Universidad Complutense Madrid

Cooperate and innovate to secure the future of libraries

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“OCLC’s integrated management platform, WorldShare Management Services (WMS), is the only one that allows for effective shared cataloging incorporating national authority files and makes possible the integral management of both electronic and print collections.”

Javier García García
Subdirector de Procesos y Servicios Bibliotecarios

To support one of the largest universities in Europe, the Complutense University Library takes a leading role in collaborating with innovative global partners to further promote and secure the future of all libraries. “From our point of view,” explained Subdirector de Procesos y Servicios Bibliotecarios Javier García García, cooperation and innovation are “the two fundamental tools that libraries have at their disposal to redefine themselves, manage the threats that face them, and make the very best of the opportunities they have to get a good deal for their users.” Eugenio Tardón, formerly of the Subdirección de Tecnología e Innovación Bibliotecarias, noted that it is essential for libraries to work together. “Investing in and realizing ongoing information developments at the local level to sustain new services and improve existing ones is not within the reach of most libraries by themselves,” he said.

For this reason, the library developed a strategy to join globally cooperative projects, such as HathiTrust. It also participates in Google’s effort to digitize library material. “The Complutense Library supports a strategy based on innovation and cooperation,” Eugenio continued, “and so we have put our confidence in … the most powerful technological innovation of the current library world: the library services platform WMS (WorldShare® Management Services) from OCLC.” Javier said that WMS met the library’s “need to give more visibility to our collections and to manage them in a cooperative global framework based around a solvent technological infrastructure.”

WMS has helped the library not only streamline their processes, but also connect its local print and electronic resources with libraries worldwide through WorldCat®. Javier added that WorldCat “allows our library to take a huge leap in terms of scale and [to] move from a specific inventory (local) to an inventory of global information resources… [W]orking directly with this global inventory allows for the connection and simplification of internal workflows.”

“Only WMS makes it possible … to participate in an effective international global cooperative and multilingual cataloging program based on the ... records of the collective global catalog, WorldCat.”

Eugenio Tardón, formerly of the Subdirección de Tecnología e Innovación Bibliotecarias

Complutense Library’s print collections have been maintained in WorldCat since 2015 so the library could participate in global resource sharing with WorldShare Interlibrary Loan. “This gave our collection great international visibility,” Javier said. Now, the library’s electronic collections are also maintained in WorldCat, which makes them easier to manage. “The electronic resource management work carried out on the [WorldShare] Collection Manager [application] …convinced us of the magnificent benefits of the integral management of electronic resources,” Eugenio said, “from selection and acquisition to the management of access through EZproxy®.” Further, Javier noted, “WorldCat Discovery … offers our users a new level of experience in bibliographic searching … against all the content of WorldCat.” It also supports online visibility of records so that information seekers “can easily access from Google the monograph stock at the Complutense Library,” Javier added.

Beyond the specific features of WMS, Complutense Library chose to partner with OCLC because of its commitment to the future of libraries. “OCLC is a leading organization in terms of library research, such as their contributions to metadata management projects referred to as linked data,” Eugenio said. The online OCLC Community Center “allows for the sharing of information with colleagues worldwide,” he added. “A not-for-profit organization specializing in cooperative library management and governed by their own libraries,” Javier said, “seems to us without a doubt the best option for outsourcing [our management system] in a commercially neutral manner with respect to bibliographic content.”

Javier and Eugenio encourage other libraries to join them in pursuing “innovative, cooperative projects on a global scale,” Eugenio said. Javier added, “In uniting our efforts, we are better prepared to respond to the new needs of our users arising from a networked world.”

Services used by Universidad Complutense Madrid

WorldShare Management Services


Map showing location of Universidad Complutense Madrid

Library at a glance

  • Supports the largest university in Spain with more than 91,000 students and 9,500 staff members, established by a Papal Bull in 1499
  • Holds more than 2 million monographs to support nearly 80 possible majors
  • Participates in Hathi Trust and Google’s global international digitization project

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