Shanghai Library joins global database

Updated: 2014-09-04 09:19

By AMY HE in New York(China Daily USA)

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Shanghai Library joins global database

Shanghai Library, one of the largest libraries in the world, has now joined the WorldCat library database, which catalogs the full collections of more than 74,000 libraries across the world. Provided to China Daily

Shanghai Library, one of the largest libraries in the world, added close to a million new bibliographic entries to online library database WorldCat, which itemizes the collections of more than 74,000 libraries in 170 countries around the world.

The library contributed to the system 770,000 unique bibliographic records, which span books and journals published in Chinese and other languages between 1911 and 2013, the Online Computer Library Center (OCLC) announced on Tuesday.

In addition, the library contributed 2 million holdings to WorldCat, which means that of the database's 325 million unique records of books and publications, 2 million of those are available at the Shanghai Library, OCLC spokesman Bob Murphy told China Daily.

Ohio-based OCLC, founded in 1967, is a nonprofit computer library service and research organization that libraries across the world use to manage, acquire and catalog their materials. OCLC and its member libraries produce and maintain WorldCat, which has been in existence since 1971.

"We are pleased to add Shanghai Library's holdings to WorldCat, which is the global union catalog of library collections," said Shanghai Library's director Wu Jianzhong in a statement.

"Shanghai is a renowned global city, and the library should be as well," Wu said. "With WorldCat, we not only raise the visibility of our collection to a global level, but we also share our national heritage and identity with other libraries and their users through the OCLC WorldShare Interlibrary Loan service."

With the WorldShare Interlibrary Loan service, participating libraries can make their titles available for loan if another library puts in a loan request.

Founded in 1952, Shanghai Library is the second-largest library in China after the National Library of China in Beijing. The library has a collection of more than 53 million items in Chinese and other languages and was the first library in the country to establish an e-book loaner program, according to its website.

"The leadership of Shanghai Library has a bold global vision," said Andrew Wang, vice-president of OCLC Asia Pacific. "The addition of Shanghai Library's holdings and unique records enriches coverage of the Chinese collection in WorldCat for researchers everywhere."

Shanghai Library has been a member of the OCLC since 1996. The library had merged with the Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of Shanghai in 1995 to make it the first library in China to "combine public library services with science, technology and industry research functions", the library said.

Wang, who visited the Shanghai Library in April, told China Daily in an email: "In China, the National Library of China, Shanghai Library and Hangzhou Library have contributed information about their library collections to WorldCat. Through WorldCat, library users can find what library materials are available and where in the world this information can be located. Through OCLC's WorldShare Interlibrary Loan service, libraries can borrow and lend their library materials around the world."

"The more participating libraries there are, the more value is added to WorldCat," Murphy said.

WorldCat's database spans more than 6,000 years of recorded knowledge in 485 languages and each second, seven records are added to the system by member libraries, according to OCLC. In addition to WorldCat, OCLC maintains the Dewey Decimal System, the main library classification system used by libraries across the world.