You can find links to thousands (maybe millions) of recipes using the WorldCat Cookbook Finder. And it’s the work of many, many catalogers over 50 years that makes that possible, of course. The metadata entered into WorldCat is what powers the Cookbook Finder and many other library services.
But can you find an actual recipe within those 394 million bibliographic records?
For one (or more?) brief times during OCLC’s history, yes you could.
And today? Well … read on to find out!It all began in 1974 …
Details are vague. Memories are hazy. And while some may claim to be the first cataloger to create a WorldCat MARC record with the details of an apple cake recipe—and others may deny it!—there is no proof one way or the other. No one knows the motivation behind creating the record other than the sense of humor of the cataloging community.
What we do know is this. At some time in 1974, someone did just that. The record had this in the notes field:
As you might imagine, some catalogers took exception to using metadata fields for actual information. Some argued that the record should remain; others that it would only invite additional shenanigans. Eventually, the record was removed … but not before nearly 200 locations chose to list their libraries as holding the item.But wait! There’s more!
Over the next few years, the record was added and deleted at least once more. By some accounts, it came and went with alarming frequency as the two sides of argument struggled for apple cake supremacy.
One step along the way was when the recipe was added to The OCLC Employees’ Cookbook in 1990 by OCLC’s Ron Gardner, who retired earlier this year.
And to celebrate the 25th anniversary of WorldCat in 1996, librarians from the Pittsburgh Theological Seminary Clifford E. Barbour Library actually prepared an in realia copy of the OCLC apple cake.
But what about the record itself? What was the final conclusion of the cataloging community?
In the early 1990s, it seemed as if the recipe would have to remain within the confines of the library material itself, not the WorldCat bibliographic data.
Or would it …
Where do you stand on the Great WorldCat Apple Cake Record discussion?
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The apple cake record is alive!
A record with the aptly named title of “apple-cake” was added for an archival material item by Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, USA, in September 2015. And the recipe itself is described in the 505 field.
Another apple cake record, this one numbered 826,054,444, was added by the US Army Corps of Engineers Library in Alexandria, Virginia, USA. This record also has the recipe in the notes field.
So for now, the “keep the recipe in WorldCat” team has the upper hand.
Whatever the final disposition of the record, however, one thing is for sure: it’s a tasty cake.
One year ago yesterday, the US Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal by the Authors’ Guild to review a lower court decision in favor of Google, thus ending a legal challenge to Google Books that had dragged on for over a decade. Google Books is widely considered to be Google’s first big change-the-world project: scanning millions of print books from libraries to build an online digital library that anyone could use, without any fees or advertising. Projects that are perhaps more appealing to librarians, such as the HathiTrust or the Digital Public Library of America, have built on the Google Books concept. But now, one year after the big victory, Google Books seems oddly quiet.
Articles from Ohio Web Library:
A pair of books look at digital scholarship, one from the perspective of faculty who want to contribute ot the public good, the other a view of how students use technology in their lives.
What have we learned from the “fake news” conundrum? That neither algorithmic tweaks nor lessons in fact-checking will solve the problem.
The virtual reality landscape is beginning to settle, transforming from an “emerging” technology into a “settled” one. Even if you or your library haven’t experienced VR yet, various VR devices, games and applications have been on the mainstream consumer market for over a year. (It’s harder to call a technology “emerging” when you can simply go to Best Buy and find multiple options. ) Nonetheless, that doesn’t mean that new things aren’t happening in the virtual reality sphere. Quite the contrary; as VR itself becomes a more settled technology, new issues and options are beginning to appear.
From the Ohio Web Library:
April 9 through 15 is National Library Week in the United States, an annual observance that has been sponsored by the American Library Association since 1958. Because we’re a global organization, we’d like to take an opportunity to celebrate libraries all around the world. Whether it’s through access to technology, information literacy, diverse collections or opportunities for community engagement, libraries connect people to knowledge and make breakthroughs happen.
We could have written volumes about the great work being done by libraries around the globe. We’ve highlighted a few breakthroughs our members have shared with us and we encourage you to join your colleagues around the world to share your library breakthrough with the hashtag #NationalLibraryWeek.
Happy #NationalLibraryWeek from OCLC!
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University of Wisconsin–Madison, School of Library and Information Studies, Madison, Wisconsin, USA
When the Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa realized they couldn’t afford to maintain their small library, students from the University of Wisconsin–Madison’s School of Library and Information Studies stepped forward to help fill the need. The students wrote grants, cataloged materials, developed library policies and helped open an interim library until a new library building was built.
South Perth Library, South Perth, Western Australia
Until recently, the World War I-era postcard collection and other archives in the South Perth Library in Western Australia could be accessed only in person. Since the collection was posted online, access and interest in the collection and in local history have increased, and local residents have even offered to contribute their personal photographs.
Seaside Public Library, Seaside, Oregon, USA
The Seaside Public Library has an impressive 68% interlibrary loan fill rate and an average 20-hour turnaround time. How? Partly it’s an attitude—making the “detective work” of finding the right materials fun. And partly it’s innovative ideas like keeping track of which book in a series a patron has requested and requesting the next one so that it arrives as they finish the previous one.
University of Leicester, Leicester, United Kingdom
The University of Leicester wanted to get all of its collections and the collections of local historical organizations online. Working with local organizations, staff were granted privileged access to valuable resources that greatly expanded the materials they could provide online. And since going online, the usage statistics have been increasing with every new collection.
Pritzker Military Museum & Library, Chicago, Illinois, USA
The transition from library to museum and library allowed the staff at the Pritzker Military Museum & Library to focus more on guests, user experience and public-friendly activities. This included embedding rare book references into Wikipedia and pulling metadata from the Library of Congress and FAST subject headings directly into discovery services to improve search results.
We salute the work that libraries do across America—and around the world. Whether small or large; public, academic, corporate or special; in person or online…libraries connect people to the knowledge and services they need to grow and learn.
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