Monday, March 27, 2006

"What's 'OCLC'?" the woman sitting next me to at Library System new employee orientation the other week asked.

What is this, comps? No, wait, that was an extremely fair question. The degreed librarian at the front of the room had just used the abbreviation more than once in a setting that specifically included people new to our place of employment and profession; that specifically included the bookkeeper, the circulation staff (no MLS necessary), IT technicians (I think one has an MLS), and librarians. It's No Fair to use an abbreviation without defining it when you are orienting people.

I think I used its interlibrary loan function to explain it to her, though I may have said something thorough like, "Among the other ways it networks libraries, it's the system that makes ILL [I knew she knows that one!] work."

Today, I'll add that they own -- oh, sorry "administer," the website says -- the Dewey Decimal System and throw in their own mission-statement sounding description:

"Founded in 1967, OCLC Online Computer Library Center is a nonprofit, membership, computer library service and research organization dedicated to the public purposes of furthering access to the world's information and reducing information costs. "

I bring all of this up as a way to introduce the linked list, below, brought to my attention by a colleague. To simplify, I'll say that OCLC "member libraries" join the organization to get a lot of their cataloging done for them (this is what I used to do at the library at the University of Mississippi) and to use the interlibrary loan network (to ask a national consortium of libraries, Hey, can you send my patron a VHS of "2002 Olympic Highlights"? (Yes, someone could!)). Here, then, is OCLC's list of Top 1000 titles owned by its member libraries.

CNB, prepare to be annoyed that "Garfield" tops "Doonesbury" and "Calvin and Hobbes" -- and I can't find any "Bloom County"!

Lis, Light in the Attic is number 972.

P, Cat in the Hat tops Green Eggs and Ham.

Capital City weather: sunny and warmer, 60 today
At the Byrd: King Kong
Reading: The Museum at Purgatory
, Nick Bantock


Fringe Element Enthusiast said...

No way, Green Eggs and Ham is a wonderful story about not knocking something till you try it. (passing some ketchup for those eggs) Plus, the rhythm is far more melodious when read. Cat in the Hat is just trash the house when the folks are away. And Green Eggs & Ham will never, ever star Mike Myers.... hee hee

Anonymous said...

Yes, but did you ever see/hear Jesse Jackson read Green Eggs and Ham on SNL (1990's ish?)
Very, Very funny!

Anonymous said...

Jesse was incredible.

Q: Did you mean "admistrator" instead of administer (linked word-above) Just wondering.


LisaBe said...

okay, but silverstein has some better stuff. what's the uncle something-or-other?
p.s. i use worldcat/oclc about a zillion times a day.
p.s. i think i'm going to start saying p.s. out loud when i speak an afterthought aloud. think mike myers doing linda richman. talk amongst yourselves.

Fringe Element Enthusiast said...

Lisabe is correct. Silverstein wins. Two words:

Runny Babbit.


Daniel said...

I am a bad '70s child. I am also a bad Sig Ep.

Dr. Seuss was THE childhood choice of my generation, and the man himself was a fraternity brother. Yet, I never liked his work, even as a child. It was always just too smarty-pants and avant-garde for me; even as a child I tended towards the Upstanding and Respectable. "Make Way for Ducklings" ranked way ahead of "The Cat in the Hat." As for "Green Eggs and Ham:" well, I've never tried chocolate-covered grasshoppers and I'm not about to start now.

Truculuent rootbound citizens, untie!

Lisa said...

Mitch, your public library owns Uncle Shelby's Giraffe and a Half, Uncle Shelby's Story of Lafacadio, the Lion Who Shot Back, and Uncle Shelby's ABC Book: A Primer for Tender Young Minds.

P, no, the typo in that sentence was "the" when it should have been "they."

Phil, that is a very billy sook. ;)

And, finally, don't any of you let Dan fool you into thinking that Seuss went to W&M with him! Seuss went Dartmouth two or more generations before Daniel pledged the same fraternity.

vj said...

Mein Gott in Himmel, Garfield beat Tom Sawyer?? I'm a big comics fan, but I had no idea!

cnb said...


First of all, Jim Davis, the creator of Garfield, has put out HOW many books? I swear there are at least 50 of those annoying 6 in. tall "Garfield Eats Again" (or some other idiotic pun) books. They don't even fit on shelves properly. He ranks higher only because of output. The worst part is he can't be stopped.

You can always find Garfield books at bin sales, or old bookstores. I find its harder to find good quality copies of Doonesbury and Peanuts.

Berke Breathed (Bloom County's creator) just hasn't put out enough books. I know I've certainly said that all along. Between the 3 cartoons, Bloom County, Outland, and Opus (people always ask me
"Aren't they really all the same?"), I just don't think he has enough books to rate on the list.

I just can't believe Peanuts is at # 69. tho'. Schulz is thought of as a god in the comics world. I know Bill Watterson (Calvin & Hobbes creator) considers Schulz to be his greatest influence.

And hey.... who woulda thought that The Divine Comedy would be 4th?! Not me, man. And of courses, my fave rave, "The Prince" is #60.

2nd. Jesse doing "Green Eggs" was funnier than anything that SNL has done in the past 10 years. Hearing "Green Eggs" like it was being read from the pulpit was great.

3rd. In my research methods class, I teach the juniors and seniors about OCLC.

Fringe Element Enthusiast said...

Just to set the record set on Mr. Davis and said fat cat cartoon. Someone has been ghostdoing Garfield for years and years and years...

Just saying...


cnb said...

Can I just say "Meow" to the Fringe Enthusiast".

Yeah, that's right. I can pun too.