The Alberta Library selects OCLC group catalogue as its provincial discovery tool, TAL Online

    The Alberta Library (TAL), a consortium of 49 public, university, college, technical institute and special libraries, has selected a group catalogue solution from OCLC as its provincial discovery tool. The revamped union catalogue, TAL Online, makes 25 million items available to Albertans, and is scheduled to launch in October 2013.

    TAL licensed the group catalogue, powered by OCLC’s WorldCat, using provincial technology funds from the Government of Alberta Public Library Services Branch. TAL Online will serve as the primary resource for residents in Alberta searching for items in libraries throughout the province. Twenty-three new libraries in Alberta are now using OCLC cataloguing services.

    The catalogue will enhance resource sharing for Alberta’s provincially licensed e-content by exposing library resources through online search and social media networks. The project takes full advantage of OCLC’s VDX resource sharing management system already licensed for Alberta public libraries. Users will be able to seamlessly request materials discovered in TAL Online from any public or academic library in the province.

    “By incorporating OCLC Control Numbers into library records to facilitate deep linking and maintaining our holdings in WorldCat, the catalogue will allow our users to connect to our resources through organic search processes that our users already practice,” said Jason Openo, Alberta Public Library Electronic Network (APLEN).

    “WorldCat allows users to search more than 2 billion holdings from the global cooperative’s 20,000 members,” said Daniel Boivin, Executive Director, OCLC Canada, Latin America and the Caribbean. “From the WorldCat Facebook application to our partnerships with sites such as Goodreads and DOGObooks, OCLC and its partner organizations collaborate to provide information seekers a variety of paths to discover valuable library resources online.”

    WorldCat is the most comprehensive online database of resources available through libraries worldwide. In May 2013, the 2 billionth holding was set through an automated process by TAL member University of Alberta Libraries, in Edmonton. The WorldCat interface is available in 10 languages, including English and French, and search results display nearby holding libraries—closest to furthest from the user.

    Mr. Openo will share TAL’s selection process, discuss implementation obstacles and triumphs, and demonstrate how the new catalogue surfaces library collections through social networking sites during his session at the Netspeed 2013 conference in Calgary in October 2013.