WorldCat Registry: Making the case for a comprehensive registry of library data
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A many-to-many problem exists in the exchange of data among libraries, consortia, and electronic content vendors. Currently numerous vendors maintain separate closed registries of essentially the same kinds of library information such as contacts, geographic sites, IP addresses, etc. The problem for libraries is that they are expected to maintain this data in many places if they want to ensure continuity of service from the vendors. In turn, the vendors have an ongoing problem with data currency in delivering their content and services to libraries. One way to solve this problem is with a comprehensive central registry of library data that could be used to improve efficiencies throughout the e-content supply chain, and in the process improve what is becoming a difficult workflow issue for librarians. The purpose of this presentation is to introduce the WorldCat Institution Registry as a way to improve the efficiency of the current situation. The WorldCat Institution Registry is a free service from OCLC designed to enable the secure exchange of data among libraries, consortia and e-content suppliers. We will examine the motivation to launch the service, the expected value across the e-content supply chain, and some examples of how the service can be used by a library to facilitate the exchange of data with vendors.