Tag Archives: Record Use Policy

New OCLC Record Use Policy Approved

Just posted from OCLC:

The new WorldCat record use policy has been approved by the OCLC Board of Trustees. WorldCat Rights and Responsibilities for the OCLC Cooperative will be effective August 1, 2010.

Our 12-member Record Use Policy Council undertook a detailed investigation of the issues and drafted a new policy that we introduced for community review In April 2010. More than 275 comments were gathered via e-mail, phone, meetings and letters, in an online forum, and by monitoring blogs, listservs and Twitter. Your comments resulted in additions and changes to the draft. At the end of May 2010, we submitted our revised policy statement to the OCLC Board, which approved the document during its June meeting.

To view the new policy, including a Frequently Asked Questions document and a comparison between the draft submitted for community review and the final document, visit:  http://www.oclc.org/worldcat/recorduse/

–OCLC Record Use Policy Council


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OCLC: WorldCat use policy

The WorldCat use policy draft has been posted and is open for review. Here’s the information:

Next-generation policy for WorldCat records—open for community review

The OCLC Record Use Policy Council members have been working for the past few months to develop the next generation of a WorldCat use policy, and we are pleased to announce that the draft document, WorldCat Rights and Responsibilities for the OCLC Cooperative, is open for community review.

This Council, convened by the OCLC Board of Trustees last September, has produced a new draft document that incorporates many suggestions raised by the community over the past year. For example, rather than using legal language, we have drafted the new policy as a code of good practices, intended to outline the rights and responsibilities of OCLC members with regard to the use of WorldCat records.

We intend for this document to help inform the decision-making process for member library leaders as they seek to innovate around the shared resource that is WorldCat. We have sought to encourage the widespread use of WorldCat data while also supporting the viability and utility of WorldCat and the OCLC network of services.

The draft policy is not final. Between now and the end of May, we very much want your feedback. We hope you will take the time to review the draft policy carefully, and let us know your thoughts. You can post comments to the community forum, send an e-mail with your thoughts to recorduse@oclc.org, or register to attend a webinar where you can ask questions and submit feedback to members of the Record Use Policy Council. We will continue to add content to the accompanying FAQ as we get more questions from the community review process.

We plan to send a revised version of the draft policy to the OCLC Board of Trustees at the end of May for final review and approval. We anticipate that a final document will be published mid-calendar year 2010.

Many thanks are due to all the members and librarians who commented over the past year and whose feedback helped us formulate this new document. We would especially like to thank the members of the Record Use Policy Council:

  • ChewLeng Beh, Global Council Delegate and Chair, OCLC Asia Pacific Regional Council; and Senior Director, Singapore National Library Board, Singapore
  • Raymond Bérard, Global Council Delegate and Director, ABES, France
  • Karen Calhoun, Vice President, OCLC WorldCat and Metadata Services, OCLC, USA
  • Klaus Ceynowa, Global Council Delegate and Deputy Director General, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, Germany
  • Christopher Cole, Global Council Delegate and Associate Director for Technical Services, National Agriculture Library, USA
  • Lorcan Dempsey, Vice President, OCLC Research and Chief Strategist, OCLC, USA
  • Nancy Eaton, Dean of University Libraries and Scholarly Communications, Penn State University, USA
  • Clifford A. Lynch, Executive Director, Coalition for Networked Information (CNI), USA
  • Brian E. C. Schottlaender, Global Council Delegate and The Audrey Geisel University Librarian, UC San Diego Libraries, USA
  • Lamar Veatch, Global Council Delegate and State Librarian, Georgia Public Library Service–University System of Georgia, USA

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OCLC: Expert Community Experiment and Data

OCLC recently held a number of webinars summing up their Expert Community Experiment. These webinars should be posted soon on their Expert Community Experiment website.

Basically, the information summarized was a compendium and brief analysis of the monthly reports on the Expert Community Experiment. As the monthly statistics indicated, the experiment was a success. The number of institutions that helped enrich records increased. Also, the number of requests to change records sent in to OCLC decreased. Furthermore, many sent in positive comments as to the nature of the experiment. As a result, this experiment is no longer an “experiment”. OCLC catalog members with full level authorization can continue doing the types of changes they did during the experiment.

While the news was not really news, as I listened to the webinar, my attention wondered to the increase in members’ participation and that OCLC has non-profit status. In terms of members’ participation, there was definitely an increase in the level of activity. This was proportional to a significant decrease in the number of change requests sent in one form or another to OCLC. This decrease in requests allowed OCLC to re-direct this extra time to other clean up projects. The idea of other clean up projects is much needed. As many know, there are numerous records in OCLC that definitely should not be there or need to be enriched in one way or another. One of the maintenance priorities is the duplicate record deletion project, which will help clean up the database. Despite these projects, I kept asking myself why I would spend so much time to enhance a record which I might not have access to later on or might have to pay in order to get that data at a later date. For the time being, I work with OCLC. I put a lot of my energy into finding good records, sometimes enhancing others, and various other database maintenance at my own library that inevitably involves consulting Connexion. I know that my work might help another cataloger. Good records makes everyone’s lives easier. However, just who does this data belong to? Who can use it? With the record use policy, why are librarians being asked to make these enhancements if the data is not openly and freely accessible? I thought of these questions in particular when librarians from member libraries are spending their time and energy to enhance these records. It seems that OCLC is profiting from all of this hard work.

This spurred another question. Just how is OCLC a non-profit organization? How does the work we do help us as members of this organization?

Library thing posted on this subject on June 14, 2008 (http://www.librarything.com/thingology/2008/06/oclcs-non-profit-status.php). This is not the first time that OCLC’s non-profit status has been questioned as the article explains:

OCLC’s core business involves maintaining a central database of cataloging records, largely created by others, which member libraries pay to access. That OCLC was a great invention can hardly be denied. Personally, I think it has become a relic and an danger to the future of libraries. Agree with me on this or not, there’s no question it is highly profitable—driving a steady stream of acquisitions—and in its fee structure calls into question the core idea of the non-profit.

What’s interesting is the post goes to say that thanks to a court decision involving library technology development OCLC can keep its non-profit status.

This point was just recently raised again over at “blog.ecorrado.us” in terms of the expansion of WorldCat local towards an ILS type system. The problem justly raised in this post is that OCLC holds a monopoly over library data -data created and maintained by librarians worldwide and done so in the spirit of cooperation and “experiment”. As the article in the April 4, 2009 of Library Journal said, OCLC has a large share of the “marketplace” in spite of its non-profit status. This article as well as the silent undercurrent to the webinar I listened to suggest that OCLC intends not only to make a profit but also control data that libraries rely on daily.

One problem is that OCLC is about the only player in town. Biblios.net is nowhere near as sophisticated or has the amount or diversity of bibliographic records in their database. This means that many if not the majority of libraries rely on OCLC. The question becomes just where will libraries let their reliance take them?

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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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