Rationalising global bibliographic infrastructure will Australian Libraries be next?
On the 24 June 2016 National Library of Australia announced changes to Libraries Australia that came as a result of the National Library of New Zealand moving Te Puna from servers in the National Library of New Zealand into OCLC’s WorldCat. This touches on some of the practical changes that come as a result of moving from national bibliographic infrastructure into the global metadata bucket that is WorldCat. for Australian libraries the National Library of Australia identified that:
- “The external database links within Libraries Australia ‘OCLC WorldCat’ and ‘Te Puna (New Zealand NBD)’ will be combined under a single search target ‘OCLC WorldCat (including Te Puna)’. This impacts on the way libraries search and use these external databases.
- New Zealand holdings represented by names instead of symbols (e.g. Auckland Libraries).
- WorldCat holdings represented by OCLC symbols (e.g. smhsm).”
However this move is more than changing over to OCLC symbols to support library holdings and inter-library loans. It is a consolidation of the global network of bibliographic data. Under the About Te Puna this is also enabling the “next generation replacement” to the existing New Zealand services and reducing costs. As the Australian Government cuts back funding to the National Library of Australia it will be interesting to see if Libraries Australia goes down the Te Puna path.