The University of Winnipeg

Build on existing services to better support students

Student in The University of Winnipeg's library
© The University of Winnipeg

"Implementing WMS has allowed us redeploy some of our work hours and do things that we want to do, like make use of the SUSHI analytics and start a KBART project."

Emma Hill Kepron
Digital Initiatives Librarian

For many years, The University of Winnipeg’s library has used OCLC services to catalog, share, and help users find resources. When staff members were ready to upgrade their existing library system, the most efficient solution was to add the few remaining services that are included with WorldShare® Management Services (WMS). As Digital Initiatives Librarian Emma Hill Kepron explained, “Honestly, one of the reasons we selected WMS was it meant we actually didn't have to do too many things differently.” But the changes they did make after implementing WMS have saved staff members a lot of time and frustration, made student information more secure, and will allow the staff to give back to the broader library community.

One welcome change has been the ability to automate the addition of student data into WMS each semester, which had previously been a manual process. Emma explained, “Now, thanks to a process using SFTP, we've automated the import… from the student information system to OCLC,” and OCLC staff ensures the student data is loaded into the university’s WMS instance. This allows students to use a single sign-on with campus credentials in the library, keeps their information more secure on the campus portal, and frees library staff from troubleshooting password issues.

In addition, the library is using Digby®, an included mobile app with WMS that supports managing pull lists, reshelving, conducting inventory, and other tasks. “When we're weeding our reference collection, if we want something to move up to the main stacks, we can kind of do that right on the go,” Emma said. With Digby, “Inventory is easy. Location changes are great.”

“We were able to configure the system to allow us to maintain workflows that we felt were important to maintain, but… there are definitely things we do differently now and—especially in the case of acquisitions and metadata—things that I think we do better.”

“Our acquisitions department no longer has to manually enter order records,” Emma said, which has resulted in significant time savings. “In our old system, tracking orders, paying invoices, encumbering funds was a multi-platform process that is now on a single platform, WMS,” she explained. “It’s much easier for [us]… to see where things are in the process.” Further, since WMS allows for nested budget lines, it’s easier for staff to manage spending. “I'm also the subject liaison for English, and now I can keep better track of what I spent on e-books and what I spent on monographs,” she continued. “Now, I can see literally a pie chart with how much I have left to spend.”

Through SUSHI report harvesting, WorldShare License Manager provides the library with direct access to data on the use of their electronic collections for the first time. “You don't have to rely on vendors to provide that for you,” Emma said. License Manager also makes the library’s public notes visible in WorldCat® Discovery, which helps library users understand how they can use the resource they’ve found.

With these and other changes to their workflows, the staff have found time to contribute more to the library community. After years of benefiting from KBART files that libraries created and shared, Emma is eager to provide files for others to use. “A future project we're working on is to create our own KBART files from existing MARC records for a small collection that we have here.” The metadata department also plans to enhance existing catalog records for items relating to indigenous knowledge, “which is something of great interest to my campus and Canada,” she said. “We have a lot of books by indigenous authors and on indigenous subjects… . We'd like to pull those all together and… make them more findable.” She added, “We simply did not have the time to do that before.”


  • Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

Library at a glance

  • Serves nearly 10,000 students through a university noted for indigenous scholarship, environmental commitment, small class sizes, and campus diversity
  • Located on Treaty 1 Territory, in the heart of the Métis Nation, and maintains an indigenous collection to promote dialogue about diversity
  • Supports researchers throughout the publication cycle with research data management, funding, open access, and other challenges
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