Based on member feedback, OCLC will extend unlimited access to FirstSearch beyond the previously announced date of December 31, 2015 to a to-be-determined date in late 2016. Access to per-search searching on FirstSearch will end on December 31, 2015.
I want to take this opportunity to introduce myself. I am Mike Showalter, and I recently joined OCLC as the Executive Director of End-User Services at OCLC, where I have product management responsibility for all reference and discovery products, including FirstSearch and WorldCat Discovery.
An important part of my first 30 days on the job was to lead a review of the transition from the OCLC FirstSearch Service to WorldCat Discovery. The team has completed that review, which included critical feedback from many of you about FirstSearch, WorldCat Discovery functionality and the transition plan that was put in place last year. Based on that feedback, OCLC has decided to extend unlimited access to FirstSearch beyond the announced date of December 31, 2015 to a to-be-determined date in late 2016. Per-search access to FirstSearch will end on December 31, 2015 as previously communicated.
When will a new date be announced?
Central to this decision was our desire to add the important features that you identified and give you time to review our solutions in a timeframe that allows you to complete your transition on a schedule appropriate for your library. You will hear a new date once we are satisfied that we have met those goals.
WorldCat Discovery migration efforts will continue
WorldCat Discovery meets the needs of most libraries today, and thousands of OCLC members currently use the new service. I want to extend a personal thank you to those of you who have led the community in adopting WorldCat Discovery at your libraries. Your leadership will help others as they implement the new service in the coming months.
Many librarians have provided OCLC with insightful feedback on how well the service meets the needs of their library staffs and users. In addition, the WorldCat Discovery Advisory Group continues to provide essential input on plans for the service. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us, and please continue to do so.
What does this mean for WorldCat Local and WorldShare Management Services (WMS) libraries?
If your library currently uses WorldCat Local as your discovery service or the user-facing interface for WMS, you do not need to make any changes at this time. Once an end date for access to WorldCat Local has been determined, you will have ample time to plan your library’s transition.
What does this mean for libraries with a per-search subscription?
December 31, 2015 remains the end-of-access date for per-search searching on FirstSearch, even though the service will continue for libraries with an unlimited subscription. Any library with remaining search blocks should plan to use them up by December 31, 2015, as FirstSearch will not support per-search searching beyond that date.
OCLC’s goal is to provide a service that truly meets the needs of your library staff and users. You can continue to send us your suggestions for WorldCat Discovery, as we add features to WorldCat Discovery on a regular basis. The next release of new features to WorldCat Discovery is scheduled for today, July 23.
Information about changes to the service will be distributed through the WORLDCAT-DISCOVERY-L listserv, the OCLC-FIRSTSEARCH-L listserv and the WorldCat Discovery website. The OCLC Community Center is also a wonderful new place where you can share your ideas and vote on WorldCat Discovery enhancement requests to make your voice heard.
I look forward to being part of the OCLC team that helps users connect with your library’s resources as well as the resources in thousands of other libraries around the world.