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"We have a very rich collection in our libraries, and we're pleased that people are finding us through"

—Isabel Stirling, Associate University Librarian & Director of Public Serices, University of California at Berkeley

The Internet is the first choice for most information seekers. With your holdings and other metadata contributed to WorldCat, makes your library's resources more visible to more people on the Web. Your reliable, verified information and personal assistance—the hallmarks of the library experience—gain greater exposure, credibility and use among people in your community and around the world. And you better meet the needs of Internet-savvy users who are no longer concerned with where information "lives" or who owns it, only that they can get to it quickly.

Opened to the Web, your data works harder to attract users is the centerpiece of a platform for "Web-scale" discovery of library materials that moves information seekers from far-flung Internet locales into its simple search interface and through to local collections and services. Your WorldCat holdings data is made open and accessible to the sites people really use, and to Web technologies that let them interact with and contribute to it.

Integration with key Web search sites

In partnership with OCLC, Google, Yahoo! and many other sites index WorldCat records for millions of popular items as well as unique items held by individual institutions. Among their search results for regular Web content, a Web user finds links to information about library materials, based on key words in their originating search.

A destination site that can be added to users' array of Web workspaces

Links on partner sites lead to a item record page, where many users first encounter the tools that let them judge a resource's merits, find local or regional libraries that own it, and begin to incorporate "libraries" into their Web-searching thought processes.

Just enough information to make a decision

The top of a detailed record shows basic evaluative informaiton about the discovered item such as author(s), format, language, publisher, a quick summary, ratings and cover art. Previews are included, when available.

Illustration: Detailed record page

Detailed record page from

Easy view of holding libraries

Scroll down for a list of WorldCat-participating libraries near you that own the item. Your library's listing shows distance from the user's input location with links to a GOogle Map. It connects users to your "Library info" page on, as well as your "Ask a Librarian" virtual references services and your Web site's general information page that lists locations, operating hours and phone numbers..

Illustration: Holding library listings listings make it easy to see which libraries are the closest for the user. Any user-favorited libraries show up first in listings—marked with a red heart—regardless of location. 

Easy access to your catalog, services and content

The most prominent link within the listing—your library's name—leads the user directly to the item's record in your online catalog. Depending on your catalog's capabilities, a user may be able to view the item's availability and, after authenticating as a library member, perform any number of circulation activities, including the placement of a hold, remote checkout or direct viewing of electronic content.

Comprehensive WorldCat searching, including articles

Web users who arrive at from partner search engines and initiate a new search receive results from the complete WorldCat database—not just the subset of popular materials indexed by partners. Plus, WorldCat includes more than 130 million article citations from many popular databases, including:

  • OAIster
  • JSTOR Archive
  • Elsevier metadata
  • Medline
  • ERIC
  • British Library Inside Serials
  • ArticleFIrst

Users recognized as being on your library network through IP authentication also see linked fulfillment options you may offer for a particular article, such as full text, OpenURL resolver or article delivery service.

Ways to expand and explore

If a Web searcher decides they want to investigate other resources, they can use "facets" to refine by author, format or date—or follow related subject links to see more library items on the same topic. They can also view extended "About the Author" information through  WorldCat Identities pages, read ratings and reviews from WorldCat, weRead, GoodReads, Amazon and more.

Social and personalization tools that bring libraries into the Web workspace also offers these features designed to appeal to a new generation of information seekers, keeping them engaged and constructing a library-centered identity. Users can:

  • Maintain a public profile that can optionally list interests, occupation, personal Web sites and electronic addresses
  • Build their own personalized lists of books, videos and other library-owned items; lists can be public or private, and public lists can be searched and shared with friends
  • Add their own ratings, reviews and tags to an item, and add contextual notes
  • Create automatic citations in one of five standard styles (APA,MLA, Harvard, Chicago, Turabian)
  • Share library materials with their social networks through sites such as Digg,, Twitter and Facebook
  • Install one of several widgets and search plug-ins for always-there access to WorldCat results from a browser toolbar or personalized Web page
Illustration: WorldCat list

Once they've created a WorldCat user account, people can favorite a library, build customized lists of library items (public or private), watch others' lists, save complex searches, write reviews and tag items.

WorldCat goes where users are: They can add two WorldCat apps—WorldCat and CiteMe—to their Facebook profile, then become a fan of WorldCat on Facebook.

WorldCat user accounts require only a light registration of user name, password and e-mail address, so people can quickly establish their identity and move on to a chosen activity.

Extra features for authenticated users

If the user is internally or remotely authenticated on your network, they will also see any additional fulfillment options you may offer—such as full text, resource sharing, or document delivery—for the displayed item.

Open approach spreads WorldCat information around

Best of all, as an open system WorldCat makes your resources much more available to more people: Data about your holdings and links to your services are distributed farther and wider on the Web in a single aggregated "library" place, where new audiences discover them. Plus, any person, business or organization can mix WorldCat data into their own Web sites and Web-enabled environments such as e-learning courses, library catalogs and mobile apps through mash-ups with OCLC Web services such as the WorldCat Search API and the WorldCat basic API. Simply become a WorldCat Affiliate to use these developer tools.

Simple linking structure

A simple guide to linking shows how easy it is to construct links to specific items—using the permalink, standard numbers like ISBN and ISSN—or to search results using abbreviated query indicators and embedded keywords. Embed links into your own Web applications to generate links to item records or results, dynamically.

Free WorldCat widgets

From, anyone can obtain HTML code for free, modular WorldCat widgets such as list widget, a keyboard search widget and a search widget (the search "box") that lets visitors to their Web site seek library resources.

Illustration: Modular WorldCat search box

 WorldCat widgets can be placed on any web site; a user can post it to their blog or personalized social network page.

The WorldCat Registry for institutional metadata

In the same way that information about your holdings is stored and redistributed from WorldCat's core bibliographic database, information about your institutional identity and services is managed and disseminated from the free WorldCat Registry. Your library's Registry profile controls the deep links to your OPAC, how your library displays in the WorldCat Mobile pilot, on your library's "info" page and "library search" functions on and the online services displayed in results.