Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Open WorldCat -- getting warmer

Open WorldCat was a great idea--huge database of library catalogs searchable for free in Google and Yahoo. But it had two flaws:
  1. You had no real idea of what you were searching because OCLC was vague about what records they exposed to Google and Yahoo
  2. You had to know a search trick to get WorldCat records
And a picky irritant -- you got different results when you searched Yahoo and Google.

In August OCLC will launch a specific website where you can search all the WorldCat records for free. It will be http://www.worldcat.net. And OCLC says they are putting all of their records in this service.

I wonder what search and display engines they will use. Perhaps this is something they got from absorbing RLG. The RLG free service RedLightGreen has a next-gen catalog look and feel.

So in August we will know where we can easily search all of WorldCat for free. I'm adding it to my resources for graduate students who are working from afar.

That leaves the question: will anyone outside the library community know or care? I say put their free search box everywhere. Spread the word.

1 comment:

Bea said...

I'll watch for this too. Thanks, Sue!