DUBLIN, Ohio, USA, 12 January 2010. iPhone users can now download the RedLaser application to scan a barcode on a book and find that book in a nearby library using data from WorldCat, the world's largest online database of records representing items held in libraries.
RedLaser, developed by Occipital, of Boulder, Colorado, is a barcode scanning application and technology for the iPhone, available through the Apple App Store. The RedLaser app, which is currently among the top 25 paid apps in the App Store, turns the iPhone camera into a barcode scanner. For book barcodes, the app uses WorldCat APIs to deliver localized U.S. library results based on the user’s geolocation, providing library holdings, library location, contact and map information.
WorldCat APIs are available to anyone interested in creating noncommercial mash-ups or mobile apps that include library data. Commercial apps like RedLaser use the WorldCat Search API through a simple partnership agreement.
"OCLC continues to explore new and different ways to provide library data where users need it," said Mike Teets, Vice President, OCLC Enterprise Architecture. "Mobile devices are fast becoming the medium of choice for access to information for many people. RedLaser's innovative app for the iPhone puts information from thousands of libraries at the user's fingertips."
OCLC also offers several other mobile applications and access points to library information from WorldCat. The WorldCat Mobile pilot app is available for download on a variety of Web-enabled phones in the U.K., U.S., Netherlands, Germany, France and Canada at www.worldcat.org/mobile. A version of the WorldCat Mobile pilot app is also available for use on all Android phones, including the Motorola Droid and the new Google Nexus One.
WorldCat is the world's largest database of bibliographic information built continuously by OCLC member libraries around the world since 1971. WorldCat maintains persistent, Web-accessible identifiers to bibliographic descriptions of items in libraries and connection information to the institutions that hold each item. The institutions share these records, using them to create local catalogs, arrange interlibrary loans and conduct reference work. Libraries contribute records for items not found in WorldCat using the OCLC shared cataloging system.
There are now more than 165 million records in WorldCat spanning five millennia of recorded knowledge. Like the knowledge it describes, WorldCat grows steadily. Every second, OCLC and its member libraries add seven records to WorldCat.
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 72,000 libraries in 112 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 Web site.