New OCLC registry service shines a spotlight on libraries

    Starting today, libraries can increase their visibility on the Web by registering basic local information with the OCLC Library Spotlight program—a free service that works with popular Web services to promote libraries. Yelp, the popular local directory service, has agreed to be one of the first to work with OCLC on this new program.

    OCLC uses information from a variety of sources to prepopulate location and contact information for thousands of libraries. The OCLC Library Spotlight program takes this a step further, providing a single, easy-to-use interface in which any library can add, edit and update its own information once, in order to populate multiple Web destinations. Initial data was taken from the WorldCat Registry, but libraries can add a variety of information, including pictures and links to services, social content and collections. A custom, mobile-optimized link allows libraries to easily publish information to smartphones and other mobile devices.

    “The advantage of this program is that libraries can manage essential information about their local services in one central registry. Their information then becomes available in and is fed into many OCLC partner websites and services,” said Chip Nilges, Vice President, OCLC Business Development. Library information that is entered into the OCLC Library Spotlight program will be syndicated into a variety of online environments and websites to more easily connect information seekers back to libraries.

    OCLC’s Library Spotlight program extends the reach of all libraries to more audiences with essential information about libraries—through and a network of partnerships across the Web. The simple process of claiming and managing a prepopulated profile gives any library a quick path to participation and visibility. This program represents one more way to register library data into the worldwide network of libraries.

    “We are excited at the prospect of having Yelp’s participation in our Library Spotlight program. Because of Yelp’s huge reach into the consumer space—and its commitment to include libraries—all libraries can increase their visibility on this major location service by simply registering with OCLC. It’s a big win for all parties,” said Cindy Cunningham, Director of Partner Programs in OCLC’s Business Development group.

    The initial phase of the program will focus on public and academic libraries in the US. Subsequent phases will include new partners to address additional library types and regions.