Monday, October 10, 2005

Reputation is stronger than truth

A MARC Database Manager and Senior Cataloger at the State Library of North Carolina was on her toes last week. She sent me the story "The Mining of the Invisible Web," and I just about fell on the floor. There is a line in the article,
"Meanwhile Google is creating a comprehensive bibliographic database that it calls WorldCat to search for and find information formerly only found in libraries."

Maybe I've been on my soapbox again lately, talking about reporters checking facts (or NOT checking facts, as the case may be).

I asked if I could share it with everyone, to which she answered:
"Please do share it! I'm so glad you enjoyed it. Though I am steamed on behalf of OCLC and thousands of nameless catalogers that one of our major cooperative products is being attributed to Google..."

And I am pleased to report, there are a number of comments (6 so far) to correct the author. The most colorful, I have to say, is "Sergey Brin was just a gleam in his daddy's eye when OCLC invented WorldCat!"

The other thing it tells me, is that we (OCLC) need to make sure it's very clear who is doing what: librarians and library staff members are building WorldCat. Google is simply indexing it and making it visible/accessible on a much wider scale.

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