The Internet

A library may make use of the Internet in a number of ways. A library may make the contents of its catalogues searchable online. Some specialised search engines such as Google Scholar offer a way to facilitate searching for academic resources such as journal articles and research papers. The Online Computer Library Center allows library records to be searched online through its WorldCat database.[62] Websites such as LibraryThing and Amazon provide abstracts, reviews and recommendations of books.[62] Libraries provide computers and Internet access to allow people to search for information online.[63] Online information access is particularly attractive to younger library users.[64][65][66][67] Digitisation of books, particularly those that are out-of-print, in projects such as Google Books provides resources for library and other online users. Due to their holdings of valuable material, some libraries are important partners for search engines such as Google in realising the potential of such projects and have received reciprocal benefits in cases where they have negotiated effectively.[68] As the prominence of and reliance on the Internet has grown, library services have moved the emphasis from mainly providing print resources to providing more computers and more Internet access.[69] Libraries face a number of challenges in adapting to new ways of information seeking that may stress convenience over quality,[70] reducing the priority of information literacy skills.[71] The potential decline in library usage, particularly reference services,[72] puts the necessity for these services in doubt. Library scholars have acknowledged that libraries need to address the ways that they market their services if they are to compete with the Internet and mitigate the risk of losing users.[73] This includes promoting the information literacy skills training considered vital across the library profession.[71][74][75] However, marketing of services has to be adequately supported financiall in order to be successful. This can be problematic for library services that are publicly funded and find it difficult to justify diverting tight funds to apparently peripheral areas such as branding and marketing. Online Computer Library Center, Inc. (OCLC) is "a nonprofit, membership, computer library service and research organization dedicated to the public purposes of furthering access to the world’s information and reducing information costs".[2] Founded in 1967 as the Ohio College Library Center, OCLC and its member libraries cooperatively produce and maintain WorldCat, the largest online public access catalog (OPAC) in the world. Originally named the Ohio College Library Center, OCLC began in 1967 through a collaboration of Ohio university presidents, vice presidents, and library directors who wanted to create a cooperative, computerized network for Ohio libraries. The group first met on July 5, 1967 on the campus of Ohio State University to sign the articles of incorporation for the nonprofit organization.[3] The group hired Frederick G. Kilgour, a former Yale University medical school librarian, to design the shared cataloging system [4] Kilgour wished to merge the latest information storage and retrieval system of the time, the computer, with the oldest, the library. His vision of an active rather than passive system where the library would go to the people was a rather revolutionary idea for 1967. The plan was to merge the catalogs of Ohio libraries electronically through a computer network and database in order to streamline operations, control costs, and increase efficiency in library management. The goal of this network and database was to bring libraries together to cooperatively keep track of the world’s information in order to best serve researchers and scholars. The first library to do online cataloging through OCLC was the Alden Library at Ohio University on August 26, 1971. This was the first occurrence of online cataloging by any library worldwide.[3]