Roanoke Valley Libraries to improve online experience for users with OCLC Wise

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DUBLIN, Ohio, 8 September 2022Roanoke Valley Libraries (RVL), in Virginia, which includes libraries in Botetourt County, City of Roanoke, City of Salem, and County of Roanoke, has signed on to implement OCLC Wise, the first community engagement system for U.S. public libraries.

Wise is a holistic system that takes community engagement and collection management to a new level by combining the power of customer relationship management, marketing, and analytics with integrated library system (ILS) functionality, such as circulation and acquisitions. Wise is different; it's designed around people, not the collection. Wise supports libraries' continued shift into dynamic centers of activity and expands the impact libraries have on their communities.

Public libraries have become community centers with a broad range of resources and experiences for all ages. "Our libraries have changed so much over the years that the traditional approach of a collection-focused online catalog is no longer enough to meet our patrons' needs," said Toni Cox, Acting Director for Roanoke County Public Library. "Libraries are more about people than things."

With Wise, RVL users can expect a personalized, easy-to-use online platform and personalized profile to help them discover what they want to read, find, and experience at the library. Wise allows people to identify things they're interested in, from new books to upcoming events, and be automatically notified when something is added that they might like.

"Many people are familiar with the online catalog," said Ann Tripp, Salem Library Director. "OCLC Wise is that, and so much more." A traditional ILS keeps records of the libraries' collections and users. In contrast, a community engagement system like Wise makes it easier for users to discover and interact with the many experiences the libraries have to offer.

"We often hear people say, ‘I didn't know you had/did that!' when they talk to our staff," said Sheila Umberger, Roanoke Public Library Director. "OCLC Wise will make it much easier not only to find what you're looking for, but also to discover and take advantage of opportunities you didn't know existed at your library."

Wise is used by 75 percent of public libraries in the Netherlands, and has been adapted for use in U.S. public libraries. "RVL is excited to join some of the most innovative public libraries in the U.S. by adopting OCLC Wise as our new community engagement platform," notes Julie Phillips, Botetourt Library Director. "We're an early adopter, which means we have a big voice in how this product is developed to meet our users' needs."

Roanoke Valley Libraries will also be using OCLC's CapiraMobile, a customizable app that allows users to engage with the library and learn about events, services, and resources conveniently through their mobile phones. The library can send notifications about new programs and promotions, allow users to search the catalog, and support self-checkout and digital library cards through CapiraMobile.

"We're excited to welcome the Roanoke Valley Libraries as a Wise early adopter," said Mary Sauer-Games, OCLC Vice President, Global Product Management. "We look forward to working with the talented and enthusiastic RVL staff to ensure that the communities they serve can take full advantage of the wonderful programs, resources, and collections they have to offer."

Learn more about Wise at oc.lc/wise.

About OCLC

OCLC is a nonprofit global library organization that provides 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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