Andy : February 2008 Archives
Like many book enthusiasts (or information junkies), once I learn a new tool, I like to play with it. That's what I've been doing with the list function on WorldCat.org. Not really looking for anything, just trying to get a feel for the current zeitgeist of the features. One of the first things I noticed was the (seemingly, to me) high incidence of non-English lists. Now, WorldCat (the database) has all kinds of non-English materials, but since I don't often go searching, myself, for stuff I can't read, the volume wasn't ever apparent. While searching for lists, it is.
I found -- again, just by accident -- a list of "Haggard Chinese Books" that is, according to its creator, "not a complete list of every title in the library," but still... one would think that 227 items (as of my last visit) is a good start. The list's creator, dongxiao, also has lists of Haggard Chinese DVD's, Haggard Chinese CD's, and Haggard Chinese children's collection. Since every list in WorldCat.org has a separate RSS feed, it would be very easy for a Haggard user interested in new Chinese materials available at the library to keep updated on dongxiao's additions, or for a blogger to post them on a Web page. We can see from his list that he's been adding items since June of 2007, and as recently as January 18, 2008.
Getting library materials out into "the world" is one of the big ideas behind WorldCat.org. For a user (or librarian) anywhere (in this case, I believe, based on a quick Google search, Plano, Texas) to be able to easily create a list of materials based on any criteria, and share it in a way that allows it to be monitored by interested searchers... that's world-y.