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Worlds Most Highly Favoured: Books as Seen by Libraries John MacColl European Director, RLG Partnership OCLC Research 7 th International Conference on.

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Presentation on theme: "Worlds Most Highly Favoured: Books as Seen by Libraries John MacColl European Director, RLG Partnership OCLC Research 7 th International Conference on."— Presentation transcript:

1 Worlds Most Highly Favoured: Books as Seen by Libraries John MacColl European Director, RLG Partnership OCLC Research 7 th International Conference on the Book University of Edinburgh 18 October 2009

2 First Ohio, then the world … Frederick G. Kilgour, : OCLC founded by Fred Kilgour 1971: Computerised cataloguing begins Late 1980s: OCLC extends beyond the US Today: 140 million catalogue records

3 69,826 libraries in 112 countries 1,355 55, ,639 4,253 1, The OCLC Cooperative 1,080

4 The OCLC Cooperative: growth since ,000 3, million 668 million participating libraries participants outside US participant countries WorldCat records WorldCat holdings ,828 14, million 1.45 billion

5 What is WorldCat?

6 A finding aid

7 An authority A repository for reviews

8 A repository for recommendations

9 How representative is WorldCat?

10 36% % Percentage of Non-English Records Total Records English French German Spanish Japanese Russian Chinese Italian Latin Portuguese Dutch Hebrew 1998: 37.5 m records 23.9 m 2.3 m 2.2 m 1.6 m.8 m.7 m.3 m.2 m 2008: m records 55.2 m 6.2 m 12.3 m 3.6 m 2.5 m 1.8 m 2.3 m 1.7 m 1.2 m.9 m 2.7 m.7 m Improving all the time …

11 National Library and major consortial catalogues already loaded or in the queue for WorldCat

12 Print books in WorldCat (~85 million): year of publication 81 percent post-1923

13 Print books in WorldCat (~85 million): country of publication 15.5 million published in US

14 Total holdings of the aggregate US-published print book collection, by institution type

15 The Collective Collection

16 How many works by Shakespeare made the list? 37. The Top 1000 How many works by Stephen King made the Top 1000 list? 0, to our surprise. Gunslinger ranked 1080, though. Which author has the most works on the OCLC Top 1000 list? William Shakespeare (37). He is followed by Charles Dickens (16) and John Grisham (13). What work on the Top 1000 list has the richest publication history, ie the most manifestations, as represented by OCLC libraries' holdings? The Bible, followed by the Haggadah. Divine Comedy was 3rd and the Koran 4th. If all the Harry Potter books were bundled together, how would they have stacked up? We didn't bundle them together, but if we had, these books would have ranked 5th on the Top 1000 list (and 1st on the Top Fiction list, 2nd on the Top Children's list). Considered together, 44,976 Harry Potter items are held by libraries.

17 How many works by Shakespeare made the list? Thirty-seven. How many works by Stephen King made the Top 1000 list? Zero, to our surprise. Gunslinger ranked 1080, though. Which author has the most works on the OCLC Top 1000 list? William Shakespeare (with 37 works). He is followed by Charles Dickens (16 works) and John Grisham (13 works). Which author on the list is most held by OCLC libraries? William Shakespeare, followed by the US government, Charles Dickens, Mark Twain, and Giuseppi Verdi. How far down the OCLC Top 1000 list do you have to go to get to a live author? Jim Davis' Garfield is number 15 on the list. (Four of the 5 top works by living authors are cartoons!) What is the highest-ranking work by a living female author? Harper Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird. It ranked 146. What is the highest-ranking work written by any female author? Wuthering Heights, by Emily Brontë, ranks 28 on the list. Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Brontë, is ranked 30, and Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice ranks 32. Who is the most written-about person in WorldCat? Jesus Christ. What's the top mystery novel held by libraries? The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. It ranks 192. The Top 1000

18 How many works by Shakespeare made the list? Thirty-seven. How many works by Stephen King made the Top 1000 list? Zero, to our surprise. Gunslinger ranked 1080, though. Which author has the most works on the OCLC Top 1000 list? William Shakespeare (with 37 works). He is followed by Charles Dickens (16 works) and John Grisham (13 works). How many different authors are on the OCLC Top 1000 list? 576 authors made the list, not counting the anonymous ones. How many of the OCLC Top 1000 works are anonymous? 59 works are anonymous or do not have a single author. (In library parlance, there are 59 "title main entry" works.) What work on the Top 1000 list has the richest publication history, i.e., the most manifestations, as represented by OCLC libraries' holdings? The Bible, followed by the Haggadah. Divine Comedy was 3rd and the Koran 4th. If all the Harry Potter books were bundled together, how would they have stacked up? We didn't bundle them together, but if we had, these books would have ranked 5th on the Top 1000 list (and 1st on the Top Fiction list, 2nd on the Top Children's list). Considered together, 44,976 Harry Potter items are held by libraries and they are represented by 496 different bibliographic records. Which author on the list is most held by OCLC libraries? William Shakespeare, followed by the United States government, Charles Dickens, Mark Twain, and Giuseppi Verdi. How far down the OCLC Top 1000 list do you have to go to get to a live author? Jim Davis' Garfield is number 15 on the list. (Four of the 5 top works by living authors are cartoons!) And in case you're wondering, Harper Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird is the highest- ranking work by a living female author. It ranked 146. What is the highest-ranking work written by a woman? Wuthering Heights, by Emily Brontë, ranks 28 on the list. Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Brontë, is ranked 30, and Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice ranks 32. About the topic of sibling rivalry... Emily's Wuthering Heights (#29) edged out Charlotte's Jane Eyre (#30) on library holdings (26,798 vs. 26,389), but Jane Eyre is ahead of Emily on records (922 vs. 854)about as close to a tie as one could imagine. Charlote wins overall, though, with Villette at #982 (224 records and 5332 holdings). Who is the most written-about person in WorldCat? Jesus Christ. What's the top mystery novel held by libraries? The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. It ranks 192. You've acknowledged that the Top 1000 list has a United States slant. How many U.S. presidents authored works on the list? John F. Kennedy (for Profiles in Courage), George Washington (for his Farewell Address), and Ulysses S. Grant (Personal Memoirs). James Madison, who along with Alexander Hamilton and John Jay co-authored The Federalist Papers under the pen name Publius, also made the list, though anonymously. (Madison and Hamilton also drafted Washington's Farewell Address.) Abraham Lincoln is not on the list. How does the U.S. constitution rank? 237. What activities do librarians think their readers most enjoy? The Joy of Cooking ranked 269 on the OCLC Top 1000 list. The Joy of Sex did not make the Top 1000 list, or come anywhere close. The Top 1000 Who was top dog? Garfield is number 15 on the list. Snoopy is 69. How about animals generally? Garfield is the top-ranking animal overall. Moby Dick, at 34, was the second-highest ranking animal. Neither Lassie nor Bambi made the OCLC Top 1000 list. (The Yearling, though, ranked 281.) What is the top-ranking bird? Mother Goose was third on our list. What about plants? Leaves of Grass ranked 49.

19 How many works by Shakespeare made the list? Thirty-seven. How many works by Stephen King made the Top 1000 list? Zero, to our surprise. Gunslinger ranked 1080, though. Which author has the most works on the OCLC Top 1000 list? William Shakespeare (with 37 works). He is followed by Charles Dickens (16 works) and John Grisham (13 works). How many different authors are on the OCLC Top 1000 list? 576 authors made the list, not counting the anonymous ones. How many of the OCLC Top 1000 works are anonymous? 59 works are anonymous or do not have a single author. (In library parlance, there are 59 "title main entry" works.) What work on the Top 1000 list has the richest publication history, i.e., the most manifestations, as represented by OCLC libraries' holdings? The Bible, followed by the Haggadah. Divine Comedy was 3rd and the Koran 4th. If all the Harry Potter books were bundled together, how would they have stacked up? We didn't bundle them together, but if we had, these books would have ranked 5th on the Top 1000 list (and 1st on the Top Fiction list, 2nd on the Top Children's list). Considered together, 44,976 Harry Potter items are held by libraries and they are represented by 496 different bibliographic records. Which author on the list is most held by OCLC libraries? William Shakespeare, followed by the United States government, Charles Dickens, Mark Twain, and Giuseppi Verdi. How far down the OCLC Top 1000 list do you have to go to get to a live author? Jim Davis' Garfield is number 15 on the list. (Four of the 5 top works by living authors are cartoons!) And in case you're wondering, Harper Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird is the highest- ranking work by a living female author. It ranked 146. What is the highest-ranking work written by a woman? Wuthering Heights, by Emily Brontë, ranks 28 on the list. Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Brontë, is ranked 30, and Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice ranks 32. About the topic of sibling rivalry... Emily's Wuthering Heights (#29) edged out Charlotte's Jane Eyre (#30) on library holdings (26,798 vs. 26,389), but Jane Eyre is ahead of Emily on records (922 vs. 854)about as close to a tie as one could imagine. Charlote wins overall, though, with Villette at #982 (224 records and 5332 holdings). Who is the most written-about person in WorldCat? Jesus Christ. What's the top mystery novel held by libraries? The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. It ranks 192. You've acknowledged that the Top 1000 list has a United States slant. How many U.S. presidents authored works on the list? John F. Kennedy (for Profiles in Courage), George Washington (for his Farewell Address), and Ulysses S. Grant (Personal Memoirs). James Madison, who along with Alexander Hamilton and John Jay co-authored The Federalist Papers under the pen name Publius, also made the list, though anonymously. (Madison and Hamilton also drafted Washington's Farewell Address.) Abraham Lincoln is not on the list. How does the U.S. constitution rank? 237. Kissin' don't last, cookin' do... The Joy of Cooking ranked 269 on the OCLC Top 1000 list. Joy of Sex did not make the Top 1000 list, or come anywhere close. Fighting like cats and dogs... Garfield is number 15 on the list. Snoopy is 69. How about animals generally? Garfield is the top-ranking animal overall. Moby Dick, at 34, was the second- highest ranking animal. Neither Lassie nor Bambi made the OCLC Top 1000 list. (The Yearling, though, ranked 281.) What is the top-ranking bird? Does Mother Goose count? She was third on our list. What about plants? Leaves of Grass ranked 49. What's the top fruit? The top vegetable? The top mineral? It's your turn to look. Who is the top monster? Dr Frankenstein's monster. Ranking 43, he beat both Count Dracula (75) and Edward Hyde (Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde ranked 141). Shrek didn't make the list. The Top 1000 What cartoons made it to OCLC's Top 1000 list? * Garfield, by Jim Davis (ranked 15) * Peanuts, by Charles Schulz (ranked 69) * Calvin and Hobbes, by Bill Watterson (ranked 77) * Doonesbury, by Garry Trudeau (ranked 88) * Far Side, by Gary Larson (ranked 115) * Dilbert, by Scott Adams (ranked 399) * Fox Trot, by Bill Amend (ranked 773)

20 When were they written?

21 What languages were they written in?

22 How does the WorldCat list compare to other lists (by critics, teachers, etc)? Of the items on the OCLC list, 13 appear on at least 4 other lists: Grapes of Wrath, by John Steinbeck (ranked 101 on the OCLC list) Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald (ranked 110) Ulysses, by James Joyce (ranked 134) Nineteen Eighty-Four, by George Orwell (ranked 139) Gone with the Wind, by Margaret Mitchell (ranked 215) Age of Innocence, by Edith Wharton (ranked 253) Catcher in the Rye, by J. D. Salinger (ranked 347) On the Road, by Jack Kerouac (ranked 386) Angela's Ashes, by Frank McCourt (ranked 416) Holes, by Louis Sachar (ranked 515) Lolita, by Vladimir Nabokov (ranked 527) Brideshead Revisited, by Evelyn Waugh (ranked 653) Shipping News, by Annie Proulx (ranked 904)

23 NameWorks about - most holdings Jesus Christ140,748 Shakespeare, William ,681 Lincoln, Abraham ,170 Clinton, Bill ,130 Bush, George W. (George Walker) ,303 Kennedy, John F. (John Fitzgerald) ,047 Hitler, Adolf ,289 King, Martin Luther Jr ,132 Jefferson, Thomas ,048 Twain, Mark ,605 Which historical character is most written about according to libraries?

24 Some Scottish data

25 Materials in WorldCat most widely held by Scottish institutions Massie, Allan Glasgow: portraits of a city. London: Barrie & Jenkins. Lythe, S. G. E., and John Butt An economic history of Scotland, Glasgow: Blackie. Niven, Douglas The development of housing in Scotland. London: Croom Helm. Moody, David Scottish local history: an introductory guide. Batsford local history series. London: B.T. Batsford. Scotland, James The history of Scottish education. London: University of London P.

26 Most popular materials in WorldCat published in Scotland Munro, David Chambers world gazetteer: an A-Z of geographical information. Edinburgh: Chambers. (1,445 institutions) Armstrong, Karen A short history of myth. Edinburgh: Canongate. (1,420 institutions) Gray, Henry, Susan Standring, Harold Ellis, and B. K. B. Berkovitz Gray's anatomy: the anatomical basis of clinical practice. Edinburgh: Elsevier Churchill Livingstone. (1,359 institutions) Brown, Ivor John Carnegie Shakespeare in his time. Edinburgh: Nelson. (1,193 institutions) Muir, Hazel Larousse dictionary of scientists. Edinburgh [Scotland]: Larousse. (1,140 institutions)

27 Rareness is common System-wide print book collection: 37% Held by 1 5% Held by > 100 3% Held by % Held by % Held by % Held by Data-mining to better understand nature of the collective collection

28 Minimal overlap (books held by X or more libraries (in millions)

29 More than 9 million works are held only once

30 The Library Long Tail Number of Holdings Items ranked by system-wide popularity HEAD: Top 10% of WorldCat records (ranked by holdings) account for 80% of total WorldCat holdings LONG TAIL: Bottom 90% of WorldCat records (ranked by holdings) account for 20% of total WorldCat holdings HEAD: Small proportion of items account for lions share of collecting activity LONG TAIL: Everything else spread out across Long Tail of diffuse collecting activity Data-mining to inform strategies/policies aimed at optimizing system-wide supply & demand for library materials

31 …Rapid postwar increase in works held many times

32 Authors associated with the most potentially in-copyright print book manifestations

33 A few conclusions Representativeness is important, however … We are readier than we used to be to accept incomplete, indicative data The web has created a need for a global library catalogue Much of its value lies in what it adds to other gravitationally strong websites The more attention it gets, the more it self-corrects Much of its value today is accidental; it was not envisaged when it was created The whole is a record, but the holdings records represent cultural voting – the long tail is an important measure of cultural popularity

34 A few conclusions It has empirical value: these are not just the opinions of teachers or critics – they are community judgements What do we mean when we say Find in a library? Is this contradictory behaviour on the web? The collective collection is more fragile than we often assume Usage data will be the next major measure; will ebooks eventually render purchase votes irrelevant? Should we measure fluctuations in holdings? The most popular book turned into a movie is …?

35 Thank You! John MacColl OCLC Research


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