OCLC and their future in Sweden

Actually, I’m quite new to what OCLC can offer libraries in Sweden. Though I think the step from LIBRIS Sweden to OCLC the world (or should I say U.S.?) has it’s possibilities. I’ve always thought every possibility for the Swedish libraries to cooperate outside the Swedish frontiers is good and should also be a goal in itself. But of course we can’t sell our souls.

Daniel Forsman, one of the most progressive librarians working with the Digital Library concept in Sweden, has written about the OCLC question at Betabib swedish librarian blog. I just discovered Jeffrey Beall, Metadata librarian and Assistant Professor, Auraria Library, University of Colorado Denver, when I searched articles about Dublin Core when preparing a lecture for BIV. His great article was: “Dublin core: an obituary“. I also found articles about the weaknesses with fulltext searching. Great, I still fight against Googlealgoguys and propagate for metadata and thesauri and his articles gives me some petrol.

I also found an article about OCLC he wrote last year and meantioned it for Daniel. Then also found Rick Mason’s blog post where he opposes Jeffrey. I haven’t dived into this discussion yet but I will because since 1 December 2008 I’m working for the web team at the Digital Library department at Umeå University Library and this important issuses for swedish digital libraries.

I will just translate some of Daniels thoughts from his blogpost at his swedish blog Betabib:

“I’m an eager proponent of sharing our data in as many places as possible and OCLC is a player in the market we can’t ignore. If it’s primarily about giving our users better access to a big amount of bibliographic records it seems WorldCat is better than for example LIBRIS. If you count records. But sure if you give, you should get some repay and when it comes to repaying I think OCLC have things to work on. For example I think it’s obviously that we should have access to the OCLC API for WolrdCat if our items are registered there”.

Here you can find information about: “National Library of Sweden and OCLC networking event“. The discussion is only in it’s infancy, at least in Sweden ;-)

Update: Check out the 10 minute video:”WorldCat Local: All of Your Library’s Content in One Search Box“.


Free book covers from LibraryThing

Via Betabib I found out that we now have yet another book cover service alternative to Amazon coming right from fabulous LibraryThing. They say they have one million book covers uploaded by users, but only 913,000 covers are accessible, the others being non-ISBN covers. These are the restrictions:

“You also agree to some very limited terms:

  • You do not make LibraryThing cover images available to others in bulk. But you may cache bulk quantities of covers.
  • Use does not involve or promote a LibraryThing competitor.
  • If covers are fetched through an automatic process (eg., not by people hitting a web page), you may not fetch more than one cover per second”.

But compared to the Amazon book cover service you don’t need to link back to LibraryThing. More about the cover offerings at the LibraryThing blog.