This list contains the "Top 1000" titles owned by OCLC member libraries -- the intellectual works that have been judged to be worth owning by the "purchase vote" of libraries around the globe.
According to its "About OCLC" page, the 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. More than 50,540 libraries in 84 countries and territories around the world use OCLC services to locate, acquire, catalog, lend and preserve library materials. [...] OCLC and its member libraries cooperatively produce and maintain WorldCat—the OCLC Online Union Catalog."
So we're talking about one hell of a lot of libraries, countless multitudes of books, all put into one mega-mambo database. Allowing for title and edition variants, putting together a top 1000 list was, if not a piece of cake, not quite the mindnumbing task from hell that it would have been a while back.
Most of the individual works in the top 400-500 items are either frequently purchased and updated reference works, or Great Lit by Dead People or Well Known Children's Books, with the odd Excessively Popular Book by Some Live Person sneaking in. (Harry Potter. Imagine that.) A rather surprising amount of music -- I would assume scores rather than recordings, given the listings.
And then there's #18. What's up with that, anyway?
via News From Me.Posted by iain at December 02, 2004 02:25 PM