Watwood, Carol L.
August 2004
Kentucky Libraries;Summer2004, Vol. 68 Issue 3, p20
Academic Journal
The article focus on the availability and usefulness of WorldCat, a bibliographic database. WorldCat contains 57 million bibliographic records from more than 40,000 libraries in 82 countries. In April 2004, WorldCat was improved with facilities such as enhanced keyword searching and more accurate ranking of results . Keywords may be searched, truncated, or combined in a way familiar to users of Google or Yahoo. WorldCat is envisioned as being "the centerpiece in a global, Web-based digital network of information resources". WorldCat features three levels of searching: "basic," "advanced," and "expert". WorldCat can identify works that every library ought to own, and serve as a useful check for important items that may have been overlooked. WorldCat is quite useful in identifying state-specific material in all subject areas. A WorldCat keyword search effectively locates both fiction and nonfiction books about Kentucky. Furthermore, WorldCat can serve as one indicator of a book's quality, as it has been judged by other librarians. An unfamiliar title, especially if it has been out for a while, may be compared with other titles published on the same subject at the same time. WorldCat contains a wealth of useful information and can be a valuable tool to build and tailor collections for the special needs of Kentucky readers.


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