May 16, 2022

OCLC and Google Now Connect Web Searchers Directly to Library Collections, Initial Phase of Project Goes Live

From OCLC:

OCLC and Google are working together to link directly from books discovered through Google Search to print book records in the catalogs of hundreds of U.S. libraries. This feature is part of Google’s ongoing effort to connect people to their local libraries through Google Search.

The initial phase of this new program connects people using Google Search to the catalogs of hundreds of U.S. libraries whose books are cataloged in WorldCat, a worldwide database of information about library collections, and made available for discovery on the web. The program is expected to expand to more libraries and connect to more library resources in the future.

“People use Google to search the web billions of times every day,” said Skip Prichard, OCLC President and CEO. “OCLC and Google are working to ensure that the rich collections of libraries are part of their everyday search for knowledge and information. This new program offers a direct link from Google Search results to books held in libraries near them. It’s a significant step forward to bring local library collections closer to people through a simple search.”

These links to library catalogs can be found in several different displays of Google Search results for specific books, including under “Get” or “Borrow” the book options in the knowledge panel, or within Google Books previews.

More than 500 million records representing 3 billion items held in libraries have been added to the WorldCat database since its inception since 1971. Libraries cooperatively contribute, enhance, and share bibliographic data through WorldCat, connecting people to cultural and scholarly resources in libraries worldwide.

OCLC has worked with Google for more than 13 years to increase access to information in libraries on the web. Currently, people using Google Search can access results from WorldCat.org, the website where anyone can search the collective collections of libraries and find what they need in a library close to them.  [Emphasis Ours] This new initiative links from Google Search results directly to records of print books in academic, public, and cultural heritage institution libraries near the user.

OCLC member libraries included in this program receive expanded Google visibility as a benefit of existing OCLC subscriptions. Inclusion requires that eligible libraries maintain current WorldCat holdings and accurate address and catalog link information in the WorldCat Registry.

More about OCLC’s web visibility program is on the website at oc.lc/visibility.

See Also: From 2017: Google Search Results Now Include Direct Links to Borrow Ebooks From (Some) Libraries

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.

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