Presentation Details

The Second International Conference on the Future of the Book

WorldCat = Worldwide Access

Prof. Anna H. Perrault.

International collecting patterns of books as reflected in the OCLC WorldCat database are explored in this paper. OCLC, Inc., a non-profit bibliographic utility based in Dublin, Ohio in the US, has worldwide library membership. WorldCat is an international database which contains approximatey 50 million bibliographic records, of which over 90% are for single items, mainly printed books. In 2002, the author conduceted a study utilizing a 10% systematic sample of the book records in WorldCat. The sample records were analyzed by publication date, seven language categories, 31 primary subject categories, and five type of library groupings. The seven languages were English, German, French, Spanish, Chinese, Japanese, and Russian. The findings of the study form a profile of the universe of book publications under bibliographic control and owned by libraries worldwide. While WorldCat is a proprietary database accessible to OCLC member libraries, recent developments indicate that worldwide access will be provided in the near future through Internet search engines. Selected findings from the WorldCat study are presented in the paper. The findings are interpreted in light of the history of the book and international collecting patterns for books. Implications for worldwide access to books for scholarly research and the future of the book are considered.


Prof. Anna H. Perrault  (United States)
School of Library and Information Science
University of South Florida

Anna H. Perrault is Professor in the School of Library and Information Science at the University of South Florida. She received the Ph.D in Information Studies from the Florida State University in 1994. Perrault is widely published and is internationally know for her bibliometric research in academic library collections. Her latest study is of the monographic records in OCLC's WorldCat.

  • Bibliometrics
  • International collecting patterns for books
  • Universal access

(30 min. Conference Paper, English)