FLICC Start-Up and Budgeting for OCLC  

OCLC Start-Up Information

In order to begin OCLC services, you must establish an OCLC account at FEDLINK and complete the profiling process in OCLC's system.

To establish an OCLC account at FEDLINK, complete the Services Registration form found in the current FEDLINK Services Registration package, to initiate an Interagency Agreement (IAG) with FEDLINK for OCLC (Service I.D. "OC") and transfer funds to cover your OCLC costs for the fiscal year. Questions about the Services Registration forms and the IAG process can be answered by the FEDLINK Fiscal Hotline: (202) 707-4900. Budgeting information and the OCLC price list are enclosed.

Request the OCLC forms necessary to complete the steps described below, complete and return them to FEDLINK Network Operations, ATTN: OCLC Team, Library of Congress, Washington, DC 20540-4935, or fax 202-707-4873. The forms provide "profiling" information which will identify your library, describe basic information about how you will access and use the system, and order a set of software. When your IAG is in place, FEDLINK Network Operations will be notified and will forward the forms to OCLC.

1. OCLC Cataloging Profile: A member of the FEDLINK OCLC Team will consult with you to complete the profile.

2. Access and Authorization form: Complete the information on the top block to identify your institution, point of contact, etc., and to request your dial access authorization, if required. (Special authorization for Internet access is not required. Note that Internet access is recommended, as it is the least expensive method.) Complete the rest of the form to request authorizations and passwords for those who will perform cataloging and interlibrary loan functions.

3. Documentation: FEDLINK will arrange for a standard set of OCLC documentation to be supplied to you.

4. A copy of the Access Suite should be ordered. It is free. The CD ROM OCLC will send will contain Windows based terminal emulation software, PASSPORT, and other Windows software for learning and using OCLC, Once you have your authorization numbers, you also may download it from OCLC's home page.

Training is available at FEDLINK or on site, and FEDLINK has agreements with many of the other regional OCLC networks. Training at FEDLINK or another network office is usually less expensive than on site. FEDLINK's current classes are $125 per person per day, with three classes required to learn the basics of searching, cataloging and interlibrary loan. More intermediate and advanced classes are also available. Consult with a member of the FEDLINK OCLC team to determine your best training options and the costs.

If you have any questions, call FEDLINK Network Operations and ask to speak with a member of the OCLC team: (202) 707-4800. Our fax number is (202) 707-4873. We are available via email at askocfno@loc.gov.

OCLC Prices and Budgeting

In order to transfer the correct amount of funds to your FEDLINK account, you must estimate your costs. The price list at http://www.loc.gov/flicc/prices/oclc0002.html covers the most common OCLC prices through June 30, and a complete price list is available from FEDLINK. New prices take effect each year July 1, and are communicated to our office in the preceding May. Although there may be some minor changes, OCLC prices remain fairly stable from year to year, so for budgeting purposes, you can use the current price list for the next fy.

In budgeting for OCLC, you will need to add up the cost for 1) "profiling" (the process whereby your library is identified in OCLC's system and your cataloging information established); 2) online transactions (e.g., searching, cataloging and interlibrary loan); and 3) telecommunications. A rough figure to use for 2) and 3) is to assume a cost of approximately $1.25 per item cataloged or Interlibrary Loan request made. Costs will probably be slightly less than this, but this figure allows one to assume initial work will be done slowly (incurring higher telecom charges than in established routines) and that extra searches may be done as staff learn the system. If you need catalog cards, estimate another $2.00 per record for the cards and postage.

Note that in order to have full access to the ILL system, OCLC requires that libraries add holdings for current cataloging, via the OCLC cataloging system. This is a simple transaction which we strongly encourage, to promote resource sharing among libraries. We will be happy to discuss your options further, if you do not anticipate using OCLC MARC records for your local cataloging.

1) Profiling: There is no charge for profiling.

2) Online transactions:

Estimate the number of items you expect to catalog on OCLC and the number of ILL requests you expect to make. If you expect to perform searches for reference, acquisitions, or other uses, estimate a number and add the cost for those searches to the cost for searches for cataloging and ILL requests.

Cataloging charges:

a. $.385 per search. Average 1.5 searches per item cataloged or requested on ILL.

b. $.13 per item cataloged. This charge occurs when you hit the button which tells the system you own and are cataloging the item, adding your "holdings" symbol to OCLC. You may change anything in the record for your local use (e.g., call numbers, accessions information, subject headings, etc.), and such changes do not incur charges. Your three-letter OCLC symbol is attached to the record so that those who display holdings will see that you own the item. (You are not required to loan items cataloged on OCLC.)

c. $.30 per catalog card. Estimate 6 cards per item cataloged, unless you ask to receive only a shelflist card.

d. $.34 per record "exported" (i.e., downloaded into your local system)

Interlibrary loan requests generally require a search (see item a), above) , then the command to display libraries which own the item ("display holdings" = $.38), and then the command to request the item ($.32). You may borrow items via OCLC without being required to loan: check status "non-supplier" on the Profile form.

Credits are obtained when you create the original record in OCLC from which other libraries subsequently catalog, and when you loan an item in response to an ILL request on OCLC ($4.05 and $.38 respectively). For budgeting purposes in the first year, however, do not estimate these credits.

Other products and services are available from OCLC. FirstSearch, for example, is charged on a per-search basis, with blocks of searches bought in advance. For assistance in estimating charges for this and other services, consult the attached price list and discuss your needs with a member of the FEDLINK OCLC Team.

3) Telecommunications:

To begin with, you may wish to estimate 5 minutes for each book cataloged and each interlibrary loan request. You may find that is more than you need once you are proficient in OCLC use; you will be able to budget in future years based on past billing.

a. Internet access to cataloging and interlibrary loan is available for $.062 a minute (i.e. $3.72/hour). If your usage is more than about 2 hours per day, you may choose instead pay a flat fee per month of $134 per port. You may start at the per-minute charge, and switch to flat fee as needed by registering for it on OCLC's home page, once you have an authorization number and password. In order to access OCLC via Internet, you must have access to the Internet with full telnet capability, and, for full functionality, OCLC's Passport Software. You will also need to either have or have available to you the technical support needed to set up your institution's Internet connection to OCLC. If your Internet access is not very reliable, you may establish dial access, along with Internet at first, so that you have a backup if the Internet connection is down. Internet access is very reliable from OCLC's end, and most federal libraries find this a satisfactory method.


b. TCP/IP dial access for $.12 a minute (i.e. $7.20/hour).


c. If you cannot establish TCP/IP telecommunications methods at this time, OCLC still carries access via asynchronous dial access, at slower modem speeds. For this they charge both an annual fee plus a per minute charge. The annual fee, called "Dial Access Authorization," is $225 per year, billed in July. If service begins before July, OCLC will prorate for the months up to July: $225 divided by 12 months = $18.75 per month. Therefore, if you begin service in, for example, March, you will be billed $18.75 x 4 (March, April, May & June) = $75.00 + $225 in July = $300.00 total.)


$.12/minute (i.e. $7.20/hour.

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