      book material. Listings contain item details like
      ISBN, publication date, publisher, etc. Once
      you've found an item in which you're interested,
      you can narrow down your search by country, state,
      province, or even postal code. There are
      additional tabs that allow space for reviews and
      details; I didn't see any reviews for the Conley
      books I looked at.

      The plain ol' WorldCat search box is interesting
      enough, but WC has some other offerings as well.
      First off you can create an account with WorldCat
      and get a search box for WorldCat on your own
      site. You can also get a list of WC on other sites
      and a list of search toolbars and browser plugins
      that support WorldCat.

      The main drawback to WorldCat is the main drawback
      of any online library catalog -- most of the time
      the materials aren't actually available. All
      you're looking at is a catalog entry. But all the
      searches I did brought me results above and beyond
      the books or formats I would have expected. Time
      to head to the library√Ę?¬¶.

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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