Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Small Libraries and OCLC

Are there any other libraries, other than here at the LPI, that would like to be an OCLC member but just don't have the funds?

How about OCLC services or products that you desire, but are out of reach? For instance, I want to access the authority files, then we could become NACO participants.

I'm asking because OCLC has a task force on small libraries and would like to hear from anyone in the same situation as we are. We would love to share our collection on WorldCat and Open WorldCat but find the set-up fees too large a hurdle. Too much of our cataloging is original, so the copy cataloging only option is not for us. There are no Groups we are able to join, anyone want to start a space science group or Houston group? In the end, our very rich unique collection is not visible via OCLC.

Now seems to be a good time to voice concerns to the Task Force or the folks at OCLC, since they are looking at small libraries.


Michael said...

Yes, the German Society of Pennsylvania is in a similar position: unique (not insignificant) collection, no money, large chunk of holdings in Worldcat (but not available via Google Books 'cause can't afford FirstSearch), etc. What is the contact info at OCLC for the small libraries task force? Would love to tell them of our issues.

Mike Rissinger

George said...

Thanks for your comments. I'm the OCLC VP who is responsible for putting this group together and we are looking at exactly the kind of issues you are raising here. How can we make OCLC services affordable for all libraries? Is there a way we can offer a selection of services that are quick to learn and could get smaller libraries (public, school, special, even small academics) into the cooperative with a low entry cost and minimal ongoing expense? George Bishop, a school librarian from Michigan and a delegate to Members Council, has agreed to chair the group, and our first conference call is on July 31st.

If you have suggestions or ideas, please contact me at needhamg@oclc.org. Thanks!