|OBS OCLC COMMITTEE|
School of Law
Annual Meeting - Minneapolis, Minnesota
It is time to be thinking ahead to the 2001 Annual Meeting in Minneapolis. As I write this, the meeting is still over 2 1/2 months away. However, the meeting schedule has been released and is available on the AALL website. The OCLC/WLN Committee's open discussion has been scheduled for Tuesday, July 17th from 7:30 to 8:45 AM. Susan Chinoransky has graciously agreed to offer one of her afghans as a door prize to someone attending the meeting. I speak from personal experience when I tell you how beautiful they are. I hope that many of you will be able to attend.
In planning the meeting, I welcome any comments and suggestions as to the topics that you would like to discuss. As is traditional, we will have an OCLC or affiliated-network representative at the meeting to talk and answer questions. One suggestion that I have already received is to possibly continue the discussion from the program on CORC from Monday morning ("Put a CORC In It: the Cooperative Online Resource Catalog's Attempt to Control the WWW Information Flow" - Monday, July 16th, 10:15 a.m.-11:45 a.m.). This program is probably my personal top pick as a "must attend" session. I hope that many of you will be able to attend as well, and that we are able to continue the discussion the next day at the OCLC/WLN committee meeting.
If you have any other topic you wish to discuss, please let me know. I hope to see many of you at the committee meeting on Tuesday morning.
OCLC "Wish List"
On January 29th, a librarian at the Library of Congress, posted a message to the PCCList concerning an OCLC Wish List. He referred to the BIBCO-At-Large meeting at ALA Midwinter. I took a look at the Library of Congress website for BIBCO and it said that OCLC had announced that they were moving "to a relational database and were querying users about features they would like to see included in programming enhancements." The participants at the meeting discussed this and developed a wish list for both OCLC and RLG. The final list, in order of priority, was–
What I found interesting in the ensuing discussion on the PCCList was most of the responses concerned online SACO contributions (#4). There was very little discussion of authority validation/linked authorities, which I think is the most significant (and was ranked number 1). One message pointed out the concern of name/uniform title headings (100/240) and linked authorities. This would be a particular concern for law headings with all our jurisdiction name/Laws, etc. headings (110/240).
The other thing that I find interesting on this is OCLC's statement that they are moving "to a relational database." One thing about OCLC, they are not one to stand still–they are constantly on the move, evolving and changing. It makes being their customer and writing this column interesting.
Bits and Pieces, OCLC's electronic newsletter had some interesting items over the past several months. The November issue had a long discussion about the new format LCCN's from the Library of Congress, which contain a 4-digit date. The most significant change to searching these in OCLC is the need to insert the hyphen in the command search (fin) with the index label (ln). The same requirement holds true when searching for authority records using the LCCN. In addition, since some LCCNs could now resemble ISSNs, OCLC will now require that the hyphen be dropped from ISSN searches when doing a numeric search. When using the index label (sn), the hyphen is optional.
In December, OCLC announced that they were discontinuing publication of the OCLC-MARC Code Lists in print and on the OCLC website. The main reason given for this is that it is available from the Library of Congress both in print and electronically, and that depository libraries currently receive printed copies from the Government Printing Office. Also in this issue there was a discussion of error reporting options for WorldCat records. There are a number of ways to report errors, depending on whether or not proof is required. I personally like using the Web for errors that do not require proof. The other fast way is to include a 952 field in the bibliographic record describing the error. I would urge all of us to report errors, as this will result in a much cleaner database. The Web pages for bibliographic change is http://www.oclc.org/oclc/forms/bibchg.htm and the page for reporting duplicate records is http://www.oclc.org/oclc/forms/bibdup.htm. There is also a discussion of what libraries with full or higher levels of authorizations are allowed to change and replace, along with fields to add to enrich records.
Finally, I would like to mention an interview that Jay Jordan, president and CEO of OCLC gave to Information Today. It is available at http://www.infotoday.com/it/dec00/hogan.htm and is quite long. His discussion covers the entire range of OCLC products and services. It heartens me to see him state close to the end that for OCLC, "the obvious integrator, the common denominator, if you will, is WorldCat." That gives me a special pride, because we have all had a hand in helping to create and maintain that database. He goes on to say that "I can promise you that you are going to see many more choices from OCLC in the future." It sounds like I will continue to have things to write about OCLC in the future.
I look forward to seeing many of you in Minneapolis!