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Testimonials for OCLC Cataloging & Metadata Services

WorldCat search reveals vital clue for book's research

Palm Beach State College Library

In 2012, The History Press published our book Pioneering Palm Beach: The Deweys and the South Florida Frontier (ISBN 978-1609496579). We accomplished much of the book’s research by searching WorldCat, even for items published more than a century ago. One of the book’s subjects, Byrd Spilman Dewey, was an accomplished author of the 19th and early 20th century. Her published books were easily found, such as Bruno or The Blessed Isle, and we also located letters she had written in some university archives. However, one of her publications was quite mysterious and if not for WorldCat, may have never been rediscovered. In searching the Chronicling America newspaper database, we found an item in a 1909 Maysville, Kentucky newspaper that mentioned Mrs. Dewey’s serial story that was being published in an obscure publication called the Florida Review, a short-lived Florida-based literary journal. We had no record of this work, titled From Pine Woods to Palm Groves; it had not been listed in her bibliography. A search of the WorldCat database revealed that the only library that had a complete set of the Florida Review was the Jacksonville Public Library. This vital clue caused us to travel to Jacksonville to find this elusive work. Library staff located the journal among its Florida archives collection. The treasure within those pages changed history. We had discovered an unknown work that provided a beautiful description of pioneer life in the nascent Palm Beach County, something that all other historians had missed! The series turned out to be an eight part serialized book. We are now in the process of adding this undiscovered work to Mrs. Dewey’s anthology to be published in Fall 2013.

– Janet M. DeVries, Library Tech II, Archives, Palm Beach State College Library

– Dr. Ginger L. Pedersen, Dean, Curriculum and Educational Technology, Palm Beach State College

"[WorldCat] is part of our goal to provide excellent service to our patrons and also to reveal our collections as widely as possible"

University of Manitoba

We did look at discontinuing our subscription to WorldCat at one point in the face of a shrinking budget, but we were reluctant to do so because of the way WorldCat revealed our holdings on a much wider scale, and because this wouldn't happen if we didn't use WorldCat. Part of our strategic plan is to provide excellent customer service and we felt that this was an important part of doing so. ...We use WorldCat in many ways--as a source of locating materials for our patrons, to find libraries with materials similar to ours, to see if other libraries have our holdings. ...It is part of our goal to provide excellent service to our patrons and also to reveal our collections as widely as possible. ...When patrons are having trouble finding materials on a particular subject, WorldCat is a good place to begin a search and we can find out whether we hold anything or whether we can get it for them via Interlibrary Loan. Cataloguing staff having trouble finding copy often turn to WorldCat to see if another library holds that item or something similar to use as a starting place for creating an original record. Our holdings are revealed through WorldCat so that anyone searching anywhere in the world can see what we own and make a request for it through their own local library. And, because WorldCat links with other systems, it makes our holdings more accessible to both our patrons and everyone else in other contexts. I'm looking forward to seeing how OCLC's work with Linked Data and other initiatives will continue to make our collections more integrated into other web applications. ...We have a number of unique collections including our Icelandic Collection and Aboriginal Health Collection.  Because we hold unique items in these collections, we are contributing to the value of WorldCat and making the existence of these books and other materials known to the world. ...You can tell that everyone from scholars to genealogists to high school students are using WorldCat, which I find very exciting.

– Lisa O’Hara, Head, Discovery and Delivery Services, University of Manitoba

"WorldCat remains one of the significant avenues for access to the ethnographic and theological research"

Brimson Grow Library

Many people are familiar with University Microfilms (now Proquest Dissertation Publishing) as a useful tool for retrieving doctoral dissertation research done for PhD programs.  Fewer people are familiar with the difficulty of retrieving doctoral research done for Doctor of Ministry programs at theological seminaries.  The databases that exist are voluntary in terms of their participation and therefore less than comprehensive in terms of their research results.  WorldCat remains one of the significant avenues for access to the ethnographic and theological research done by DMin students at other schools.  Standard cataloging protocol calls for the inclusion of a 502 note that includes the phrase "Thesis (D. Min.)"  That tiny phrase remains a key to retrieval via WorldCat of DMin theses that would otherwise be impossible to find short of sending direct inquiries to librarians or program directors at other seminaries.

– Blake Walter, Director, Brimson Grow Library, Northern Seminary