DUBLIN, Ohio, USA, 21 June 2010—A new WorldCat record use policy, developed by a Record Use Policy Council and informed by community input, has been approved by the OCLC Board of Trustees. WorldCat Rights and Responsibilities for the OCLC Cooperative will be effective August 1, 2010.
The new policy outlines the rights and responsibilities associated with stewardship of the WorldCat bibliographic and holdings database by and for the OCLC cooperative, including the use and exchange of OCLC member-contributed data comprising WorldCat.
The policy was drafted by the Record Use Policy Council, a group of 12 library leaders charged by the OCLC Board of Trustees to craft a replacement for the Guidelines for Use and Transfer of OCLC Derived Records, which was developed in 1987.
In April 2010, the Record Use Policy Council submitted to the library community and to the OCLC Board a draft policy that began a two-month period of community review and discussion. More than 275 comments were gathered via e-mail, phone, meetings and letters, in an online forum, and by monitoring blogs, listservs, and Twitter. At the end of May, community input was incorporated and a policy statement was submitted to the OCLC Board, which approved the revised document during its June meeting.
"We decided to emphasize a code of good practice for members of the cooperative, based on shared values, trust and reciprocity," said Jennifer Younger, Co-Chair of the Record Use Policy Council, President-Elect, OCLC Global Council and Chair, Board of Directors, Catholic Research Resources Alliance. "The focus of the new policy is on member rights and responsibilities—instead of data ownership issues, detailed provisions or restrictions—with the general aim of fostering innovation in our ever-changing information landscape."
The policy is based on the premise that OCLC members value WorldCat as a comprehensive, timely, and accurate reflection of the consolidated holdings of those members. The policy's intent is to encourage the widespread use of WorldCat bibliographic data while also supporting the ongoing and long-term sustainability and utility of WorldCat and of WorldCat-based services such as resource sharing, cataloging, and discovery.
"The new policy supports library choice in a hybrid environment of metadata types and content standards," said Barbara Gubbin, Co-Chair of the Record Use Policy Council and Director, Jacksonville (Florida) Public Library. "It recognizes as essential the need for OCLC members to share and reuse their data with many partners, across many systems, sites, and applications."
The Record Use Policy Council was named in September 2009 to develop this new policy by providing a broad and inclusive set of perspectives and experiences, determining the current and future information needs of the library community, and gathering and including feedback from the library community.
"We heard from many OCLC members, and we listened," said Larry Alford, Chair of the OCLC Board of Trustees and Dean of University Libraries, Temple University. "This process was an exercise in governance of the collaborative by its members. The result is a new record use policy that will serve the cooperative well as we continue to nurture and grow WorldCat while providing libraries with the flexibility they need to use WorldCat derived data in innovative ways in a rapidly changing information environment."
Mr. Alford acknowledged the work of the Record Use Policy Council. "These global library leaders spent many months grappling with complex issues and listening to library community input," said Mr. Alford. "OCLC members worldwide owe this dedicated group a deep debt of gratitude for their time and hard work."
The new policy will become effective August 1, 2010, replacing the Guidelines for Use and Transfer of OCLC Derived Records. Because the data sharing environment is constantly and rapidly evolving, this new policy will be regularly reviewed to ensure its continued timeliness.
To view the new policy, including a Frequently Asked Questions document and a comparison between the draft submitted for community review and the final document, visit http://www.oclc.org/worldcat/recorduse/default.htm.
Founded in 1967 and headquartered in Dublin, Ohio, OCLC is a nonprofit library service and research organization that has provided computer-based cataloging, reference, resource sharing, eContent, preservation, library management and Web services to 71,000 libraries in 112 countries and territories. OCLC and its member libraries worldwide have created and maintain WorldCat, the world’s richest online resource for finding library materials. Search WorldCat.org on the Web. For more information, visit the OCLC Web site.