Libraries are incubators of innovation. Students, scholars, inventors, writers and leaders throughout history have turned to libraries for information, assistance and inspiration. In order to help foster that spirit, OCLC explores new and changing technologies that improve information services for libraries and their users.

Here you can find some of the experimental projects that we're working on. While some of them may influence OCLC products and services, others are "blue sky" ideas—activities that embrace new and emerging technologies in order to discover ways to better enable data sharing, cooperative services and community growth within the profession.

By nature, these experimental projects may or may not evolve into more formal services. They may influence existing products, or may simply provide a fertile ground for learning.

Current experiments

Fiction Finder

Fiction Finder is a works-based prototype that provides access to over 2 million works of fiction described in more than12 million bibliographic records for books, eBooks, audio books, movies and television. You can search by person, place, topic, genre, character, Dewey and more,

Cookbook Finder

Cookbook Finder provides access to thousands of cookbooks and other works about food and nutrition described in library records. You can search by person, place, topic (e.g., course, ingredient, method, and more) and browse related works by author and topic ((supplied by the Kindred Works/Recommender API.

Kindred Works

Kindred Works is an experimental recommender service that helps you discover books, movies and music similar to a sample work of your choice. The application uses various characteristics of the sample work, such as classification numbers, subject headings, and genre terms, to provide a list of related works found in WorldCat.

Recommendations are also accessible through the WorldCat Recommender application programming interface (API).

FAST Converter

The FAST Converter is a Web interface for the conversion of LCSH headings to FAST headings. Either single headings or small sets of bibliographic records can be converted. Provides a learning tool to help familiarize users with FAST and the differences between FAST and LCSH.

WorldCat Identities Network

The ID Network uses the Identities and WorldCat APIs, to allow users to explore the interconnectivity and relationships between WorldCat Identities. Users can easily jump from Identity to Identity selecting the name in the Identity Network Map. An Identity can be a person, a thing (the Titanic), a fictitious character (Harry Potter), or a corporation (IBM).

Other experimental work at OCLC

  • ResearchWorks OCLC's research laboratory, demonstrating ideas for applying new technologies to organize information, including examples of things you can incorporate into your own systems.
  • OCLC Developer Network A community of developers collaborating to propose, discuss and test OCLC web services.