OCLC, a non-profit library service and research firm that provides services such as computer-based cataloging and library management, has partnered with Google to exchange data that will facilitate the discovery of library collections through Google search services.
OCLC member libraries that participate in the Google Book Search program (which makes the full text of more than one million books searchable) can share their WorldCat-derived MARC records with Google to help users more easily find library collections through Google. (OCLC's WorldCat is a network of library content and services).
Google will link from Google Book Search to WorldCat.org, which will drive traffic to library OPACs (online public access catalogs) and other library services. Google and OCLC will share data and links to digitized books. WorldCat metadata will be available to Google directly from OCLC or directly through member libraries that participate in the Google Book Search program.
It's so important that, with the wealth of information available online, library content doesn't get lost in the shuffle. Google and OCLC are making sure that doesn't happen. This alliance will make that valuable content even easier to find, and generate more interest in libraries both online and off.
OCLC is well-known for its support of the library system, so forming this partnership with Google only further demonstrates that commitment. The press release announcing this partnership notes that OCLC has already formed alliances with other entities to increase the prominence of libraries on the Web. It also notes that additional, similar alliances are yet to come. It would be more surprising if other partnerships weren't on the horizon for OCLC.