I first heard about WorldCat at a conference last Spring. I can’t recall if it was at TAMUS’ Teaching with Technology or TxDLA’s annual conference. In either case, I remember thinking what an awesome tool it is. Currently, more than 10,000 libraries participate in the Online Computer Library Center (OCLC), and as such are tied together via WorldCat. It contains more than 90 million different records pointing to more than 1.2 billion physical and digital assets in more than 360 languages. Impressive. Even better, you can search for an item in the catalog and, based on your IP address, it will tell libraries with the item as well as how far away they are from you. Beyond just being the coolest, largest library catalog search, WorldCat has a few other nifty aspects. You can build a reading list (or any list really) of books, periodicals, journals, etc. For the researchers needing to build that bibliography, WorldCat will help you with that as well! And last, but not least, you can add a WorldCat plug-in on your browser or even add it to your SMART phone.
So, if you find yourself in need of such a nifty tool, head on over to http://www.worldcat.com and check it out for yourself.