The Future of OCLC FirstSearch

OCLC is bringing the user-friendly features of together with the precision searching of FirstSearch, valued by library staff and expert researchers, to provide a better user experience for libraries using the FirstSearch service. The goal is to provide a unified, consistent and contemporary search experience that fits users' expectations for modern, simple content discovery, while maintaining the expert capabilities for staff.

The new user experience will provide separate user-specific views for staff and patrons to search and discover resources in library collections. This way, library staff have the precision searching and expanded record views they need to accurately search and find items, and users only see what is meaningful to them to find and quickly get to library content.

All current subscribers to FirstSearch will receive this new user experience for staff and patrons. In addition, a new service-oriented architecture will provide developer-level access to discovery-related APIs and Web services. In this way, library data from WorldCat and will be even more available and accessible to partners, developers and interested libraries through the WorldShare Platform in order to create and share new applications and innovation.

A FirstSearch Transition Advisory Group has been formed to ensure the new experience will meet the needs of member libraries and their users. Libraries who use OCLC FirstSearch for delivery will also transition to the new WorldShare Interlibrary Loan service. Timing for beta testing, feedback and migration is outlined below.

Discovery timeline

Illustration: Discovery timeline 2012-2013

  1. June-December 2012: Advisory Group tests the new user experience for FirstSearch
  2. February 2013: Beta testing of the new user experience begins
  3. July 2013: Open migration to new user experience begins


Delivery timeline

Illustration: Delivery timeline 2012-2013

  1. January-June 2012: Beta testing of WorldShare Interlibrary Loan
  2. July 2012-December 2012: Two managed migration phases of WorldShare Interlibrary Loan
  3. February 2013: Open migration to WorldShare Interlibrary Loan begins in the U.S.
  4. June to September 2013: Non-US WorldCat Resource Sharing subscribers migrate to WorldShare Interlibrary Loan
  5. July 2013: Libraries with user-initiated ILL begin migration to WorldShare Interlibrary Loan
  6. November 2013: End of new requests in WorldCat Resource Sharing
  7. December 2013: End of access to WorldCat Resource Sharing

Librarians who want a more comprehensive view of local collections with integrated delivery options may add a subscription to the WorldCat Local service. WorldCat Local features such as real-time interoperability with a library's ILS and a built-in OpenURL resolver let users see whether needed items are available and how to access them. WorldCat Local will continue to be the user-facing view for WorldShare Management Services. See a "sneak peek" of the prototype future of FirstSearch to see how the planned new features and functionality significantly enhances the current FirstSearch subscription.