OCLC Outlines Its Future OAIster Strategy

OCLC has outlined its future OAIster strategy in an e-mail message to OAIster database contributors.

Here's an excerpt from the "Next Steps" part of the document:

OAIster users will have two ways to access the records you contribute to OAIster.

  • WorldCat.org search results will include OAIster records. WorldCat.org is a publicly available Web site searchable at no charge. When users search WorldCat.org, OAIster records will be included in search results. Each search will retrieve results from the WorldCat database along with OAIster and article-level content from sources that now include GPO Monthly Catalog, ArticleFirst, MEDLINE, ERIC, the British Library and Elsevier. Records from all sources are presented to users in integrated search results.
  • Authenticated users of libraries that subscribe to the FirstSearch Base Package may search OAIster as a separate database through WorldCat.org, WorldCat Local and WorldCat Local "quick start." These users will be able to select OAIster for searching from the Advanced search screen.

At the University of Michigan OAIster site, there is an announcement that reads; "OCLC will be taking over operations of OAIster in October, loading August data into WorldCat.org and making harvesting fully operational at OCLC by January 2010."

What appears to be lost in this strategy is free access to OAIster as a separate database after OCLC assumes full control of OAIster in 2010.

OCLC Releases WorldCat Digital Collection Gateway

OCLC has released the WorldCat Digital Collection Gateway for CONTENTdm sites.

Here's an excerpt from the press release:

The WorldCat Digital Collection Gateway is available to all users of OCLC CONTENTdm Digital Collection Management software at no additional charge.

The WorldCat Digital Collection Gateway offers libraries a self-service tool to easily upload metadata from their unique digital content to WorldCat, the world's largest online resource for finding items held in libraries. Once the metadata is in WorldCat, libraries' digital collections are more visible and discoverable by Web searchers through WorldCat.org, WorldCat Local (including the ‘quick start’ version), Google, Yahoo! and other popular search engines.

"Libraries, museums and archives should do whatever they can to get their materials available online and expose their collections to users—wherever they are—on the Web,” said Roy Tennant, Senior Program Officer, OCLC Research. "The WorldCat Digital Collection Gateway is an easy and effective way to do this."

The Gateway has been piloted in 12 institutions. Since May, the pilot participants used the Gateway self-service tools to upload thousands of records from their CONTENTdm collections into WorldCat. Because they have used the Gateway to set up profiles for their collections, the pilot users' metadata will be regularly uploaded to WorldCat as they add to their digital collections over time.

Presentations from 2009 Annual RLG Partnership Meeting

Presentations (PDF, MP4, and WMV formats) from the 2009 Annual RLG Partnership Meeting are now available.

Here's a brief selection of PDF files:

Podcast: “Library 2.0 Gang 06/09: Library System Suppliers View of OCLC Web-Scale”

In the "Library 2.0 Gang 06/09: Library System Suppliers View of OCLC Web-Scale" podcast, vendor representatives from Axiell, Ex Libris, and LibLime discuss OCLC's Web-Scale Management Services.

Here's an excerpt from the post:

The initial reactions to hearing the announcement included "why did they take so long" and guarded "uh-ho." There were several aspects of, and reactions to, the announcement in the conversation—from welcoming the initiative, the inevitable move of library functionality to the cloud, questions about the size of library that would use it, the cost model, and of course issues about data and API availability.

Marshall Breeding Explains OCLC’s New Web-Scale Management Services

In "Breaking Down the Components of OCLC’s New Library System," noted ILS expert Marshall Breeding clearly explains OCLC's Web-Scale Management Services.

Read more about Web-Scale Management Services at "ILS as SaaS (Software as a Service): OCLC Announces Web-Scale Management Services" and "Tough Questions Emerge on OCLC's Competitive Advantage and Data Policies."

ILS as SaaS (Software as a Service): OCLC Announces Web-Scale Management Services

OCLC has announced web-scale management services.

Here's an excerpt from the press release:

Libraries that subscribe to FirstSearch WorldCat will get the WorldCat Local "quick start" service as part of their subscription at no additional charge. WorldCat Local "quick start" offers libraries a locally branded catalog interface and simple search box that presents localized search results for print and electronic content along with the ability to search the entire WorldCat database and other resources via the Web.

OCLC plans to release Web-scale delivery and circulation, print and electronic acquisitions, and license management components to WorldCat Local, continuing the integration of library management services to create the Web-scale, cooperative library service. OCLC will begin piloting the Web-scale management service components this year.

This new library service design will support library management for print, electronic and licensed materials built on a new, Web-scale architecture that provides streamlined workflows and cooperative solutions. This Web-scale solution will not only include the functionality of disparate systems, it will interoperate with third-party business process systems, such as finance and human resources, and will reduce the total cost of ownership for libraries. The cooperative nature of the platform will create network effects for libraries with enhanced discovery, resource sharing, and metadata management, and through sharing collection management information, identity management, and collective intelligence fueled by data shared through the cooperative and with partners. . . .

OCLC will work with the more than 1,000 libraries and partners that are currently using OCLC library management systems in Europe and Asia Pacific to help build this service. OCLC will continue to develop and support its existing systems in Europe and Asia Pacific. OCLC will accelerate efforts to create robust data-exchange capabilities between OCLC library management systems and the WorldCat platform. Libraries and partners using current OCLC library management systems will be able to participate in this new development by add

In July 2009, libraries will be able to start using WorldCat.org as their user interface for the OCLC FirstSearch service, providing integrated access through a single search box to NetLibrary eBooks and eAudiobooks, Electronic Collections Online eJournals, OCLC FirstSearch databases, ArchiveGrid archival collection descriptions and CAMIO (the Catalog of Art Museum Images Online). At the same time, OCLC will add an enhanced, comprehensive search capability to WorldCat Local, which will return all print, electronic and licensed content available to the library from any location. OCLC will pilot WorldCat Local circulation and acquisitions services later this year.

OCLC Releases Online Catalogs: What Users and Librarians Want

OCLC has released Online Catalogs: What Users and Librarians Want.

Here's an excerpt from the Executive Summary:

  • The end user's experience of the delivery of wanted items is as important, if not more important, than his or her discovery experience.
  • End users rely on and expect enhanced content including summaries/abstracts and tables of contents.
  • An advanced search option (supporting fielded searching) and facets help end users refine searches, navigate, browse and manage large result sets.
  • Important differences exist between the catalog data quality priorities of end users and those who work in libraries.
  • Librarians and library staff, like end users, approach catalogs and catalog data purposefully. End users generally want to find and obtain needed information; librarians and library staff generally have work responsibilities to carry out. The work roles of librarians and staff influence their data quality preferences.
  • Librarians' choice of data quality enhancements reflects their understanding of the importance of accurate, structured data in the catalog.

OCLC Research Releases Data Exchange Software for Museums

With support from a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, OCLC Research has released data exchange software for museums.

Here's an excerpt from the press release:

COBOAT software is now available under a fee-free license for the purpose of publishing a CDWA Lite repository of collections information. It is a metadata publishing tool developed by Cognitive Applications Inc. (Cogapp) that transfers information between databases (such as collections management systems) and different formats. As configured for this project, COBOAT allows museums to extract standards-based records in the Categories for the Descriptions of Works of Art (CDWA) Lite XML data format out of Gallery Systems TMS, a leading collection management system in the museum industry. Configuration files allow COBOAT to be adjusted for extraction from different vendor-based or homegrown database systems, or locally divergent implementations of the same collections management systems.

OAICat Museum 1.0, an Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting (OAI-PMH) data content provider supporting CDWA Lite XML, is also available. It allows museums to share the data extracted with COBOAT using OAI-PMH.

Podcast: Interview with OCLC Vice President Karen Calhoun

JISC has released a podcast interview with OCLC Vice President Karen Calhoun.

Here's the abstract:

The not-for-profit Online Computer Library Center (OCLC) is the principal sponsor of JISC’s 2009 annual conference in Edinburgh. In this podcast interview OCLC's Vice President Karen Calhoun talks to Robert Haymon-Collins, JISC's Director of Communications and Marketing, to discuss what her organisation does in the field of providing digital content for learning and research, and how improved access to this well-catalogued knowledge can help improve the student experience—a key theme of this year's JISC conference. Calhoun also clarifies OCLC's recent proposed policy changes concerning the use of OCLC records, an issue that has generated lively debate within the library and information communities both in the UK and further afield.

OCLC and HathiTrust to Collaborate on Enhancing Access to Digital Repository Materials

OCLC and HathiTrust, a shared digital repository for research libraries, will collaborate on improving access to materials in HathiTrust's repository.

Here's an excerpt from the press release:

HathiTrust, a group of some of the largest research libraries in the United States collaborating to create a repository of their vast digital collections, and OCLC will work together to increase visibility of and access to items in the HathiTrust’s shared digital repository.

Launched jointly by the 12-university consortium known as the Committee on Institutional Cooperation and the 11 university libraries of the University of California system, HathiTrust leverages the time-honored commitment to preservation and access to information that university libraries have valued for centuries. The group's digital collections, including millions of books, will be archived and preserved in a single repository hosted by HathiTrust. Materials in the public domain and those where rightsholders have given permission will be available for reading online.

OCLC and HathiTrust will work together to increase online visibility and accessibility of the digital collections by creating WorldCat records describing the content and linking to the collections via WorldCat.org and WorldCat Local. The organizations will launch a project in the coming months to develop specifications and determine next steps.

NetLibrary to Offer Five E-Book Collections for Sony’s Reader Digital Book

OCLC's NetLibrary will offer five Sony Reader Mobile Collections for Sony’s Reader Digital Book.

Here's an excerpt from the press release:

The program includes a Reader model PRS-505, a collection of titles from leading publishers and all required licenses. Using the library’s PC, librarians can download a mobile collection title or titles from the NetLibrary site to the Reader as necessary.

Libraries that purchase Mobile Collections will be able to offer their patrons the ability to check out Readers for onsite or offsite use, depending on the policy established by each library. Collections, selected by NetLibrary’s collections librarian, include Career Development and Business Self Help (30 titles), Management and Leadership (22 titles), Popular Fiction (29 titles), Romance (19 titles) and Young Adult Fiction (24 titles).

Clarifications about the Michigan/OCLC OAIster Deal

Dorothea Salo has posted "The Straight Story on OAIster and Its Move" on Caveat Lector in which the University of Michigan Library's Katrina Hagedorn answers questions about the future of OAIster.

Here's an excerpt:

Q. Once oaister.org ceases to exist, there will be no way to search the harvested records for free except through worldcat.org, is that right?

A. I think those details haven’t been hammered out yet. Worldcat.org is one choice, yes. There will be likely be other products and services, and it’s likely you’ll be able to limit to just oaister records (for what that’s worth).

University of Michigan and OCLC Form OAIster Partnership

The University of Michigan and OCLC will jointly support the OAIster search engine for open access documents.

Here's an excerpt from the press release:

Launched in 2002 with grant support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, OAIster was developed to test the feasibility of building a portal to open archive collections using the Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting (OAI-PMH). OAIster has since grown to become one of the largest aggregations of records pointing to open archive collections in the world with over 19 million records contributed by over 1,000 organizations worldwide.

Under the partnership, OAIster.org will continue to function as the public interface to OAIster collections, through funding provided by OCLC to the University of Michigan. Later in 2009, metadata harvesting operations will transfer from the University of Michigan to OCLC. . . .

Starting in late January 2009, while OAIster continues to be freely available at the www.oaister.org Web site, OCLC will host a version of OAIster on OCLC's FirstSearch platform and make it available through subscriptions to the FirstSearch Base Package at no additional charge.

Scholarly Information Practices in the Online Environment: Themes from the Literature and Implications for Library Service Development

OCLC Research has released Scholarly Information Practices in the Online Environment: Themes from the Literature and Implications for Library Service Development

Here's an excerpt:

Research libraries exist to support scholarly work. In recent years, the literature on scholarly practices and information use has been growing, and research libraries should be prospering from this increased base of knowledge. Unfortunately, the profession has no effective means for systematically monitoring or synthesizing the published results. This review begins to address the problem by reporting on the state of knowledge on scholarly information behavior, focusing on the information activities involved in the research process and how they differ among disciplines. It provides an empirical basis for identifying promising directions and setting priorities for development of digital information services to support and advance scholarship.

Digital Collection/Repository Software: OCLC Releases CONTENTdm 5

OCLC has released CONTENTdm 5. In addition to being used as a digital asset management system, CONTENTdm is being increasingly being used to support institutional repositories.

Here's an excerpt from the press release:

OCLC has released CONTENTdm 5, a new version of the popular CONTENTdm Digital Collection Management software that fully supports Unicode, the industry standard used to recognize text in most of the world's non-Western languages, including Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Greek and Hebrew, among others. . . .

For end users, CONTENTdm 5 provides a new experience with powerful search improvements, including the integration of Find—the search engine behind OCLC's WorldCat.org. Offering capabilities beyond full Unicode searching, CONTENTdm 5 also features faceted browsing to help refine search results, as well as relevancy ranking similar to what end users experience when searching WorldCat.org and other popular search engines. These improvements ensure a library achieves its ultimate goal for its digital collection—to help end users find, get and use the digital items they need.

For libraries, the new CONTENTdm includes a totally redesigned Project Client, offering more streamlined collection-building workflows that will reduce the time needed to create a digital collection, reducing project costs and maximizing results.

Other CONTENTdm 5 enhancements include a new reports module designed to better track and assess collection usage; nine integrated thesauri, which will improve efficiency by providing controlled vocabularies; and increased capacity that supports more collections, items and metadata fields as well as larger volumes for batch processing.

CONTENTdm 5 offers improvements for handling EAD (Encoded Archival Description) files, including how finding aids are imported, displayed and searched.

Here’s Why You Can’t Find That Online ALA Journal (and Other Tales of Journal Access Woes)

Apparently without warning, the American Library Association has changed the format for its journal URLs, and the old URLs are not redirected to the new ones.

Here's an example from version 73 of the Scholarly Electronic Publishing Bibliography ("Fair Use after CONFU" from College & Research Libraries):

  • Old URL:
  • New URL:

ALA journal URLs were removed from version 74 of SEPB, and will be restored in version 75 (unless there are further changes). Since ALA does not include article page numbers in journal sites such as College & Research Libraries, they may be missing from some SEPB references, reflecting the time lag between issue publication and inclusion in standard indexing tools that I can access.

A similar issue has arisen with archived issues of RLG DigiNews, a ceased e-journal archived by OCLC.

Here's an example from version 73 of SEPB ("Benchmarking Conversion Costs: A Report from the Making of America IV Project"):

  • Old URL:
  • New URL:

RLG DigiNews articles were removed from version 74 of SEPB, and they will be restored in a future version. (SEPB previously included virtually all articles published in this fine journal.)