Information and the Future

This is the blog of the Information and the Future task force of the Rolfing Library at Trinity International University. The IF task force exists to explore the role of libraries in the future of Christian higher education.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Secret Identities

OCLC has a beta product out called WorldCat Identities. It is an interface that allows you to search for names (real and fictitious) and discover the most widely held works by and about them, among other things.

A couple of things that stand out. Not only does the main search page have a "tag cloud" like interface the font size on search results indicates the prominence or obscurity of the author, the database includes images of book jackets that don't link to Amazon (hmm... wonder where OCLC gets those at), the database is very thorough - even if you've just produced an MA thesis you are still included.

So far there is no way to add to the web pages. It might be interesting to compare Worldcat Ids with the Librarything's author pages - See Vanhoozer in WorldCat and in Librarything by clicking those two links.

Finally, I've been thinking about and plan to post some thoughts on the future of integrated library systems, but this makes me wonder what OCLC could do if it could get access to raw circulation statistics. It would be interesting to see what books are actually being checked out the most and then if the user could set a time parameter so that you could see what has been checked out the most last week, last year, last 5 years, etc.

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