OCLC Changes its Rules for Use of Records in WorldCat: Library Community Pushback Through Blogs and Cultures of Resistance
22 Pages Posted: 19 Jan 2012
Date Written: January 19, 2012
OCLC’s Board of Directors unilaterally issued a new Policy for Use and Transfer of WorldCat Records in November, 2008. The changes caused a firestorm in the library blogosphere, and OCLC offered several modifications to the Policy, trying to address commentators’ concerns. Finally, in January, 2009, OCLC announced creation of a Review Board to consult with members for a more transparent process. The Review Board came back in June, 2009, with a recommendation to scrap the Policy and create a well-managed process to create a new policy. In April, 2010, the new draft policy was announced, with a comment period. In June, 2010, the final version was issued. This article examines the role of the bloggers in pushing back against the unilateral decision of the OCLC board of directors. The different reactions of bloggers, and the variety of responders, the cultural differences between librarians and hackers or programmers is examined. The paper also considers how different parties’ understanding and misunderstanding of community values affected their success or lack of success in convincing the blogosphere community of their message.
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