Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Open WorldCat Goes International

Open WorldCat Goes International :

After a successful launch in the USA, Open WorldCat goes international.

The Find in a Library interface is now available in five languages, buying options have been added for extra value and postal code information makes it possible to find the nearest library location for the title in a search result. Open WorldCat makes authoritative information visible and accessible on the open Web.

Although Open WorldCat has been accessible globally since its introduction, simply due to the borderless nature of the Internet, it now really turns international as OCLC PICA works to enhance its local appeal for users around the world.

First of all, in addition to English, the Find in a Library interface is now available in French, German, Spanish and Dutch, making all its features more immediate and meaningful to users for whom these languages are the natural choice. People who use a Web browser set to one of these languages will automatically see the interface in that language. And any Web user can select one of these languages manually once he reaches Find in a Library from an Open WorldCat partner such as Google or Yahoo! Search.

Secondly, for the United Kingdom, Germany and the Netherlands postal code information has been added. Users in those countries can now easily enter their location and identify the closest library with the item of interest to them. For libraries this will lead to increased use of their collections and services through circulation, interlending and enquiries, as experience has shown.

The third improvement is the addition of the (or a regional version) buying option for Web searchers in the UK and Netherlands. This makes Open WorldCat an attractive alternative for directly searching on book vendors’ sites, because now the user will see an alternative to buying: borrowing from the library. Other online book vendors may be added in the near future.

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