OCLC: Back to the Review Policy

OCLC has announced that it will convene a council to study the WorldCat Record Use Policy. From their announcement at, http://www.oclc.org/us/en/news/releases/200948.htm:

The OCLC Board of Trustees has convened a Record Use Policy Council, which will draw upon the fundamental values of the OCLC cooperative and engage with the global library community to develop the next generation of the WorldCat Record Use Policy. The intent is to recommend to the OCLC Board of Trustees a new policy that is aligned with the present and future information landscape. The new policy will replace the Guidelines for Use and Transfer of OCLC Derived Records that was developed in 1987.

The Council will look into other issues as well such as “development of a policy to enable expanding the role and value of WorldCat in the broad information ecosystem.” The possible timeline for all of this is mid 2010.

Josh Hadro discusses OCLC’s announcement in his recent article in the Library Journal. Much of what Josh highlights is straight forward in terms of summarizing the announcement. However, Josh inserts this small bit of news:

As has recently been noted by LJ and others, part of OCLC’s attempt to expose library data more involves an agreement with the team responsible for the Google Book Search project.

This really picks up the current conversation about the recent settlement of Google and Nunberg’s disparaging view of Google’s metadata. What will such an agreement look like? If data is more open, will Google still pick and choose from records metadata that can lead to inconsistencies? How can such an agreement be worked out in terms of what happens to data created by librarians but used by other agencies? I think this last question brings up some concerns of the Record Use Policy in that much of OCLC’s records derive from contributions from hard-working librarians. What will happen to their work when this Policy goes into affect and especially if there is an additional agreement with Google?

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