Central College

Make resource searching a one-stop shop

Students and instructor in the multi-use instruction room in Central College's library

"We really felt like OCLC, with WorldShare Management Services and WorldCat Discovery, had the most to offer for us and seemed to make the most sense for our users. It also looked workable for our staff."

Kyle Winward
Technical Services Librarian

Central College offers a wide variety of programs, so students have a large range of library needs. Kyle Winward, Technical Services Librarian at Central College, explained that when the library decided to switch to WorldCat® Discovery and WorldShare® Management Services (WMS), “the primary impetus for that was student wants and what we felt could benefit students.” With the incorporation of these solutions, the library has been able to optimize its services and complete tasks with fewer steps. “A big part of our consideration was the discovery layer making all of our collections more discoverable, whether they're in print or online—just bringing that all together,” said Kyle.

Before the library implemented WorldCat Discovery, library users at Central College had to search the local catalog and WorldCat separately, whereas now, this can be done simultaneously. “That's almost like a quantum leap,” Kyle added. It was also a large step for the library’s technical staff to be able to perform tasks with WMS, such as adding a periodical title, without needing to go to three different interfaces. Similarly, students no longer have to search for items in the catalog and in each discrete database. “With WorldCat Discovery and WMS, we have more of one-stop shop for students and other end users, and we also have a one-stop shop for staff members so that processes don’t have to be duplicated,” said Kyle.

"I can be out at a table in the library with my laptop and be able to connect to WMS. I could be upstairs where more of our circulating collection is and check out materials to patrons. When I'm at home, I can make changes to the system as needed. WorldCat Discovery displays well on smartphones. WMS and WorldCat Discovery have really opened up possibilities; they're much more portable."

The library’s catalog used to only show physical items in the library’s collections. Kyle said, “WorldCat Discovery has really opened up more about the e-book holdings that we have, both the specific collections we subscribe to and those e-books that are included with other databases.” The library’s e-resources have also become more accessible to students in the study-abroad program. Central College places a great emphasis on study abroad; they have programs around the world from the Netherlands to Ghana. These students used to run into access issues, and Kyle said, “Since we've gone to WMS, those types of questions or concerns I used to receive [or students saying], ‘I can't access this,’ have gone really down.”

With WMS, “the library has been able to drastically cut down on employee time used on duplicating efforts,” Kyle said, “I don't have to spend 10 more minutes making sure that same title added to this silo and that silo. That frees up more time for local things, archives projects or projects with collection management or outreach projects.” Central College has also been able to cut down on costs since they no longer need to work with multiple vendors. Along with time and cost, another benefit Kyle said the library gained from working with OCLC was ample help from the support staff. “I've been very happy on all sides—the search side, the technical side, and the support side.” Kyle especially appreciates the features of WorldCat Discovery that “open up the world” to useful resources from libraries worldwide.

Map showing location of Central College

Library at a glance

  • A founding member of the Central Iowa Collaborative Collections Initiative (CI-CCI), created in 2013, which ensures quick delivery of interlibrary loans between member libraries
  • Embeds a librarian in each section of the required first-year course “Intersections: Introduction to the Liberal Arts”
  • Hosts Central College’s Tutoring and Writing services in Geisler Library, where librarians work closely with service staff, tutors, and professors to help ensure student success

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