Utrecht University

Make your collections visible wherever your users are

Photo of Utrecht University interior
Photo by Maria Salaru

"[In the future,] the role of the library will be to help users navigate the new world. WorldCat.org will be very important, especially for the physical collection, and libraries can work with OCLC to surface metadata on the Web. This is rightscaling."

Anja Smit
University Librarian, Utrecht University

With a culture of wanting everything instantly and having information at your fingertips, it is no surprise that we automatically go online to find what we need. This means libraries need to consider how they can improve the visibility and exposure of their resources more effectively online.

Utrecht University Library was challenged by the issue of users going straight to popular services, such as Google Scholar, Scopus or Web of Science. Library staff decided to take a proactive approach, effectively seeking out the users rather than waiting for the users to come to them. "Libraries need to make their collections discoverable and accessible on the Web. This will take libraries into the center of the users' workflow," said Anja Smit, University Librarian.

"OCLC's syndication services are more efficient than local provision, and they deliver more impact by taking library collections to where users are working."

Utrecht University Library understood that their participation in WorldCat® and their ongoing contribution of metadata through WorldShare® Metadata Services and WorldCat.org™ would address this issue. OCLC orchestrates a syndication process behind the scenes in WorldCat on behalf of libraries to make the data available to consumer websites, content providers and other partners. This satisfies the requirement from Utrecht to push links and access to their collections out to the myriad sites where students are working on the Web.

Now that there is a great deal more emphasis placed on return on investment in libraries, it makes sense to repurpose metadata already being shared through the WorldShare Platform to deliver greater exposure. This allows Utrecht University Library to offer a more effective user experience by positioning access to their resources on multiple websites where users are most engaged in seeking relevant information.

Map showing location of Utrecht University

Library at a glance

  • Serves approximately 125,000 alumni
  • Consists of two libraries
  • Holds extensive special collections on themes including city history, water management, reformation and expeditions

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