The WorldCat Mobile pilot allows users to search for and find books and other materials available in libraries near them through a Web application they can access from a PDA or smartphone.
Based on WorldCat.org, the world's largest online resource for finding information in libraries, the pilot has already proved a huge success in the U.S. and Canada. Thanks to advanced global positioning capabilities found in most mobiles, WorldCat Mobile pilot users in these countries will be able to find local library materials, if the library in question has loaded records in WorldCat, no matter where they happen to be. Users can even get a Google Maps view of the library location along with detailed driving instructions if the mobile device supports the application.
"People are using their mobile phones today as if they were hand-held computers," said Cindy Cunningham, OCLC Director of Partner Programs. "OCLC wants to make sure that libraries are where people are seeking information. The WorldCat Mobile pilot will help us to gauge the kind of interest people have in accessing library information from their mobile phones—wherever they may be."
Created in collaboration with Boopsie, Inc., a U.S.-based provider of software for mobile devices, the WorldCat Mobile pilot is a downloadable application that supports many devices, including Nokia, Blackberry and iPhone.
As this is a pilot, OCLC are keen to receive feedback from European users as to their experiences with the service. Anyone wishing to offer such comments can do so by emailingWorldCatMobilePilot@oclc.org .
Download the application to your mobile device at
WorldCat Mobile (Beta)