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Open records, open possibilities

John Mark Ockerbloom, University of Pennsylvania

Abstract

Slides and prepared remarks for an ALA panel discussion on sharing bibliographic records and OCLC's proposed WorldCat policy.

I give some examples of useful innovations that can advance the mission of libraries when records are openly shared, and argue that more restrictive policies like OCLC's proposal can cost the library community dearly in lost opportunities. I show how the open source community has alternative ways to license work openly, and to cover costs. Finally, I argue that, even if WorldCat is not prepared to open access to all its bibliographic records, the members of the cooperative should be empowered to use and distribute public domain metadata, deposit their own contributions into WorldCat with more liberal licensing, and collectively ratify or reject significant changes to WorldCat policies.

Suggested Citation

John Mark Ockerbloom. "Open records, open possibilities" ALA Midwinter Meeting. Denver, CO. Jan. 2009.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/john_mark_ockerbloom/10