Dublin, Ohio -- July 18, 2014. Anet, a consortium of 20 Belgian academic and special libraries, including the University of Antwerp and the City of Antwerp Heritage Library, has signed an agreement with OCLC to add some 2 million records to WorldCat.
Anet is the first library consortium from Belgium to load records into WorldCat, the set of databases that together comprise the most comprehensive global network of data about library collections and services. WorldCat data is contributed, maintained and shared by libraries around the world. It is managed and enhanced by OCLC. WorldCat data supports a range of OCLC and partner services, driving efficiency in library management, improving discovery of library collections and increasing the visibility of libraries on the Web.
Anet consortium members have been cooperatively cataloguing and managing their own collections since 1985 using a proprietary library technology developed and hosted by the University of Antwerp. The need to increase visibility of their collections on the Internet inspired the decision to load records into WorldCat, according to Anet members. Information seekers often begin their research through websites like Yahoo! and Google. OCLC's syndication program enables WorldCat data to be made available through those consumer service providers to increase visibility, efficiency and use of libraries, their collections and services.
"Although most of the collections in Anet's libraries are general in nature and serve diverse research and education communities, some of the collections—especially old and rare books—are rather unique," said Trudi Noordermeer, director of the University of Antwerp library. "We want researchers from around the world to be aware of our materials and we want them to be accessible to a global research community. We see the opportunity to load our metadata in WorldCat as a great way to realise this mission."
"OCLC's linked data strategy, together with our participation in WorldCat, offers us great opportunities to develop new library search and discovery services using OCLC's linked data sets such as VIAF and WorldCat Works," added Ms. Noordermeer.
"This announcement is a very important development in building closer collaboration with Belgian libraries," said Eric van Lubeek, Managing Director, OCLC EMEA. "As a cooperative, we are passionate about raising the visibility of libraries where their users are, which is typically on the Web. We look forward to working with Anet to expose their collections to users worldwide."
Libraries in some 170 countries and territories have contributed holdings in WorldCat, and there are more than 485 languages and dialects represented in the database.
More about WorldCat is on the OCLC website.
Founded in 1967, OCLC is a nonprofit, membership, computer library service and research organization dedicated to the public purposes of furthering access to the world's information and reducing library costs. More than 74,000 libraries in 170 countries have used OCLC services to locate, acquire, catalog, lend, preserve and manage library materials. Researchers, students, faculty, scholars, professional librarians and other information seekers use OCLC services to obtain bibliographic, abstract and full-text information when and where they need it. OCLC and its member libraries cooperatively produce and maintain WorldCat, the world's largest online database for discovery of library resources. Search WorldCat.org on the Web. For more information, visit the OCLC website.