WorldCat Google Search

OCLC‘s WorldCat is coming along nicely. A recent initiative, Open WorldCat, seeks to make the records of member libraries available to web users via popular bookseller and search engine sites:

A Web user visits a site such as Yahoo! Search or Google and enters a search phrase that matches the title of a library-owned item. The returned search results include a link to the Open WorldCat “Find in a Library” Web service, where they can enter geographic information that helps them locate the item at a library in their city, region or country.

(Some 600 libraries in Canada are member libraries in OCLC, though how many of them make their catalogues available via WorldCat I don’t know.)

Google, Yahoo and a number of other institutions are partners of OCLC in this venture.

I’ve run a Google search with a precise book title and, indeed, did find a WorldCat result fairly far down in the list and only made identifiable by the little green URL that appears under each search result.

For the moment, it’s better to use Open WorldCat’s demonstration search form, which lets you choose to search either Google or Yahoo.

Better still, use the new Slaw-WorldCat search bookmarklet! I’ve come up with a bookmarklet that searches WorldCat via Google; simply click the bookmarklet and then fill in your search terms when the popup box appears. It seems to work well in Firefox and I think it will work in IE. But please do let me know if it fails in either.

As with our other bookmarklet, CanLII Find (plug for those who’ve joined since I made it and haven’t been site-curious enough to find it), you can either drag the bookmarklet link above on to your bookmarks or personal bar or you can right click it and treat it as a bookmark using the contextual menu.

Finally, OCLC is planning an August debut for, “a new destination Web site that allows Web users outside the library environment to search WorldCat libraries.”

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