Wednesday, April 30, 2008

New Consortial Borrowing Solution

The Orbis Cascade Alliance and OCLC are working together to migrate the Alliance's Summit union catalog to a consortial borrowing solution based on the integration of, VDX, WorldCat Resource Sharing and a new circulation gateway in time for the beginning of the 2008-2009 academic school year.

The Orbis Cascade Alliance will implement a WorldCat Group Catalog with an interface based on This union catalog will present the 28-million-volume collections of the 35 Alliance member institutions at the top of results sets, followed by results from the rest of WorldCat, the world's largest online database for discovery of items in libraries.

"We are excited to be working with OCLC to develop a next generation technical platform for Summit," said John F. Helmer, Executive Director, Orbis Cascade Alliance. "OCLC's vision for the future is an ideal fit with the Orbis Cascade Alliance's strategic agenda, which calls for implementation of a next generation discovery and delivery platform and a commitment to standards-based cross-platform functionality. Alliance libraries are very clear in their user-centered approach to service and we view OCLC as an ideal partner for the long haul—a partner that shares our values and excitement about the development of first-rate services to students and faculty."

The migration of Summit to OCLC's consortial borrowing solution will include an immediate initiative to increase the accuracy and comprehensiveness of member library holdings in WorldCat and the implementation of a resource sharing system that combines the best of ILL and circulation capabilities and workflows.

Alliance member libraries also will have the option to implement WorldCat Local, a new service that combines the cooperative power of OCLC member libraries worldwide with the ability to customize as a solution for local discovery and delivery services.

"This initiative will offer our users a better discovery experience and allow them to move seamlessly from our collections to the even larger collections available in WorldCat through interlibrary loan services,” said Lee Lyttle, Chair, Orbis Cascade Alliance. "We also look forward to a better discovery experience with enhanced searching and social networking functionality. All of this is an important strategic direction of the Alliance moving our members closer towards becoming part of a more global library. These are exciting developments that we know will benefit all faculty, students and staff of our member institutions."

View news release:

(OCLC Abstracts)

OCLC Offers Digital Archive Service

OCLC is now providing a Digital Archive service for long-term storage of originals and master files from libraries' digital collections.

The Digital Archive service is simplified to fit with a variety of digital library workflows and to keep the costs of safely storing these important files within the budget of a library's digital program. The service will provide automated monitoring and reports on stored digital collections. OCLC has integrated the service to fit typical workflows for building and managing digital collections.

The service provides a secure storage environment for libraries to easily manage and monitor master files and digital originals. The importance of preserving master files grows as a library's digital collections grow. Libraries need a workflow for capturing and managing master files that finds a balance between the acquisition of both digitized and born-digital content while not outpacing a library's capability to manage these large files.

"The Montana Historical Society has chosen the Digital Archive service as the storage facility for our digital collections," said Molly Kruckenberg, Research Center Director. "The ease of adding materials through Connexion and the secure, managed storage make the Digital Archive service the ideal solution for our needs."

View news release:

(OCLC Abstracts)

Increased Number of Controlled Headings in OCLC WorldCat

Automated processing is now being used to identify, modify, and control
specific types of personal name headings in WorldCat bibliographic
records. This processing, based on data used to build WorldCat
Identities ( and developed by Thom
Hickey, Chief Scientist in the OCLC Office of Programs and Research, is
projected to control more than 26,000,000 headings over the next few

In this phase of processing, personal name headings that consist of more
than a single subfield and that match the established form or a
reference in the authority record are being updated (if necessary); the
heading is then controlled and the record is replaced. Records affected
by this processing can be identified by the symbol "OCLCG" in field 040
$d. When a problem is encountered, the record is skipped and reported
for manual intervention.

Dr. Hickey has posted a description of the project on his blog,
Outgoing, at

(OBS-OCLC e-list)

Friday, April 25, 2008

LCSH Suggestion Blog-a-Thon

From Radical Reference website:

"Do subject headings still matter? We say they do.

Does the Library of Congress always identify accessible and appropriately named headings and implement them in a timely manner? We say not always. All you have to do is spend one day behind a reference desk to see examples of biased, non-inclusive, and counterintuitive classifications that slow down, misdirect, or even obscure information from library users. As librarians and library workers, providing access to information is important-and classifying it in ways that are inclusive and intuitive strengthens our egalitarian mission.

Between now and Sunday, April 27, Radical Reference invites you to suggest subject headings and/or cross-references which will then be compiled and sent to the Library of Congress. You can either choose one previously suggested by Sandy Berman ... or propose your own.

This is a chance to positively impact the catalog of the de facto national library of the United States, which also impacts cataloging all over the world!"


Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Next Generation Academic Library System Symposium

Video streaming, audio podcasts and PowerPoint presentations from the VALE's Next Generation Academic Library System Symposium OLS (Open Library System) held March 12, 2008 at the College of New Jersey are now available at:


Thursday, April 17, 2008

Definition of Digital Preservation Announced

The Preservation and Reformatting Section (PARS) of the Association for Library Collections & Technical Services (ALCTS) is pleased to announce the publication of a definition of digital preservation. The definition is available on the ALCTS Web site at

Read the full announcement at

(AUTOCAT e-list)

Monday, April 14, 2008

OCLC's PARcasts

"Welcome to the OCLC Programs and Research PARcast page. Here you'll find links to our podcasts—the latest recorded interviews with industry thought leaders and up-and-comers—as well as recorded webinars, or online presentations, from Programs and Research staff."

(Lorcan Dempsey's weblog)

Friday, April 11, 2008

OCLC Validation Changes in Batch Processing

Relaxed Validation in Batch Processing

Beginning the week of April 13, OCLC will implement new validation rules for records added to WorldCat via batch processing. Until then, any validation error prevents a record from being added to WorldCat. After April 13, only severe errors will prevent records from being added to WorldCat via batch. Records with minor errors will be added. Online inputting rules will remain the same when records are entered through Connexion.

Most of the records entered into WorldCat through batch processing have an Encoding Level value of "3" or "M" or "4" that any full cataloging user in Connexion may correct and upgrade. A few records may have other values. Records with minor errors will no longer have Encoding Level 'E' in order to enable easier correction.

In addition to these changes, some records added via batch after April 13 may contain fill characters in the OCLC fixed field or in fields 006 or 007. Prior to April 13, a fill character prevents the record from being added to WorldCat. OCLC is adopting the MARC21 definition of the fill character to mean "no attempt to supply a value" for batch processing.

Presence of a fill character in a variable control field indicates that the creator of the record has not attempted to supply a value. ... The fill character may be used in undefined character positions and in character positions for which the MARC 21 format defines one or more values. Use of the fill character in variable control fields is usually regulated by the policy of the inputting agency.

The fill character will only be present in a record if the user has distributed a fill character to OCLC in a file sent for loading. The fill character is not yet valid in Connexion; if full validation is invoked in Connexion, the fill character will generate an error message. Validating use of the fill character within Connexion is under consideration.

Prior to loading records to WorldCat, OCLC processes all files through many clean-up routines, correcting millions of records each year. However, some problems require manual review of the item described by the record or more analysis of the record than can be accomplished by software.

The benefits of the changes to batch validation are many:
1. increased volume of records that can be loaded into WorldCat so libraries may participate in more OCLC services, such as WorldCat.local
2. increased number of new, unique records in WorldCat
3. batch projects will be completed more quickly than in the past
4. fewer records requiring manual review by OCLC staff or by owning library and fewer records rejected for loading

Rich Greene
OCLC, Inc.

(OBS-OCLC e-list)