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Free registry service promises to increase library visibility

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Libraries are expected to be able to increase their visibility on the web by registering basic local information with the OCLC Library Spotlight programme, which works with popular web services to promote libraries. The local directory service Yelp is one of the first to work with OCLC on the new programme.

OCLC uses information from a variety of sources to prepopulate location and contact information for thousands of libraries. The programme is said to provide a single, easy-to-use interface in which any library can add, edit and update its own information once, in order to populate multiple web destinations. Initial data was taken from the WorldCat Registry, but libraries can add a variety of information, including pictures and links to services, social content and collections. A custom, mobile-optimised link allows libraries to easily publish information to smartphones and other mobile devices.

'The advantage of this programme is that libraries can manage essential information about their local services in one central registry. Their information then becomes available in WorldCat.org and is fed into many OCLC partner websites and services,' said Chip Nilges, vice president, OCLC Business Development.

The initial phase of the programme will focus on public and academic libraries in the USA. Subsequent phases will include new partners to address additional library types and regions, says the organisation.