Want a book? Find it at a Library [instead].
June 10, 2004 7:09 PM   Subscribe

Find in a Library: Search for a book [any Google-powered engine will do], find the "Find in a Library" link, and OCLC will provide a list of member libraries in your geographic area that have the book. In something called "open pilot" through the end of the month.
posted by britain (13 comments total)
Combined with a reciprocal borrowing program and a car, some would find this a more flexible alternative to an Interlibrary Loan.
posted by britain at 7:13 PM on June 10, 2004

Thank you for this. :)
posted by ltracey at 7:22 PM on June 10, 2004

John Udell has also created a bookmarklet called LibraryLookup that will interface with your library's card catalog via a ISBN code. If your library is not listed, configure it yourself.
After you've "installed" your bookmarklet in this way, you can look up books at your local library. Let's say you're on a book-related site (Amazon, BN, isbn.nu, All Consuming, possibly others), and a book's info page is your current page. (Specifically: its URL contains an ISBN. Choose a hardcover edition for best results -- see tips below.) You can click your bookmarklet to check if the book is available in your local library. The bookmarklet will invoke your library's lookup service, feed it the ISBN, and pop up a new window with the result.
This is all good stuff and I think it greatly increases the value of the local library.
posted by ajr at 7:29 PM on June 10, 2004

Fine print alert:

The Open WorldCat pilot will run through June 2004 ..... By June 2004, OCLC will decide whether to proceed with implementation of an ongoing service.
posted by blucevalo at 8:03 PM on June 10, 2004

The LibraryLookup bookmarklet is, seriously, the Internet's sole redeeming quality.
posted by cmonkey at 8:27 PM on June 10, 2004

Very cool. Thanks briitain and ajr .. the kind of thing that should existed a long time ago. I guess we have all been waiting for the books to be digitized and forgot that books online and books in hand are two diffrent mediums neither will replace the other but they can be cross refrenced.
posted by stbalbach at 8:33 PM on June 10, 2004

Hey, now, I did note the fine print. I even put it in smaller text.

I was really happy to see this, because when I make reference to books I like to have a link to them, but not every author has a website like Po Bronson or Chuck Palahniuk, and I felt uncomfortable turning every book reference into a shill for Earth's Biggest Whatever-We-Want-To-Start-Selling-This-Weekstore.

That bookmarklet is even better because now when I go to oneathose pages, I can just use it as a reference to get to what I really want to see, which is whether my library will have it. I am fortunate enough to have a good library in my township -- they even have unabridged audiobooks in mp3 format on CDs, and the most extensive collection of Detroit garage bands I've seen. And they got the new Paul Weller album before I even knew it was out. Anyway, I move at the end of the summer and will miss the library most of all. Yes, even more than the police.
posted by britain at 9:19 PM on June 10, 2004

Thank you britian and ajr. Very useful.
posted by quasistoic at 9:30 PM on June 10, 2004

I'm confused. Worldcat web access has been around since... I think 1997, at least. I used to work at BYU's interlibrary loan 10 years ago, and got used to using it as a tool, and was overjoyed when it came on the web.

Did I hallucinate that event?
posted by weston at 10:20 PM on June 10, 2004

Weston: Worldcat's been online forever but it hasn't been open to the public. It's a paid service, mostly for librarians, and, like everything else the World Library Hegemony OCLC does, it ain't cheap.
posted by IshmaelGraves at 5:45 AM on June 11, 2004

WorldCat web access isn't anything new, but I've only recently noticed WorldCat records turning up in my Google searches. Hey! You got Google in my WorldCat! But maybe I just wasn't paying attention. Now a googleable WorldCat database would, be, like, the greatest thing ever, especially if you could target your search to specific MARC fields. But at that point the proprietary WorldCat front end becomes ... what? Pointless? A loss leader?
posted by octobersurprise at 5:50 AM on June 11, 2004

My apologies, Britain. I'm blind and didn't see your fine print.
posted by blucevalo at 8:29 AM on June 11, 2004

'scool, brothah. =)

I used to work for a library, and I'd never heard of this until the other night when I saw that "Find in a Library" result when I googled an author-title combo.
posted by britain at 7:10 AM on June 12, 2004

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