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Saturday, 30th January 2010

New from OCLC: “Find a Library” Database from WorldCat Adds Tools To Assist Finding by "Type" of Library

This feature has been needed for some time but more work has to be done if it's for end users and info pros.

So, what's the deal?

It's rather simple. Facets appear on results pages of the "Find a Library Near You" database. That database can be accessed here: http://www.worldcat.org/libraries.

Once you enter a location, look for the library type facets in the left column. Click, and you can see all of the libraries in the area/Zip Code you've selected. In some cases, you can go directly from this page to that libraries, online catalog, ask a librarian service, etc.

Library Type Facets Include:

+ Academic Research Libraries (ARLs)

+ Academic libraries

+ Archives

+ Governmental libraries

+ Library Networks

+ Public libraries

+ Schools

+ Corporate or Special libraries

If this is a service intended for end users (maybe it's not and that's o.k.) then more work needs to be done defining what each library type means and more importantly, which ones a user has access or potential access to. For example, I may live two blocks from an academic library and it shows up in my search results but I can't use it. Other questions an end user might ask:

+ What's the Difference Between a Research Library and the university library two blocks away? Can I use them? Can I get books from them?
+ I pay my taxes can I use a government library like the Library of Congress?
+ What's a special library?

Regardless of who this database is intended for, this new feature is a welcome addition to the WorldCat toolbelt. Hopefully, it will get better over time.

Here's the WorldCat Blog entry.

Source: WorldCat Blog


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