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WorldCat continues to grow!  As indicated earlier this year, the OCLC
Control Number is anticipated to reach one billion after July 1, 2013.
At that point, OCLC will increase the length of the OCLC number to
accommodate a variable length number string.  If you use and/or store
OCLC MARC bibliographic records and the OCLC Control Number, you will
notice a change after July 1, 2013. You will need to check the systems
at your institution that use OCLC MARC bibliographic records and the
OCLC number.  You may need to implement changes to ensure those systems
will be able to successfully handle the longer OCLC number effective
July 1, 2013.

 

For example, libraries may be impacted in the following areas:

*         Cataloging and IT librarians that download OCLC MARC
bibliographic records to the library's local system

*         Resource sharing librarians using third party ILL management
programs that store or use the OCLC number for searching

*         Reference services librarians using WorldCat Local to help a
patron locate an item 

Publishers, vendors and others that partner with OCLC may be impacted as
follows:  

*         Integrated Library Service (ILS) vendors that use OCLC MARC
bibliographic records to test compatibility with OCLC     

*         Publishers, material suppliers and electronic content
providers that use OCLC MARC bibliographic records in their systems  

*         Developers maintaining services that use OCLC Control Numbers

 

Format of the OCLC Number

The OCLC Number resides in the MARC 001 field and may also be stored in
other fields.  The OCLC Number in the 001 field is formatted as follows:


 

OCLC numbers 1 through 99999999:

*	"ocm" prefix 
*	oclc control number, 8 digits, right justified with leading
zeros 
*	A blank space as the last character
	Example: ocm00012345 

 

OCLC numbers 100000000 to 999999999:

*	"ocn" prefix 
*	oclc control number, 9 digits
	Example: ocn123456789 

 

OCLC numbers 1000000000 and higher:

*	"on" prefix 
*	oclc control number, 10 or more digits
	Example: on1234567890 or on1234567890123 

 

In the 035 field, the OCLC number is usually stored with the prefix
(OCoLC) and without the "ocm", "ocn" or "on" prefixes; for example:
(OCoLC)1234567890.

 

When this change takes place

The "on" prefix will be used to identify OCLC Numbers that contain ten
or more digits.  Nine or eight digit OCLC Numbers will continue to use
the "ocn" or "ocm" prefix as described above.  The update to the OCLC
Number is backwards compatible so that previously defined OCLC Numbers
will not be impacted.  Previously assigned OCLC Numbers will continue to
work as before.

 

What action should you take?

If you use and/or store OCLC MARC bibliographic records and the OCLC
Control Number, you will notice a change after July 1, 2013. You will
need to check the systems at your institution that use OCLC MARC
bibliographic records and the OCLC number.  You may need to implement
changes to ensure those systems will be able to successfully handle the
longer OCLC number effective July 1, 2013.

 

Sample records

OCLC plans to make a file of sample MARC bibliographic records
containing the new, expanded numbers available for download on the OCLC
Control Number Expansion website
<http://www.oclc.org/batchprocessing/number-expansion.htm>
(http://www.oclc.org/batchprocessing/number-expansion.htm) before the
end of the calendar year 2012. When the file becomes available,
announcements will be widely posted in the same places this notice is
being posted.  Anyone may then download the file for use in testing
their systems.

For more information

Additional technical information regarding this change is available here
<http://www.oclc.org/batchprocessing/number-expansion.htm>
(http://www.oclc.org/batchprocessing/number-expansion.htm).  Please
visit the Web <http://www.oclc.org/batchprocessing/controlnumber.htm>
(http://www.oclc.org/batchprocessing/controlnumber.htm) to learn how
OCLC Control Numbers are created and how OCLC Batchload services give
libraries the ability to match, merge, format and synchronize OCLC
Control Numbers between their local systems and WorldCat.  To see new
OCLC Control Numbers when they are assigned, visit Watch WorldCat Grow
<http://www.oclc.org/worldcat/newgrow.htm>
(http://www.oclc.org/worldcat/newgrow.htm).  If you have questions,
please contact us at [log in to unmask] or 1-800-848-5800 (USA) or
1-614-793-8682.