CORC project participants hold first meeting
DUBLIN, Ohio, May 24, 1999--Nearly 90 people representing more than 50 institutions participating in OCLC's Cooperative Online Resource Catalog (CORC) research project met in Dublin on April 26-27. Participating institutions in five countries are using a system developed by OCLC's Office of Research to extend the WorldCat collaborative cataloging model to the digital resources of the World Wide Web.
The two-day meeting, hosted by the OCLC Office of Research, was the first face-to-face meeting of the participants since the project came online Jan. 15. It provided an opportunity for representatives and OCLC staff to share experiences from the first few months of the project. Participants provided feedback on the current state of the project and discussed its future directions.
"What we learned from the formal presentations and from just talking with each other was invaluable," said Jacqueline Byrd, head, Area Studies Cataloging Section, Indiana University Libraries. "The CORC system facilitates the cataloging of electronic resources today and eventually will facilitate the access as well. I particularly enjoy the pathfinders, and I believe they will be extremely useful for patrons and public service librarians."
Among the topics covered in relation to the project were: authority control; the Dublin Core; managing digital collections; MARC use; pathfinders; cartography and images; the CORC system and interface; the Dewey Decimal Classification, Text Encoding Initiative, Encoded Archival Description and various other thesauri, classification and metadata schemes; uses of the CORC database in public services; government documents and serials; and the use of CORC outside of North America.
"The CORC project represents the most ambitious project yet undertaken by the OCLC Office of Research," said Terry Noreault, vice president, OCLC Office of Research. "We strongly believe that libraries must serve as the portal of choice for their users' access to the digital information environment. This is a vital mission for libraries so they can fulfill their societal role in enhancing access to information, but it is also important because libraries can do this better than any other institution."
OCLC, in cooperation with libraries around the world, launched the CORC project in January 1999. The research project is exploring the cooperative creation and sharing of metadata by libraries. Libraries use prototype software to contribute to a new database of electronic resource descriptions. Automated tools speed subject assignment, provide authority control, extract descriptors, and translate metadata from Dublin Core format to MARC and other formats.
"Working at one of the largest public libraries in the United States during the last year of the 20th century brings enormous challenges as well as possibilities for services unheard of even a few years ago," said Mary Frances Melnik, chief, Processing Division, Free Library of Philadelphia. "We view CORC as such an opportunity, not only to enrich our collections via our Web pages, but also as an opportunity to share resources with the library community at large. Since public access to information and materials is primary to our mission, ease of access to electronic resources follows as the next logical step. The CORC project, based on the principles of librarianship, provides an automated environment in which to identify, select, catalog and classify important electronic resources, helping us to expand our resources and access to them, and thereby meet our service goals."
"CORC has the potential to be one of the most significant developments in modern librarianship this century-perhaps second only to the development of OCLC itself," said Duncan T.D. Irvine, head, Bibliographic Control, University of Strathclyde, United Kingdom.
Institutions participating in the CORC project currently include:
Participant institutions agree to provide staff time to the project over the next 12-18 months. OCLC expects CORC to grow to over 100 institutions by the end of 1999.