ADA University

Share solutions through global collaboration

Student and librarian at ADA University Library's circulation desk

ADA University logo

"It is for Azerbaijan to be part of the global library and information world that we put our bibliographic and authority data in a world catalog. This the best opportunity for people to know about these resources."

Elchin Mammadov
Acting Director, ADA University Library

ADA University Library is the first of its kind in Azerbaijan: a free-standing library that supports an English-language university focused on educating international leaders. As Acting Director and 2010 Jay Jordan IFLA/OCLC Fellow Elchin Mammadov explained, Azerbaijan's continued emergence from 70 years of Soviet rule has led to challenges for the library. "Europe and the US can communicate easily because of shared languages and cultures," he said. "The language barrier sometimes creates challenges for us."

Elchin and the previous library director, Martha Speirs, understood that ADA's students and faculty members would benefit from the worldwide resources available in WorldCat®. And they knew the library would benefit from having their resources appear in WorldCat, leading to better collaboration with libraries worldwide. "How do we get our resources to be shared globally?" Martha asked. "I think it is very important to get a new area's culture and language loaded into WorldCat, so then it is exposed to the rest of the world."

"If we can get everything into WorldCat, then it is easily shared by all the [OCLC] members who use WorldCat, and we avoid duplication of effort."

Martha Speirs

Former Director, ADA University Library

Although the main collection is in English, the library also includes works in Azerbaijani, Russian, Ukrainian, Polish, French and German as well as languages spoken by different ethnic groups, such as Lezgi, Avar and Udi. "But we do original cataloging mostly in Azerbaijan language and the Russian language," Elchin explained. That initially led to some challenges around getting the records into WorldCat in a script that was both accurate and machine-readable. Through close collaboration with OCLC metadata experts, Elchin was able to resolve these issues and load the library's diverse collection into WorldCat. (By the end of 2016, WorldCat will support full Unicode, which means ADA University Library and others can more easily upload, catalog and discover titles using every character of every script in the world.)

As Elchin continues to work through differences between traditional Soviet and western-style librarianship, such as implementing the Library of Congress Classification System and Subject Headings and RDA cataloging rules, he knows the library's users are already benefiting from inclusion in WorldCat. "For the end users," he said, "it is a big data [source] about the information resources all over the world. [They now know] how to find the right resources, reliable resources from other libraries." As an IFLA/OCLC Fellow, he had the opportunity "to listen to colleagues, professionals, librarians who shared their knowledge with us." Now, WorldCat helps him to maintain that "communication and interchanging of ideas." He added, "We chose OCLC for global cooperation."

Services used by ADA University


OCLC Cataloging and Metadata Subscription

Map showing location of ADA University

Library at a glance

  • Part of an English-language higher education institution that seeks to cultivate innovative global leaders who are committed to making a difference in Azerbaijan and throughout the world
  • School started as a training center for young diplomats to meet the expanding needs of Azerbaijan’s foreign service and grew into a full-fledged university in 2014 offering undergraduate and graduate degrees
  • Supports a 3,000-member university community, including 110 faculty members of four schools specializing in public and international affairs, business, education, IT and engineering as well as guest PhD and Master students
  • First library in Azerbaijan to implement Library of Congress Classification System and Subject Headings and RDA cataloging rules
  • Collection focuses on international relations, political and economic theory, business administration, English-language teaching and learning, information technology and engineering, with growing collections covering general education areas

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