OCLC is piloting a new service that will allow libraries to combine the cooperative power of OCLC member libraries worldwide with the ability to customize WorldCat.org as a solution for local discovery and delivery services.
The WorldCat Local pilot builds on WorldCat.org, which allows Web access to the world's richest database for discovery of materials held in libraries. Through a locally branded interface, the service will provide libraries the ability to search the entire WorldCat database and present results beginning with items most accessible to the patron. These might include collections from the home library, collections shared in a consortium, and open access collections.
WorldCat Local will offer the same feature set as WorldCat.org, such as a single search box, relevancy ranking of search results, result sets that bring multiple versions of a work together under one record, faceted browse capability, citation formatting options, cover art and additional evaluative content.
The WorldCat Local service interoperates with locally maintained services like circulation, resource sharing and resolution to full text to create a seamless experience for the end user. WorldCat Local will also include future enhancements to WorldCat.org including more than 30 million article citations, and social networking services.
"WorldCat Local offers OCLC member institutions a way to leverage the ongoing investments that OCLC is making in WorldCat.org, within their local environment," said Chip Nilges, OCLC Vice President, Business Development. "As we add new features to WorldCat.org--and as OCLC member libraries add new content to WorldCat--those features and that content will also become available within WorldCat Local."
The WorldCat Local pilot will test new functionality that allows users to place requests, gain online access, or request an interlibrary loan within WorldCat.org.
Libraries and groups participating in the WorldCat Local pilot include:
University of Washington
Peninsula Library System in California
Libraries in Illinois, including:
University of Illinois--Urbana-Champaign
Glenside Public Library District
CCS (Cooperative Computer Services) Consortium
Illinois State Museum
Illinois State Library
Hoopeston Public Library
Northeastern Illinois University
Mattoon Public Library
Champaign Central High School
Williamsville Senior High School
The University of Washington Libraries will be first to pilot WorldCat Local with OCLC in April. Other institutions will follow. OCLC will examine results of the pilot to determine a production schedule.
Bill Jordan, Associate Dean of University Libraries, University of Washington, said the University of Washington Libraries "has purchased or licensed an amazing number of high-quality information resources for our users, but we've hidden them in multiple silos with little or no integration between them. Our job is to take those quality resources and make them convenient for the user to find and use--to make quality convenient. WorldCat Local appeals to me as a platform that I can use to address those strategic concerns."
"With WorldCat Local, we get enhanced search and display capabilities like faceted browse, FRBR-ized results sets, and enhanced content like reviews and article metadata," said Mr. Jordan. "We bring together all our fulfillment options--electronic, locally held, consortial, and remote--into one interface that still leverages all the 'delivery smarts' that are built into our local and consortial systems. With the addition of article metadata, we begin to see the breakdown of our discovery silos by the aggregation of indexing for book and article content."
"Finally, WorldCat Local provides a syndication platform so that we can meet users at their point of need," said Mr. Jordan. "We have to complete the discovery-to-delivery chain no matter where the user starts out. It's here, in syndication, that OCLC is uniquely positioned to work with Microsoft, Yahoo! and Google on behalf of libraries in a way that nobody else really can."
OCLC will test interoperability with systems used by participating pilot libraries, including Innovative Interfaces, SirsiDynix, and ExLibris Voyager.