FirstSearch at a glance

FirstSearch is an online reference search tool that delivers quality content from WorldCat and other quality, respected databases.


  • Highlights your library's collection within search results
  • Saves money and time when borrowing from other libraries
  • Leverages your investment in electronic and physical collections with linking capabilities


  • Access to more than 258 million records via WorldCat
  • Library ownership information in WorldCat linked to most FirstSearch databases
  • Intuitive Web interface is designed for new and expert users
  • Control of local customization options, including full text and interlibrary loan at the database level
  • Link to your library's Web-based catalog
  • Choice of seven interface languages: English, French, Spanish, Japanese, Korean, and Chinese (traditional and simplified)
  • WorldCat record display in Chinese, Japanese, Korean and Arabic vernacular for items cataloged in those languages
  • Library staff can perform ILL requests from within FirstSearch interface using the staff resource sharing view


For full support of all FirstSearch features in the Web interface:

  • Internet access and a Web browser (Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0 and higher or Firefox 3.0 or higher, with JavaScript enabled)
  • Adobe Acrobat Reader 3.0 or higher
  • CatchWord's RealPage software 2.10 or higher

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FirstSearch Terms and Conditions

We are a worldwide library cooperative, owned, governed and sustained by members since 1967. Our public purpose is a statement of commitment to each other—that we will work together to improve access to the information held in libraries around the globe, and find ways to reduce costs for libraries through collaboration. Learn more »