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RDA and OCLC: Discussion Paper

OCLC has released a discussion paper called “Incorporating RDA practices into WorldCat” and is soliciting comments from OCLC member libraries. The deadline for comments is April 15, 2012 and should be sent to

The discussion paper “proposes a number of policies that may be put in place and actions that may be undertaken as part of incorporating RDA practices more fully into WorldCat. It also attempts to balance the dual roles of WorldCat as a catalog and as a repository of bibliographic data.”

There are some suggestions concerning the modification of pre-RDA catalogue records. For example, OCLC plans to develop programming that will add the new 33X fields (Content, Media, and Carrier Types) to all records in the OCLC database.

OCLC envisions potentially making some widespread changes to existing records in WorldCat including a number of those outlined above. Such efforts would be oriented toward reducing the need for catalogers to make similar changes as well as making the records more useful in the RDA environment. This activity would supplement other data quality efforts such as authority control, duplicate detection, etc.”

OCLC Record Use Policy – New Draft Released

The OCLC Record Use Policy Council has released a new draft version of the OCLC Record Use Policy. The draft is now referred to as the WorldCat Rights and Responsibilities for the OCLC Cooperative and “incorporates many suggestions raised by the community over the past year”.

OCLC indicates that this “draft policy is not final”. They are now looking for feedback from the OCLC community from now until the end of May.

You can post comments to the community forum, send an e-mail with your thoughts to, or register to attend a webinar where you can ask questions and submit feedback to members of the Record Use Policy Council.

The Council is maintaining an FAQ that members may also want to consult.

OCLC Record Use Policy Withdrawn

OCLC has done some serious back peddling and dropped its controversial record use policy.

After review of the recommendations, OCLC has formally withdrawn the proposed policy. A new group will soon be assembled to begin work to draft a new policy with more input and participation from the OCLC membership.”

More info available via their recent press release or the Review Board’s final report.

OCLC Record Use Policy Update

Interesting presentation by Jennifer Younger, Chair of the OCLC Review Board of Shared Data Creation and Stewardship.  The Board recognizes that a new policy is needed but recommends that OCLC, “formally withdraw the proposed policy” and “revisit the social contract between OCLC and its members.”

Looks like OCLC will attempt to find a more transparent and consultative approach to developing a record sharing policy that will enable collaboration in the new “information ecosystem.”

You can watch a video recording of the presentation along with the slides.

Online Catalogs: What Users and Librarians Want – OCLC

A new OCLC report on online catalogues has been released by OCLC:  Online Catalogs: What Users and Librarians Want.  The principal contributors were:
Karen Calhoun, Vice President, WorldCat and Metadata Services; Joanne Cantrell, Marketing Analyst; Peggy Gallagher, Market Analysis Manager; and Janet Hawk, Director, Market Analysis and Sales Programs.

“Selected research findings:

  • 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.”

Main page is here and executive summary here.

OLAC Statement on OCLC’s Proposed Policy for Use and Transfer of WorldCat® Records

The Online Audiovisual Catalogers (OLAC) association has issued a statement to OCLC regarding their proposed policy for use and transfer of bibliographic records. OLAC recommends that,

… OCLC investigate ways to provide useful services to member institutions without maintaining such strict control over other uses of the bibliographic data, particularly non-commercial and research-based uses. We recommend that OCLC broaden access to library bibliographic data so that data can become a significant player in the Web world through multiple channels and so that a variety of experimental approaches using this data can be tried. We believe this path has the greatest chance for future success both for OCLC and for libraries.

You may also be interested in completing the OCLC Review Board survey to express your own views.

OCLC Expert Community Experiment

This sounds like an interesting development out of OCLC:

In response to requests from the cataloging community, OCLC is introducing the Expert Community Experiment which enables cataloging members to make more changes to WorldCat records.

During the Experiment, members with full level cataloging authorizations have the ability to improve and upgrade more WorldCat master records than has been previously possible. The Experiment begins in mid-February 2009, and is expected to last six months.

Introductory web information sessions will be held throughout February for those interested in participating in the Experiment.

Please see the Expert Community Experiment page to register to attend a web sessions.  More information will be added to this page over the next few days.

Glenn E. Patton, OCLC, Director, WorldCat Quality Management