The Claremont Colleges

Expand your catalog and share with the library community at the same time

Image of students at The Claremont Colleges Library

“We want to make all of our resources discoverable as quickly as possible. That's really important to us. And WorldCat query collections save us staff time.”

Margaret Hogarth
Information Resources Acquisitions Team Leader, The Claremont Colleges Library

While the library staff at The Claremont Colleges can usually find new collections in the WorldCat® knowledge base, they sometimes acquire collections that are not yet available. “Frequently, when we buy an archive of some kind, all we get is perhaps a title list,” explained Margaret Hogarth, the Claremont Colleges Library’s Information Resources Acquisitions Team Leader. “There’s no ISSN, no ISBN, no OCLC number.” It’s a lot of work for Margaret to make these items discoverable in the library catalog. “If it's only a few titles, I can just look up the OCLC numbers and add them to the WorldCat knowledge base collection by hand. But when it’s many thousands, it needs to be a community effort, which is where WorldCat comes in.”

To quickly find the WorldCat bibliographic records she needs, Margaret uses a WorldCat query collection through WorldShare® Collection Manager. “If a collection is not yet in the knowledge base, I look for a common element in the MARC records that I can work from. For example, if part of the access method or URL is common, I can set up a query collection looking for that common element,” she said. “I’ll run the query, check the records to make sure that we own it, and then download the data.” She added, “This method will allow me to actually draw together a group of records.”

“Once I create the collection, there's a general setting that allows me to receive automatic record updates. I do it that way. I'd never get that work done if I had to do it by hand.”

Once Margaret gets the output of the query, she turns it into a KBART file. Then, she said, “I make it a knowledge base collection and, if everything is working well and I'm happy with it, then I share it with the community.” When the collection is shared, other libraries can attach their holdings to it and contribute record enhancements. “I look at the WorldCat bibliographic database as the mother of all library catalogs. I really like that collaborative nature,” Margaret said.

Prior to gaining Collection Manager through a WorldShare Management Services (WMS) subscription, the library paid a vendor to manage its e-journal holdings. Even then, the staff had to update the records in several places. “That was a big driving factor for why we chose WMS,” Margaret said, “because we want to maintain the information in as few platforms as possible.” The query collections help save time as well. “All of my queries are a one-time deal,” she said. “I just extract the information from the MARC records, create the collection, and then share it.”

With the time and money the library has saved by automating workflows and collaborating with other libraries, the staff is working on several new projects. First, they audited their EZproxy® instance, updating stanzas and removing old ones. “We have far fewer problem tickets related to EZproxy,” Margaret said. “That was a really good thing.” In addition, they’ve audited the holdings for their print journals and e-collection subscriptions to evaluate expenditures. Margaret also has more time to learn from other libraries. “There's lots of libraries that are working on adding things, so it helps to look at the knowledge base updates,” she said. “It helps to stay involved in the community and stay informed.”

Map showing location of The Claremont Colleges

Library at a glance

  • Supports the Scholarly Communication, Digital Publishing, and Digital Initiatives departments, which maintain the collections of scholarship created by The Claremont Colleges' students, faculty, and staff as well as the digital and special collections
  • Has crafted a research agenda that prioritizes student recruitment and retention, student excellence and success, faculty recruitment and retention, faculty teaching and research, and the distinction of the colleges and the consortium
  • Sponsors publications, exhibitions, programs, and events to stimulate intellectual curiosity, captivate audiences, and lead to new scholarly collaborations

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