Book handles

Lorcan 1 min read

Look at the URLs in these sentences:

I have spoken about the The World is Flat by Thomas Friedman several times recently. It is available in several libraries near where I live.

They conform to a URL syntax that OCLC has just published (details here) that will be supported consistently. This means that if you have an ISBN, ISSN or WorldCat Number for an item you will be able to construct a URL that will resolve to the OpenWorldCat Find in a library page for that item, if such a page exists. Furthermore, you will also be able to construct a URL which will limit Find in a Library results on that page to a specificed region.
This is a significant step. We hope it makes OpenWorldCat more useful as a platform in a variety of ways. Congratulations to our OWC colleagues for getting this up and running!
One clear place where we see value is that it will allow people to use the OWC URL as a way of passing around book details in the way that many now use an Amazon URL. The nice thing about this is that there is a link back to library holdings.
Incidentally, if you do click on the World is Flat link, you will also see the newly implemented option to buy the book while nominating a library of your choice to receive a portion of the price. More details of this initiative here.
A final note: the current NYRB carries a review by John Gray of The World is Flat.

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