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WorldCat Mobile pilot extended to Europe

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OCLC’s WorldCat Mobile pilot has been extended to Europe. This programme makes collections from libraries visible through mobile devices. It combines the WorldCat.org online resource for finding information in libraries with the advanced global positioning capabilities found in most mobiles.

Users can search for and find books and other materials available in libraries near them through a web application accessed from a PDA or smartphone. Users can even get a Google Maps view of the library location along with detailed driving instructions if the mobile device supports the application.

The pilot has already been running in the USA and Canada. Now phones in the Netherlands, Germany, the UK, and France can be used to access it.

‘People are using their mobile phones today as if they were hand-held computers,’ said Cindy Cunningham, OCLC director of partner programs. ‘OCLC wants to make sure that libraries are where people are seeking information. The WorldCat Mobile pilot will help us to gauge the kind of interest people have in accessing library information from their mobile phones—wherever they may be.’

The WorldCat Mobile pilot application was created in collaboration with Boopsie, a USA-based provider of software for mobile devices. It supports many devices, including Nokia, Blackberry and iPhone.

As this is a pilot, OCLC are keen to receive feedback from European users as to their experiences with the service. Anyone wishing to comment can do so by emailing WorldCatMobilePilot@oclc.org.