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OCLC's Express program uses 'smart fulfillment' enhancements to help libraries deliver materials fast

OCLC uses data to automate options and recommendations for libraries using the world's largest resource sharing network

DUBLIN, Ohio, 18 March 2021—More than 1,000 libraries are now participating in OCLC's new Express digital delivery program that facilitates exceptionally fast turnaround times using smart fulfillment enhancements to OCLC resource sharing services.

Designed to simplify and save, the Express program is for libraries that consistently deliver articles and other digital resources within 18 hours or less through OCLC's WorldShare Interlibrary Loan (ILL) network. As part of the program, these libraries can leverage the OCLC ILL services they already use—Tipasa, ILLiad or WorldShare ILL—to provide the fastest service possible at no extra charge.

Libraries selected for the Express program have demonstrated a commitment to service, are recognized as exemplary suppliers, and have consistently met or exceeded set delivery expectations. Express is a cooperative program; libraries in the group receive the same fast resource sharing service that they provide.

"After all of the adversity of the past year, it's very encouraging to see OCLC rolling out its Express program," said Patrick Shannon, Head, Interlibrary Services, UC Berkeley Library. "UC Berkeley's ILL staff will be active and enthusiastic participants, supporting the research of our own patrons and scholars worldwide."

The Express program is one example of how smart fulfillment enhancements can speed up delivery. Smart fulfillment enhancements across all OCLC resource sharing services are designed to help libraries successfully meet the high expectations of information users.

"Today's sophisticated information seekers expect the resources they need to be available anytime, anywhere, and delivered quickly," said Mary Sauer-Games, OCLC Vice President, Global Product Management. "Our ongoing smart fulfillment enhancements along with new delivery capabilities are taking OCLC resource sharing services to another level of speed and library customer satisfaction."

Smart fulfillment functionality weighs policy data, lending history, licensing agreements, and format preferences, to present resources that are available locally, regionally, and around the world. Then, it automatically predicts and selects which libraries will deliver the fastest based on historical data.

Smart fulfillment enhancements include:

  • Automated request manager ensures people get what they need fast. Libraries configure the service to process requests for electronic and physical materials automatically; they don't have to touch every transaction but still retain control.
  • Smart lender strings optimize turnaround time by automatically predicting and selecting which libraries will deliver the fastest based on historical data. Built-in load balancing ensures no individual library has more requests than its staff can handle.
  • Real-time availability knows when and where a physical item is available to ensure libraries can deliver the needed item with the speed users want.
  • Dynamic group functionality identifies and manages groups of libraries that meet specific criteria, like 18-hour or less turnaround or free lending in their region.

"The OCLC resource sharing network links together the largest community of libraries in the world," said Peter Collins, OCLC Director of Resource Sharing. "By using data on the network, we are able to automate tasks, select the best suppliers, and predict the time to fill. At a time when budgets are under pressure, OCLC resource sharing systems and services can help libraries save staff time, increase speed of delivery, and exceed customer expectations."

Learn more about OCLC's vision for the Library on-demand and ongoing smart fulfillment enhancements on the website.

About OCLC

OCLC is a nonprofit global library cooperative providing shared technology services, original research and community programs so that libraries can better fuel learning, research and innovation. Through OCLC, member libraries cooperatively produce and maintain WorldCat, the most comprehensive global network of data about library collections and services. Libraries gain efficiencies through OCLC’s WorldShare, a complete set of library management applications and services built on an open, cloud-based platform. It is through collaboration and sharing of the world’s collected knowledge that libraries can help people find answers they need to solve problems. Together as OCLC, member libraries, staff and partners make breakthroughs possible.

OCLC, WorldCat, WorldCat.org and WorldShare are trademarks and/or service marks of OCLC, Inc. Third-party product, service and business names are trademarks and/or service marks of their respective owners.


  • Bob Murphy

    Manager, Media Relations

    O: +1-614-761-5136

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