OCLC Circling Closer to Complete Virtual Library
"They're He-e-e-re." Well, almost. OCLC, the leading library information utility, continues its march toward the virtual library by streamlining document delivery -- birth-to-earth, archive-to-access. The latest release of OCLC SiteSearch software lets users go directly from an article citation that appears on a workstation screen to the journal on the library shelf. Release 1.2 introduced the Copy feature that links an article citation to the locally mounted holdings database.
"Well, what's so revolutionary about that?" local technical service librarians may ask. "That still relies on library collections." Uh, huh. The same Copy feature can also access all 44 databases available through the OCLC library patron FirstSearch service. Libraries can offer one interface access to local databases and all 44 files in FirstSearch. Readers may remember that OCLC has promised full document delivery on the whole FirstSearch and EPIC service by 1995. By late summer '94, 25 of FirstSearch's databases offered document delivery linking: ArticleFirst, ABI/ Inform, Agricola, Art Index, Arts and Humanities Search, Biography Index, Book Review Digest, Business Periodicals Index, BusinessNews, Consumers' Index, Education Index, FactSearch, General Science Index, Humanities Index, Inspec, Library Literature, Medline, Microcomputer Abstracts, MLA Bibliography, Periodical Abstracts, PsycFirst, Readers' Guide to Periodical Literature, Readers' Guide Abstracts, Social Sciences Index, and Wilson Business Abstracts. OCLC has also released a delivery option for ASCII full-text databases into the document ordering system. With this integration, the line between a library's holdings and OCLC's blurs.
Release 1.2 also includes software for building local holdings files from a local file in MARC format or from OCLC's Serials Union List. It has improved its Zserv Z39.50 server software interfaces as well. SiteSearch runs on Unix platforms including IBM RS/6000, SunOS, Sun Solaris, DEC Ultrix, and DEC Alpha. Fully bundled the SiteSearch software costs around $50,000.
But That's Not All
OCLC has also received a $62,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Education to support building a catalog of Internet resources. They will initiate a nationwide, coordinated effort among libraries and institutions of higher education to create, implement, test, and evaluate a searchable database of USMARC format bibliographic records, complete with electronic location and access information, for Internet-accessible materials. …