Somehow I completely missed the OCLC announcement back in April of a beta-test of a new service called OCLC's Worldcat Local. But while catching up with my blog reading, I saw this Librarian in Black entry announcing her library's launch of their OCLC Local OPAC and I got excited. Because I've wondered for a while why libraries are paying out all sorts of money for OPACs that aren't as good as what OCLC offers in Worldcat. So how about we cut out the middle man, and pay for our own local version of Worldcat?
I should calm down; I'm getting ahead of myself. We're not there yet. OCLC Local, as it is currently designed, works with the local library's system, and isn't designed, yet, to replace it. But for smaller libraries that don't have sophisticated library software, it seems like an interface like this could be incredibly useful, all on it's own.
That may not be where OCLC is headed, but if not, it's a shame. It could be beneficial to everyone except, oh yeah, the vendors of library software.