AFFILIATION: OHIO COLLEGE LIBRARY CENTRE (OCLC)
SUB-TITLE: TODAY’S LIBRARY USERS HAVE ACCESS TO THE WORLD’S KNOWLEDGE THROUGH DIGITAL LIBRARY NETWORKS
DUBLIN, Ohio, October 1, 2015—OCLC printed its last library catalog cards today, officially closing the book on what was once a familiar resource for generations of information seekers who now use computer catalogs and online search engines to access library collections around the world.
This final print run marked the end of a service that has steadily decreased over the past few decades as libraries have moved their catalogs online.
“Print library catalogs served a useful purpose for more than 100 years, making resources easy to find within the walls of the physical library,” said Skip Prichard, OCLC President and CEO. “Today, libraries are taking their collections to their users electronically, wherever they may be. Collections are searchable online, and through popular search engines. Thousands of libraries are globally interconnected through high-speed networks, and in many cases their digitized collections are available and accessible to readers and researchers from anywhere in the world.”
As a leading global library cooperative, OCLC provides the shared technology services, original research and programs libraries need to better fuel learning, research and innovation. Through OCLC, member libraries cooperatively produce and maintain WorldCat, the world’s most comprehensive global network of data about library collections and services.
OCLC built the world’s first online shared cataloging system in 1971 and, over decades, merged the catalogs of thousands of libraries through a computer network and database. That database, now known as WorldCat, not only made it possible for libraries to catalog cooperatively, but also to share resources held in other libraries on the network. It also made it possible for libraries to order custom-printed catalog cards that would be delivered to the library already sorted and ready to be filed.
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