Read part two
Why a Union Catalog?
Over thirty years ago the WISCAT union catalog was created as a "resource sharing tool for Wisconsin libraries of all types and sizes to locate materials for interlibrary loan, as well as a cost effective method by which libraries can convert their collections to the MARC bibliographic standard for use as the basis of local automation projects."
|Card Catalog (source: Pixabay)|
An OCLC subscription for access to MARC records and interlibrary loan was usually also beyond the budgets of individual mid-sized to small libraries. Therefore, creation of the WISCAT Union Catalog was recommended to pool together the holdings information of many Wisconsin libraries to make it easier to discover what they owned, for more libraries to participate in resource sharing, and to obtain MARC records for their local computer catalogs. By 2004 the WISCAT union catalog records represented the holdings of 1,209 Wisconsin libraries (419 public, 118 academic, 533 school, and 125 special libraries).
|School Library (source: Pixabay)|
These are the good old days, a guest post by Charles Clemence of the Winding Rivers Library System (August 6, 2015) is a first-hand recollection of working with WISCAT as the resource sharing tool changed over time, shifting from microfiche to CD-ROM to computer software and then to an online Web platform
Vickie Long, Resources for Libraries & Lifelong Learning team