Sunday, April 01, 2007

Surely in Doubt

I feel rich,
I feel poor,
I'm in doubt,
I feel sure
I Must Be In Love” – The Rutles (Web site ; WCid ; Wikipedia) (Song composed by Neil Innes)

Dateline: 1 April 2007

Well, it looks like we’ve been scooped!

Rumors of OCLC’s pending sale to a certain search appliance company have made a full round on the Web, and we at OCLC didn’t even get a memo! (N.B. Google did have an announcement today, but it wasn’t really OCLC-related...) Hrrmph!

I direct you to the following posts:
Google Buys OCLC, Announces New Products
Google Acquires OCLC, World Domination Near Total
Google Buying OCLC: An Early Analysis

This news represents a significant speed-up of the calendar for such a merger as rumored earlier by Ed Valauskas (as reported here) which gave us till at least 2014.

Frankly, we were hoping for the additional time to allow us to try and clean up those pesky ending-marks-of-punctuation* shortfalls in WorldCat (there is company lore that OCLC Research has a full-stop recycling bin in its office area – they take some full-stops out of the records, put the full-stops back in the records ; there have even been persistent rumors that our Dewey Services colleagues once thought about approaching ALA Editions to sell the surplus as micro-Dots (for those who remember poor Dot, a cheerful Dewey icon now relegated to a screensaver, sniff. ;( but ALA chose to offer other options instead (search "Dewey").)

“News” indeed! (Chuckle!)

Well in the spirit of things then, watch this space for the announcement of the availability of the Google WorldCat deluxe card catalog – 100M+ card sets and counting... ;)

(*For you non-catalogers, library cataloging rules provide simple-yet-difficult-to-follow rules regarding the correct marks of punctuation to separate different parts of a catalog entry. And yes, Alice, I can sense your eyes starting to glaze over now... ;)

[Image courtesty of Ben Ostrowsky]


Alice said...

Hey! I supported cataloging when I first started at OCLC. That was back when the 856 field was novel and subfield B was breaking into the big time. When CORC was just starting in product-land...

Eric said...

Alice, I have never doubted your adoration of the cataloger. :)