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special libraries

Special libraries fill a unique niche in the library community. Their collections are often heavily weighted to one area of interest in support of a specific user base. Because of this specialization, the libraries often house special collections that are invaluable not only to their own users but also to researchers around the world. OCLC programs and services help special libraries get needed resources to users at the point of need.

Visitors to the Indiana Historical Society using the Destination Indiana interface
Photo by Amy Ungar

Make history relevant in a visual culture

The Indiana Historical Society enhanced their digital exhibits with Destination Indiana. This website organizes images from its vast collection into short “journeys” that provide an image-rich overview of a topic. The flexibility of the Destination Indiana database allows it to support a dynamic, custom interface as well as extensive metadata to support each image.

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Photo of researchers in the Rijksmuseum library

Facilitate research through group catalogs

The Rijksmuseum and other participants in artlibraries.net sought a more advanced and future-looking system to give single-search access to the world’s most important art library catalogs. The Future of Art Bibliography group established the Art Discovery Group Catalogue to pull results from participating libraries as well as other freely available databases faster than any other system.

Read the Rijksmuseum's story


Photo of the Bavarian State Library

Make knowledge visible and available internationally

Librarians at the Bavarian State Library were used to fulfilling a wide array of requests from all over Germany. They realized that, with the ever-growing international need for resources, they needed to extend their reach. The library now makes its resources, including special collections, easily accessible across the globe.

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Photo of Australian parrot by John Manger, courtsey of CSIRO
Photo by John Manger, courtesy of CSIRO

Support scientists around the world

Australia's Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) processes a high volume of interlibrary loan requests around the world, which makes it difficult to keep up with multiple supplier accounts, different billing cycles and requests in different formats. Now that the library has integrated a new ILL system into its existing request system, staff receive requests in a standard format and pay only one invoice a month.

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Photo of The National Academies Research Center

Increase e-content usage with systems that work together

The National Academy of Sciences dramatically increased users' access to e-journals and e-books, providing a greater return on the library's fee-based e-resources. Despite the increase, the staff spends less time on e-content because of a knowledge base and discovery tool that are integrated into the library's management system. With their time savings, the librarians have increased their marketing of the library and launched a suite of LibGuides.

Read The National Academy of Sciences' story