OCLC Online Computer Library Center, a library cooperative, and Yahoo! Inc. have announced a pilot program that leverages the Yahoo! Toolbar and Yahoo! Search in an effort to enable users to explore the Web as well as a subset of the OCLC WorldCat database. The companies have collaborated on a co-branded toolbar that provides consumers with access to 2 million records found in WorldCat, a central catalog of library holdings created and maintained collectively by more than 9,000 libraries.
The Yahoo!/OCLC toolbar is a project associated with Open WorldCat, a new OCLC initiative designed to increase the online visibility of libraries and their collections. OCLC will be promoting the co-branded toolbar on its Web site, providing consumers access to information that was previously only available through libraries. The toolbar is intended to enable consumers to narrow their search results to the WorldCat database and help them locate libraries in their vicinity that have the record, book, or document that they are looking for. OCLC and Yahoo! will work together to increase accessibility to more of WorldCat's records as they become available.
To access WorldCat's records, consumers enter a query in the search box located in the toolbar and either click the WorldCat logo or use the drop-down menu which features a "libraries" link. Consumers will then be prompted for their zip code to determine if the library materials they are looking for are available in a nearby library. The Yahoo!/OCLC Toolbar also includes a drop-down menu, located next to the WorldCat logo, which provides access to the OCLC FirstSearch service; the NetLibrary eBook service; the OCLC member library list; the OCLC Web site; and a link to the About WorldCat site which leads to more information on the database.
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