Words On The Web: www.oclc.org\worldcat

The folks that bring the Dewey Decimal System, the Online Computer Library Center, or OCLC, have a great catalog search service. By visiting their web site at http:\\www.oclc.org\worldcat, you can enter in search terms and search a multitude of library catalogs for that book. You then enter in your city or postal code and the Worldcat service will give the libraries that that book in order of the distance from you.

For example, I enter in Word Myths and Emeryville, CA and I’m told that there are 408 libraries in the Worldcat system that have my book. The closest is the University of California Berkeley, some three miles away, followed by the San Francisco Public Library, across the bay some nine miles away. The farthest is the Singapore Polytechnic Library, half a world away.

This is an invaluable resource when you’re looking for a particularly hard-to-find book.

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