> On 11/9/07 11:24 AM, "Joseph Lucia" <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> > At the recent OCLC Members Council meeting there was some strong support
> > voiced from the floor during OCLC management's general presentation for such
> > an API, but it is not clear where OCLC stands on the matter. The answers from
> > OCLC officers about this were hedgy, though they hinted at some sort of
> > development in progress.  Others may know more.   They (OCLC) are clearly
> > focused on the market position of WorldCat Local and a robust and extensive
> > API might undercut that -- but probably only with one market sector.  We need
> > to keep pressing the issue.
> >
> > *********
> > Joe Lucia
> > University Librarian
> > Villanova University
> > 610-519-4290

Note that this is also a governance issue. Members Council is advisory,
except for appointing six of the fifteen trustees; the remaining nine
are self-appointed, and include the president of OCLC.

Like many organizations, OCLC is struggling with its own issues of
"sharing and trust" (I consider the recent, very excellent OCLC report
to be on some level an unconscious roman a clef). OCLC throwing small
bones such as "we might make an API available" while clearly not
actually *doing* this is one reason why even people fully committed in
principle to the idea of a global networked catalog--on paper, the
*only* sensible model--remain a bit coy about throwing their hat into
the WC Local ring. I do understand OCLC's fear--let go of the "goods",
and OCLC will cannibalize its own revenue stream--but I think they're
greatly underestimating the extent to which they are a service, not a
data, provider.

I hope this isn't read as too critical. Many library organizations are
struggling with similar change issues. Just wanted to bring up some of
hte organizational complexities underlying decision-making.

K.G. Schneider
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