OCLC WorldCat: Watching The Great Database In the Sky Grow

"On average, a new record is added to the WorldCat database every 10 seconds. Watch it happen live..." Watch WorldCat grow
According to the About page:
"WorldCat is the world's largest bibliographic database, the merged catalogs of thousands of OCLC member libraries. Built and maintained collectively by librarians, WorldCat itself is not an OCLC service that is purchased, but rather provides the foundation for many OCLC services and the benefits they provide."
Here's what went into the system while I was typing this entry out:
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The following record was added to WorldCat on 08/10/2005 9:08 PM
Total holdings in WorldCat: 999,502,692
OCLC Number: 61245112
Title: Theological and cultural studies in honor of Simon John De Vries /
Publisher: T. & T. Clark International,
Publication Date: c2004.
Language: English
Format: Book
Contributed by: SAINT PATRICK'S SEMINARY LIBR
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Some impressive WorldCat statistics from the OCLC site:
Between July 2004 and June 2005:

  • WorldCat grew by 4.6 million records
  • Libraries used WorldCat to catalog and set holdings for 51.9 million items and arrange 9.4 million interlibrary loans
  • Library staff and users conducted 34.7 million searches of WorldCat via FirstSearch for research and reference, and to locate materials

Also:

  • WorldCat has 57,968,788 unique bibliographic records
  • 53,548 participating libraries worldwide use and contribute to WorldCat
  • Every 10 seconds an OCLC member library adds a record to WorldCat
  • Every 4 seconds an OCLC member library fills an interlibrary loan request using WorldCat
  • Every second a library user searches WorldCat using FirstSearch

For us information types, it beats the hell out of the old population clocks that the U.S. Census Bureau still runs for the US and the world.
BTW, for the curious, "According to the U.S. Bureau of the Census, the resident population of the United States, projected to 08/11/05 at 01:24 GMT (EST+5) is 296,854,475"

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