WorldCat® Local consortia-related frequently asked questions

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Consortia

In a consortium in which libraries share bibliographic records but only a few libraries use WorldCat Local, how will the correct records display in search results?

WorldCat Local uses the WorldCat database for discovery. As long as your holdings are set and up-to-date in WorldCat, users will find your library's resources. When each library is identified in the local catalog as holding the item, then sharing of bibliographic records is not an issue.

What does WorldCat Local offer a consortium that has no union catalog other than an OCLC borrowing group?

WorldCat Local can be configured to display holdings of a group of libraries—even those that do not share a union catalog—in search results. The libraries in the group can determine how to best link users to their resource sharing option.

Will WorldCat Local work in a shared library system if only one institution wants to participate?

Yes. Libraries have implemented WorldCat Local with the display of their resources first and the resources from libraries in their consortium as the second tier in their search results displays.

In a consortium, must all libraries use the same system in order to implement WorldCat Local?

No, all libraries in a consortium are not required to use the same system in order to implement WorldCat Local.

My library system has a shared collection that does not provide information about items located in individual libraries. How will we provide information about collections of individual libraries?

Library staff should work with an OCLC representative to discuss a reclamation project to assign a unique OCLC symbol to records on an individual library basis.

My library is not part of a consortium. Can I choose a consortium I know is familiar to my users as the second tier of holdings displayed in my WorldCat Local implementation?

Yes, even though your library is not in a formal consortial agreement with other libraries, you may still select a group of libraries with which you are most interested in sharing as one of your tiers.

We are one of several libraries in a large research library system. What does "local library" mean in this context? Are settings at the campus or system level rather than our library level?

If your library has its own unique OCLC symbol in WorldCat, you may determine that WorldCat Local will display your library's resources first in results, followed by those of the other libraries in your system. If your users are familiar with searching across all system libraries, you may prefer to rank system holdings first in results lists.

Will WorldCat Local let our users request consortial materials if no other libraries in the consortium use WorldCat Local?

Yes. WorldCat Local can be set up so your users can easily identify items owned by other members of your consortium, as long as their ownership information is in the WorldCat database. Your WorldCat Local service will be configured to enable users to obtain the materials they need using the familiar delivery services you already provide to them.

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 »