Worldcat Helps Locate Books Worldwide

Gillian Durham reports that the "world's largest library catalog", WorldCat, is now available to search free online.

Gillian Durham writes:

The "world's largest library catalog", WorldCat, put out by the OCLC organization, is now available for free over the web:

What does this mean?

You may be able to find a library near you that owns something you want to use. Most libraries will let you into their stacks to look at materials and take notes, and probably do some fair-use photocopying. (always phone before going!)

Except in the rarest of cases, if you want to *borrow* anything, you will still need to find a library which will order for you any materials you find in this catalog -- you can't order it directly. Try your local public library first; if they don't offer full nationwide/worldwide ILL (if they only borrow from other public libraries, for instance) you may need to check with a local academic library. If you are not affiliated with an academic library, you may be able to get "community patron" or "courtesy patron" privileges, although these may require an annual fee. Be sure interlibrary loan is included in the privileges.

Also, some libraries welcome the printout of libraries owning a specific item, others do not.

YIS -- Gillian Durham