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Camden Theological Library

Connect users to the resources they need

The chapel in Camden Theological Library

"Staff at Camden Theological Library have already noticed the benefits of being able to streamline several workflows with WorldShare Management Services. This has created time for new initiatives, which we did not expect to undertake."

Moira Bryant
Library Manager, Camden Theological Library

The small staff at Camden Theological Library wanted to make their print collections more available to students and researchers and to give these users easy access to a wider range of theological e-resources. Partially, these projects were delayed because of limitations with the library's existing library management system (LMS). "It was necessary to load, maintain and delete MARC records for the print collection in the LMS," Library Manager Moira Bryant explained. "However, as time passed, the need to regularly ingest these data sets [into our discovery service] became an unwelcome responsibility."

Moira and her staff began implementing WorldShare® Management Services (WMS) in May 2015 and went live in time for the following semester in July 2015. "The actual deployment involved less than half a day of down time," Moira said, "as a result of the expertise [of the OCLC team in Australia] that was made available to us."

"Within 24 hours of going live, we had an email from one of our students in Fiji thanking us for providing her with access to our theological databases."

"WMS has removed the need to set aside time to upload MARC records," Moira said, which has allowed library staff to focus on other projects, such as cataloging their 10-year backlog of non-English works. She added, "As a result of the streamlined process for changing call numbers in WMS, we have been able to embark on a project for a retrospective re-classification of 10,000 titles that were published before 1990. Integrating this material into one collection will make it much easier for students to locate."

They've also made their unique print collection more accessible to library users. "As we added our holdings for the Erasmus collection," Moira noted, "we noticed many of these resources were only held in a handful of libraries. Now these specialized resources will be more readily available to researchers."

"We are very happy with the decision to move to OCLC," Moira added. "As we become more familiar with WMS, we are looking at other new initiatives that would have a direct impact on our patrons." For example, they hope to digitize their unique resources and share them online through CONTENTdm®. They also hope to share their print and digital collections with other Uniting Church theological libraries. "This would enable each of us to maximize local budgets and coordinate acquisitions to minimize unnecessary duplication," she explained. And when facing shrinking budgets and limited staff, sharing these important resources may be the best way to make them available to users.

Map showing locaation of Camden Theological Library

Library at a glance

  • Supports members of the Uniting Church in Australia by providing resources for both ministry and lay education as well as theological leadership
  • Patrons comprise diverse cultural groups
  • Collection includes 3,000 current Korean language theological monographs
  • Run by one full-time and four part-time staff members and based at the Uniting Church Centre for Ministry

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