"Today [WorldCat] has around 50 million book records. But OCLC,
the group that owns and operates it, has been a different story. It
started small -- a little office in Ohio, a set of membership dues
to share the cost of running the servers. But OCLC's control passed
from librarians and academics to business people (its senior
executive comes from consulting firm Deloitte & Touche). They
realized they had a monopoly on their hands and as costs for
running servers have gone down, their prices have gone up. They
charge you once to get your records added to WorldCat and charge
you again to get them back out and charge you a third time for a
whole series of additional fees and services.
"And these prices are high. A friend who runs a small public
library with around 5000 cardholders was asked to pay $5400 to
contribute his records and $700 to get records out, plus a whole
series of "User Support" and "New Member Implementation" fees --
all far more than he could afford."