Earlier this year OCLC changed the location for retrieving and downloading software, including Connexion Client.  The new site is Software & Reports.  The Product Services Web page (PSWeb) is now discontinued.

Northern Illinois librarians, for this and other updated information on online cataloging resources, consider attending next month’s LACONI Technical Services Section program (see Joy’s post below).

From a notice posted on OCLC-CAT by Anna Sylvester, OCLC Product Analyst:

Connexion client version 2.63 is now available for download from the Software Downloads area of OCLC’s Product Services web site. Please be aware that:


  • You will be required to upgrade to version 2.63 by 28 February 2017
  • An upgrade warning message will begin appearing when you start Connexion client 2.50 or 2.51 beginning in early January 2017
  • We recommend that you review the upgrade instructions before installing Connexion client 2.63
  • To help prevent installation problems with Windows Vista, 7, 8/8.1 and 10, please right-click the file you downloaded and click Run as Administrator


Getting ready for Unicode

 This release of Connexion client 2.63 is part of a group of changes that OCLC is making to expand WorldCat support for full Unicode characters and scripts to better represent your international collections. When complete, WorldCat will expand support from 15 scripts to all scripts that are represented in Unicode.


This means that by the end of 2016, WorldCat users will have the ability to:


  • Catalog using full Unicode (available now in Connexion client 2.63)
  • Upload records with full Unicode
  • Search across full Unicode


As you catalog using Connexion client 2.63 please be aware that:


  • WorldCat now supports all Unicode characters. OCLC has removed all limitations on MARC-8 and selected non-MARC-8 scripts. If you rely on validation to block unsupported characters, you may need to update impacted workflows.
  • Connexion client 2.63 supports all Unicode characters through version 8.0.0 of Unicode.
  • You can use previously unsupported characters to add new bibliographic records to WorldCat, replace records in WorldCat, import records into the client and export records from the client. All other functions for bibliographic records support these characters as well.
  • You will not be able to use the newly supported characters to search WorldCat until later in 2016. OCLC will announce when searching for the new characters in WorldCat is ready to use.
  • Authority records continue to be limited to the MARC-8 character set.
  • You have a choice to export bibliographic records in MARC-8 (the default) or in UTF-8. If non-MARC-8 scripts are exported in MARC-8 data format, the non-MARC-8 characters are saved in Numeric Character Reference (NCR) format.
  • Valid Unicode characters can appear as empty boxes if they are not supported in your default font.
  • The Arial Unicode MS font that OCLC recommends will not support all scripts. You will have to search for fonts to cover some of the new scripts OCLC supports. Fonts that support these scripts vary in their ability to display characters outside of the script they were designed to support. You may have to experiment to see which font works best for your needs for a particular script. The font selected as the default in the client is applied to the entire record. You may have to move between two fonts to see all of the characters in a record.


If you need assistance installing the Connexion client, please contact an OCLC support office.  

Walt Nickerson has recently published updated versions of his four macro books:

Walt’s Macros

The long list is in alphabetical order, so look in the middle for M: Macro book: Essentials; Macro Book: Extras1; Macro Book: Extras2; and Macro Book: MacroTools.  There is also, right above these, a handy list of all the macros in the four books, “Macro book listing.”

Terry Reese announced new additions to MarcEdit on April 30. He has added a new tool, UNIMARC Tools, for moving data between MARC21 and UNIMARC, and a new option has been added to the Replace function.

Update on MarcEdit:  Terry has just (as of today, May 13) announced that he plans a few more updates for the weekend.  If you use MarcEdit and want to be up to date, it would be a good idea to subscribe to his list, MARCEDIT-L (MARCEDIT-L-request@listserv.gmu.edu).


OK, this is not hot news any more, but maybe it’s at least still warm.  Catalogers using OCLC should know that the organization has issued two policy statements meant to guide member libraries in applying RDA: one effective through March 30, 2013, one that came into effect on March 31.  Everyone who catalogs with OCLC should read and understand the current statement:


A few points to note:  OCLC does not require that member libraries use RDA, even for original cataloging; but “When creating a new record with English as the language of cataloging, consult the LC/NACO Authority File and use forms of access points found there, regardless of whether they are coded for RDA.”  Also note that we are asked to control all controllable headings; this will greatly facilitate OCLC’s update of headings in WorldCat as they are updated in the Authority File.

The Policy Statement also confirms that the General Material Designator’s days are numbered:  “As recommended in the PCC Guidelines on Hybrid Bibliographic Records, OCLC will retain the 245 h GMD for a period of 3 years in WorldCat records where it currently exists. Catalogers editing existing non-RDA records are asked to leave formerly valid GMDs present in records through 31 March 2016. However, do remove the GMD when re-cataloging (and re-coding) a record as RDA.”

You can learn more in the forthcoming RDA Policy Statement Webinar, with sessions scheduled for April 11 and April 17 (http://www.oclc.org/events/webinars.en.html).  If you are unable to attend either session, it will be recorded and made available on OCLC’s website.

From the Illinois Library Assocation’s 2012 Annual Conference, Peoria, October 9:

Fantastic (and Free!) Cataloging Tools, presented by Erica Laughlin, RSA Cataloging and Database Administrator, Resource Sharing Alliance NFP:


A wealth of useful resources here, including DDC tools, converters and calculators, RDA resources, many more.

Wait a Minute, How Many Months?: Getting Ready Now that RDA Is Almost Here:

Wait a Minute, How Many Months 2012-10-17 (PPT)

Wait a Minute, How Many Months 2012-10-17 (PDF)

Some RDA Training Resources 2012-10-11

I have saved my presentation as both PPT so you can see the notes, and PDF in case you have trouble viewing the PPT.

Both Erica and I added a little extra information based on the discussion at our presentations.

Technical Bulletin 258, OCLC-MARC Format Update 2010, including RDA Changes

Quoting Christopher Dawson of OCLC:

“This Technical Bulletin covers all of the Library of Congress’s MARC Update 10 and most of MARC Update 11 (exceptions are noted). Many of these changes relate to the WorldCat testing of Resource Description and Access (RDA), the proposed successor to AACR2. Also covered are comments and requests from OCLC users and staff.

“Implementations of the OCLC-MARC updates covered in the Technical Bulletin may occur in stages, which OCLC will announce via logon Messages of the Day, Connexion News, and the OCLC-CAT listserv. It is recommended that users not begin to use the new capabilities, fields and subfields, indicators, practices, and codes until OCLC announces that they may be used.”

A list of Technical Bulletins currently in force can be found here.

(Cross-posted at Flaming Catheads.)

Besides the macros supplied with OCLC Connexion Client (I specify the Client because I haven’t worked extensively with the Web interface–any who have, please add your thoughts), there are many more available for you to add.

We’re lucky in the Chicago area to have two of the most productive macro experts in the North Suburban Library System–Joel Hahn of the Niles Public Library District and Harvey Hahn, of Arlington Heights Memorial Library until his recent retirement. Walter F. Nickeson of the Rochester University Libraries and Merry Morris have also contributed numerous macros.

So, where to find them? OCLC’s Connexion Client macros page includes links to Joel Hahn’s macros, Merry Morris’ simple macros, and Walt Nickeson’s macros; the Connexion Client guide Basics: Use Macros (also listed below); macro lessons for beginners; and materials from Harvey and Joel Hahn’s June 2005 ALA session on using Connexion macros.

Want to go deeper? Basics: Use Macros is a huge resource with which you can spend many happy hours. It includes extensive instructions on the creation and use of macros with OCLC Connexion.

One caution that I’ll mention here: Create your own macro book or books for any new or modified macros you bring into Connexion, whether you create the macros yourself or find them elsewhere. The two OCLC-supplied macro book files, OCLC.mbk and Dewey.mbk, may be overwritten during Connexion software upgrades, and if that happens you’ll lose anything of yours that was stored in those books.

And one more useful resource: Joel Hahn’s Better Living through Macros includes step-by-step instructions for loading macros into Connexion from various sources and “OCLC Macro Language for the Complete Beginner” (OML is a Basic-derived programming language).

OCLC’s six-month Expert Community Experiment, which began in February, is now a little past the halfway point. The latest in a long series of initiatives aimed at enhancing the quality of bibliographic records in WorldCat, the experiment allows member libraries with full-level cataloging authorizations “to correct, improve and upgrade all WorldCat master records, with the exception of PCC records (BIBCO and CONSER records). Library of Congress records that are not PCC records are included in the Experiment.”

FAQs on the experiment are here, or just scroll down in the page linked above.

If your institution is interested in being part of the experiment, there is no application process; you can start right in. If you have enhanced WorldCat records before, the procedure is essentially the same as what you have already followed, except that, as noted in Chapter 5 of Bibliographic Formats and Standards, “The record replace restrictions based on authorization modes in this chapter are superseded during the Expert Community Experiment.”

Needless to say, with the kind of power OCLC is giving us comes responsibility. Please don’t participate until you have read the Guidelines for Experts and are honestly confident that you are prepared to follow them. It would be helpful to view the recorded Expert Community Experiment Webinar as well.

So far, OCLC reports that the experiment is going well. Karen Calhoun remarked at the Illinois OCLC Users’ Group annual meeting last Friday that the “cataloging wars” some had feared have not materialized.

“The Terminologies Service provides access to multiple controlled vocabularies to help you create consistent metadata for your library, museum, or archive collections. Now it’s as easy as copy-and-paste into a workform or template once you find a term to use in your description, improving the description of (and access to) your digital and hard copy materials.

“The Service can be integrated with Connexion or used as a standalone tool to copy terms into a variety of metadata editors including the one available in OCLC’s CONTENTdm software.”

The Terminologies Service currently incorporates 11 vocabularies, including AAT, GSAFD, MeSH, TGN, and TGM I and II. I haven’t used it, but it seems like a handy aid for institutions using multiple thesauri. Installation is free with Connexion, and there are several online tutorials for both installation and use.

OCLC’s WorldCat search capabilities have expanded enormously since PRISM days. If you want to spend a long time exploring everything available to you in WorldCat searching, take a look at Searching WorldCat Indexes: “comprehensive information about indexes used to retrieve records from WorldCat.” This will let you go quite deep into such matters as indexing and search enhancements.

For more accessible and quicker reference, this document links to several interface-specific guides, including Connexion: Searching WorldCat Quick Reference, applicable to both the browser and the client; Cataloging: Search WorldCat for the client, and Find Bibliographic Records for the browser. There are also links to configuration guides for OCLC Z39.50 access to cataloging and to FirstSearch.

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