Wednesday, May 07, 2003

OCLC

In the comments to the posting about "Non-Member Use of Cataloging Records" Mr. Houk left this comment.
Hello:

Please identify the place in my presentation where I use the term rogue. I believe this is a completely false statement. I have read all of the AutoCat postings on this subject and there is a great deal of misinformation about OCLC's cataloging services. We offer a wide range of cataloging services to our membership to meet a wide range of workflows. For smaller libraries, CatExpress provides inexpensive access to the entire WorldCat database. I encourage all libraries to check out the OCLC web site or to contact their regional network for information on the best solution(s) for their library.

Thanks,
Gary R. Houk
Vice President
OCLC Cataloging & Metadata Services

I must admit I misquoted Mr. Houk; nowhere does he mention rogue libraries. For some smaller libraries, CatExpress may be an option. I could not find pricing anywhere, but it works by selling blocks of 500, 1000 or 2000 records.

OCLC and RLG are both fine institutions. Without them standards would be far less pervasive than they currently are. In addition, OCLC has done research in areas like metadata and classification that has been invaluable. The library world would be a far poorer place without them. However, I do believe there are a host of small libraries, elementary schools for example, that are not served as well as they could be by the utilities. That is why there is a feeding frenzy at conferences when they find EZ-Cat. Maybe OCLC has services that would be cost effective for these institutions, they just need to market it better. Again my apologies to Mr. Houk for saying he used the term "rogue libraries", that was not in his presentation.

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