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The Yahoo OCLC Toolbar: Gimpy but Interesting

Geepers, with all these toolbars thrown our way, we barely have desktop space for our browsers any more! But I had to give a go at the latest meme, the Yahoo-OCLC toolbar that “provides one-click access to Open WorldCat as well as Yahoo! Search’s Web search engine.” Using my zip code (94306), I used Yahooclc, or whatever you want to call it, to look up “In Cold Blood” and “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.”

I think the Yahoo-OCLC toolbar is potentially very nifty. But I’m assuming the industry buzz went out so we liberrian types could comment on it, so let me do right by progress and record my observations. (I’ll take my t-shirt in a size medium, please.)

First, the videos showed up first. Maybe this is right from circ data, videos being so popular, but it still surprised me.

Second, I now see the world through FRBR-ized (or at least FRBRish) glasses, given that I attended a workshop Friday that whirled my rock, but I was dissatisfied to get all those different entities for the same intellectual thingy. That’s the clickety-click that really bugged me. I tell you, one look at FRBR, and you’ve seen Paree; you cannot go back to the farm.

Third, I had trouble identifying the right edition, or at least not the wrong edition. I didn’t want large print, and yet that showed up before any regular editions, and wasn’t labeled as such in the Yahoo view.

Fourth, “Cold Blood” showed up before “In Cold Blood.” Because..?

Fifth, I don’t want English, I want American… oh wait, they mean American. 😉 In other words, the phrase “English book” was a little confusing.

Sixth, and significantly, I know my local library carries “In Cold Blood,” but the most likely item (or at least the first reasonable item) didn’t show my library having holdings. And yet I didn’t have this problem with “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.”

I wouldn’t use Yahoo-see-el-see, based on this experience, because I don’t trust it. I’ll start with my local catalog and go from there. Still, in the realm of hot new cool tools, kinda fun. Though if users believe this is a trustworthy resource, but it’s not leading people to YOUR local catalog, beware, beware. “Yahoo says it’s not there!” Go ahead and talk yourself blue in the face about how your catalog works… it won’t matter. You don’t have a billboard on 101 South, or commercials on national TV. Oh, well, it’s the end of the world as we know it (and I feel fine).

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