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OCLC Asia Pacific Services Products and Services

OCLC Membership

and the Use of OCLC Cataloging and Resource Sharing Services

What Is OCLC and What Does OCLC Offer?

OCLC, Online Computer Library Center, Inc., is a nonprofit, membership organization that promotes cooperation among thousands of libraries and information centers around the world for the purpose of sharing and facilitating access to the world’s information.

OCLC is the largest network of libraries and information centers in the world and provides information services to over 30,000 libraries and information centers in 65 countries and territories.

To help facilitate shared cataloging and resource sharing among thousands of OCLC users, OCLC maintains the world’s largest database of bibliographic records and location information. WorldCat (the OCLC Online Union Catalog) contains over 40 million unique bibliographic records covering all subject areas in all MARC formats, and over 650 million holding symbols that indicate the location of materials held around the world. Users can access WorldCat and other OCLC databases online through the Internet or via other telecommunications connections.

OCLC Cataloging Service and OCLC Interlibrary Loan Service support online ordering, cataloging, and interlibrary loan (ILL) functions. To use the OCLC Cataloging Service and/or OCLC Interlibrary Loan Service, a library needs to have a PC (486 or higher), and license the OCLC Access Suite. The Access Suite is a single CD-ROM that contains OCLC Passport for Windows software; OCLC Cataloging Micro Enhancer for Windows software; OCLC ILL Micro Enhancer for Windows software; OCLC CJK software; and the OCLC Cataloging Label Program.

In addition to the WorldCat, OCLC Cataloging Service and OCLC Interlibrary Loan Service users can also access the following databases:

1. Harvard

This database contains bibliographic records created by OCLC and Harvard University as part of Harvard University’s retrospective conversion project.

2. NetFirst

This database is an authoritative Internet directory that can serve as a tool for cataloging Internet resources.

OCLC CJK Software provides access to the OCLC Cataloging Service with an added benefit--ability to access and create records in Chinese, Japanese, and Korean (CJK) characters. The OCLC CJK software runs on a standard PC (486 or higher), and can be used for cataloging both roman-alphabet and CJK materials on OCLC.

OCLC also issues a CD-ROM cataloging product called OCLC CatCD for Windows System. OCLC CatCD offers 10 separate databases that are made up of subsets of WorldCat. The difference between accessing subsets of WorldCat through OCLC CatCD and accessing WorldCat through OCLC Cataloging or OCLC ILL is that OCLC’s online system offers access to the entire WorldCat database, that is, the WorldCat database contains more bibliographic records than the sum of all 10 OCLC CatCD databases. OCLC CatCD for Windows system does not have CJK capability.

OCLC PromptCat Service delivers MARC records automatically from OCLC to the user’s database when users order books from book venders who participate in this service.

OCLC Authority Control Service corrects and modernizes name and subject headings in the MARC records in your database. This can be a one-time or on-going service.

OCLC Bibliographic Record Notification Service delivers OCLC-MARC records that are upgraded after you set your library’s holding symbol in WorldCat. This service helps improve the quality of the bibliographic records in your library’s database.

OCLC Selection Service lets librarians and faculty search OCLC databases, add acquisitions information, and export order records to your library’s local system.

OCLC also offers a variety of retrospective conversion services to meet the different needs of libraries around the world.

Aside from cataloging and resource sharing services, OCLC FirstSearch Service is the most-used online information retrieval system in the world. Through FirstSearch, users around the world can access over 80 reference databases through the Internet or via other telecommunications connections using one user-friendly, common interface. FirstSearch users can access bibliographic information, abstracts and indexes, full-text and images--they can also arrange full-text document delivery. OCLC FirstSearch Electronic Collections Online service provides cross-journal searching to thousands of electronic journals arranged by subject area.

OCLC SiteSearch Software provides a Z39.50 server, HTTP server, and Web interface to help libraries function as a virtual library.

Asia Pacific Union List Group

OCLC Cataloging Service and ILL Service users in Asia and the Pacific region that wish to list their detailed serial holdings in the WorldCat for the purpose of resource sharing, are encouraged to join the Asia Pacific Union List Group.

Please contact OCLC Asia Pacific Services for additional information on any OCLC service you are interested in.

What is OCLC Membership?

OCLC users include Members (also called Participants) and Non-members (also known as Partial Users). In other words, libraries and information centers do not have to become OCLC Members in order to use OCLC services. Libraries or information centers that choose to become OCLC Partial Users can use any or all OCLC services as they wish. However, only OCLC Members can participate in the governance (as opposed to the management) of OCLC through advisory committees, OCLC Users Council, and the OCLC Board of Trustees. OCLC Members also pay a lower fee than Non-members when there is a price differential.

OCLC Members are committed to cooperative cataloging. As we all know, cooperation requires willingness of all parties concerned. Sometimes it also requires a change of mind or attitude for the common good of all. OCLC is a successful story of cooperation that all OCLC members can take pride in, and this story will continue.

What's the Requirement of OCLC Membership?

OCLC Members are libraries or information centers that enter into an agreement to do cataloging on OCLC of all the roman-alphabet library materials they receive after they become OCLC Members. OCLC Members will then set their holding symbols in WorldCat (the OCLC Online Union Catalog), and contribute original cataloging records to be shared by others. WorldCat is the largest database of bibliographic records and location information in the world; accessing this resource-rich database for cataloging and/or interlibrary loan reduces the cost of original cataloging and facilitates resource sharing on a global basis to the extent that no other database can achieve. WorldCat is created and maintained by thousands of OCLC member institutions around the world who believe in the benefit of cooperation.

Although OCLC membership does not require cataloging of Chinese, Japanese, and/or Korean (CJK) materials on OCLC, OCLC users are certainly encouraged to use OCLC for cataloging CJK materials.

OCLC member libraries can fulfill the membership requirement by using either the OCLC Cataloging service (an online cataloging system), the OCLC CatCD for Windows system (a CD-ROM cataloging system), or the OCLC PromptCat service (an automated MARC records delivery service), or a combination of these services.

OCLC Members may decide to only use the OCLC Cataloging service, and not the OCLC Interlibrary Loan (ILL) service. In other words, the use of OCLC ILL is not a requirement of OCLC membership. It is optional.

Similarly, OCLC Non-members may decide to use OCLC ILL, but not OCLC Cataloging, although they are welcome to use both services.

Does OCLC Require Members to Load Their Databases into WorldCat?

OCLC does not require members to load their library’s entire database into WorldCat (the OCLC Online Union Catalog), however, libraries are encouraged to consider this option. What are the benefits of loading the entire database into WorldCat? When a library’s database is loaded into WorldCat, OCLC sets the library’s holding symbol not only in WorldCat, but also in the databases that are accessible through the OCLC FirstSearch service. Holding symbols indicate whether your library owns a particular item.

After your holding symbols are set in WorldCat, your FirstSearch users will then be able to tell, at a glance, whether your library holds an item. This added local information saves your users from spending time and money looking for full-text materials elsewhere. Besides, setting your holdings in WorldCat makes it possible for your library to participate in worldwide resource sharing. Moreover, if you are using OCLC for acquisitions and/or cataloging purposes, OCLC will indicate to you--when you search WorldCat-- whether your library holds a copy of a title, thus saving you from purchasing unwanted duplicate copies of the material, and saving your staff from unnecessary duplication of cataloging efforts.

There is a fee for loading your database into WorldCat. Please contact OCLC Asia Pacific Services for further information.

How Does an Institution Become an OCLC Member?

Whether or not to become an OCLC Member may be the most difficult decision for libraries. Once your library decides to become an OCLC Member, you only need to check the box on the Asia Pacific Application (used for the OCLC Cataloging service and the OCLC ILL service) that indicates "Participant." You will also need to indicate whether you will choose "Online Cataloging," "Tapeloading," or both.

Naturally, your library is welcome to use any OCLC service even if you decide not to become an OCLC member.

LC-MARC Records vs. WorldCat (the OCLC Online Union Catalog)

July 1, 1998
Unit: Unique Record

Format LC-MARC Records Records in WorldCat *LC/WorldCat
Books 4,585,177 31,517,171 14.5%
Serials 198,836 1,915,577 10.4%
Sound Recordings 147,860 1,236,563 12.0%
Visual Materials 101,577 1,063,207 9.6%
Scores 52,274 879,927 5.9%
Maps 188,594 505,518 37.3%
Mixed Materials 240 279,578 0.1%
Computer Files 3,881 106,853 3.6%
TOTAL 5,278,439 37,504,394 14.1%

Note: Total records in WorldCat reflects total unique records after duplicate detection resolution is complete.

All LC-MARC records are in WorldCat.

* percentage of total records in WorldCat that are LC-MARC records.

Top 10 Languages
In the WorldCat (the OCLC Online Union Catalog)

July 1, 1998
Unit: Unique Record

Language Unique Records Percent in WorldCat
1. English 23,925,590 63.8%
2. French 2,328,076 6.2%
3. German 2,240,243 6.0%
4. Spanish 1,612,596 4.3%
5. Japanese 769,791 2.1%
6. Russian 761,703 2.0%
7. Chinese 709,186 1.9%
8. Italian 687,475 1.8%
9. Latin 342,731 0.9%
10. Portuguese 323,400 0.9%
TOTAL 32,661,856 89.9%

WorldCat contains records in 400 different languages

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