INTERNATIONAL COALITION OF LIBRARY CONSORTIA (ICOLC)
Statement on the Proposed OCLC Policy for Use and Transfer of WorldCat Records
First issued May 11, 2009, updated periodically with additional endorsements
The “OCLC Policy for Use and Transfer of WorldCat Records” has been widely commented on since its release on November 4, 2008. Both the content of the policy and the process by which it was formulated have been challenged. As a result OCLC has delayed implementation and initiated a Review Board to “Recommend principles of shared data creation and changes in the proposed Policy for Use and Transfer of WorldCat Records that will preserve the community around WorldCat infrastructure and services, and strengthen libraries…The Review Board of Shared Data Creation and Stewardship will present its findings and recommendations to the President of Members Council, the Chair of the Board of Trustees and to the OCLC President and CEO.” (see http://www.oclc.org/worldcat/catalog/policy/board/default.htm)
The member consortia endorsing this ICOLC statement add our recommendation to others in the library community calling for OCLC to withdraw the proposed policy and start anew to formulate a record use policy. Most notably we add our support to the January 30, 2009 Final Report to the ARL Board by the Ad Hoc Task Force to Review the Proposed OCLC Policy for Use and Transfer of WorldCat Records ( http://www.arl.org/news/pr/oclc-policy-20feb09.shtml ). It includes an extended review of the policy and six recommendations. We concur with the ARL report that OCLC develop a new policy based on widespread member library participation with a clear set of goals and explanations as to how the policy will achieve these goals and how member libraries will be affected operationally and legally.
We urge the OCLC Review Board to consider the issues raised in the ARL report and by others in the community. The concerns are substantial and broad and individual ICOLC member consortia will find different concerns most compelling. Underpinning these concerns are several broad issues that we ask the Review Board to consider.
1. The proposed policy appears to freeze OCLC’s role in the library community based on historical and current relationships. We share the concern, voiced by many, that the policy hinders rather than encourages innovation, and we urge the Review Board to carefully examine this issue. It is unclear that the policy has been constructed with a focus on an evolving role of OCLC in enhancing the missions of an international library community with diverse and complex interests.
2. The scope of the proposed policy goes well beyond any concerns about inappropriate commercial exploitation of WorldCat records. It applies as well to non-commercial uses. ICOLC member consortia are member-created, member-driven innovation agents. Our initiatives are generally non-commercial and undertaken with member approval based on member needs. Any OCLC record use policy should account for the rich and diverse innovation that takes place through many consortia.
3. The proposed policy is legally murky.
There is no mechanism for negotiation of terms and conditions nor is
it clear what constitutes acceptance by member libraries. A new policy
must address these problems.
The ICOLC community is mindful of the complex set of relationships and operations that are necessary for libraries to be successful in today’s content rich and technology driven world. There is no single way all the resources necessary for success will be utilized by each library or library consortium. OCLC is one vital component among many that libraries will use.
The ICOLC community encourages OCLC to build on its values as an international membership organization dedicated to helping libraries and consortia provide increased access and control costs. To that end we ask the Review Board to recommend that OCLC reconsider the proposed record use policy and undertake an open, transparent process to determine how best to support libraries around the world.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION ABOUT THIS STATEMENT, PLEASE CONTACT:
Randy Dykhuis, Michigan Library Consortium, Phone: 800-530-9019 x119, Fax: 517-492-3879, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Michele Newberry, Florida Center for Library Automation, Assistant Director for Library Services, Phone: 352-392-9020, Fax: 352-392-9185, Email: email@example.com
John Helmer, Orbis Cascade Alliance, Executive Director, Phone: 541.346.1835, Fax: 541.346.1968, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Adopters of This Statement
This statement is adopted in principle by member representatives of consortia of the "International Coalition of Library Consortia" (ICOLC) that are listed below.
May 11, 2009 (this statement with updates to this list will be posted
periodically to http://www.library.yale.edu/consortia )
About the International Coalition of Library Consortia (ICOLC)
The International Coalition of Library Consortia (ICOLC) has been in existence since 1996. The Coalition is an international, informal group currently comprising approximately 200 library consortia in North and South America, Europe, Australia, Asia, and Africa. The member consortia serve all types and sizes of libraries. ICOLC facilitates discussion among consortia on issues of common interest, and conducts one meeting per year in North America and one meeting per year in Europe. The organization is dedicated to keeping its members informed about electronic information resources, pricing practices of electronic publishers and vendors, and other issues of importance to consortium directors and governing boards. The Coalition also meets with the information provider community to discuss product offerings and issues of mutual concern.
More information about ICOLC can be found
at http://www.library.yale.edu/consortia or contact Tom Sanville, Executive Director,
OhioLINK, Suite 300, 2455 North Star Road, Columbus, OH 43221, Phone:
614-728-3600, ext. 322; email@example.com