Australian libraries get access to global library catalogue

The National Library of Australia has negotiated an agreement on behalf of Australian libraries which gives access to WorldCat, the world’s largest bibliographic database with over one billion items from 11,000 libraries worldwide.

The collaborative services agreement has been negotiated between the National Library and the Online Computer Library Centre (OCLC) which manages the WorldCat database.

Jan Fullerton AO, National Library Director General, said that Australian bibliographic records would be more accessible to millions of researchers worldwide. In turn, the cataloguing records from 110 countries would be available to Libraries Australia subscribers.

“The National Library of Australia looks forward to working closely with OCLC through this collaborative services agreement which opens up access to WorldCat for Australian libraries. This agreement marks a major step forward in the sharing of Australian bibliographic data and exposure of the collections of Australian libraries internationally,” Ms Fullerton said.

OCLC, founded in 1967 with headquarters in Dublin, Ohio, is a non-profit library membership and research organisation that provides computer-based cataloguing, reference, resource sharing, eContent and preservation services. For more information, visit www.oclc.org .

Jay Jordan, OCLC President, said that the agreement benefits library users not only in Australia, but around the world.

“The rich resources of 800 Australian libraries will be visible to people everywhere on the Internet through WorldCat.org and Open WorldCat. These organisations will also be participating in the world’s largest library cooperative,” he said.

Libraries Australia subscribers who contribute their current cataloguing and holdings to the Australian National Bibliographic Database (ANBD) and WorldCat will become governing members of the OCLC.

Details of the agreement are:

  • All Australian libraries who subscribe to Libraries Australia will have unlimited search and cataloguing access to OCLC’s WorldCat;
  • To get access to WorldCat, libraries must be Libraries Australia subscribers;
  • Provision of bibliographic records with Australian holdings from the ANDB to WorldCat and vice versa; and
  • Exposure of ANBD bibliographic and holdings records in search engines though the Open WorldCat program and the web through WorldCat.org.

Media contacts: Yvonne Kennedy ( 02 6262 1353; 0411 753 891; ykennedy@nla.gov.au

Susan Grigson, Communications and Marketing Coordinator ( 02 6262 1571; 0410 627 684; sgrigson@nla.gov.au