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Empower breakthroughs, one search at a time.

WorldCat Discovery helps people navigate their research journeys to find and get resources from your library and libraries worldwide. The service balances technical advances and ongoing research with extensive user input and testing to keep pace with your library's changing needs.


Beyond the search. Results.

Connect people to the resources they identify, whether they access the full text electronically, get a print copy in your library, request items through interlibrary loan, or buy them from a content provider. WorldCat Discovery search results are only the beginning of new discoveries and innovation.

Learn more about WorldCat Discovery

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How University of Delaware Library supports remote users with
virtual shelf browse

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, staff at the University of Delaware Library, Museums and Press focused on pickup service options to provide physical library resources. But they knew that library users would especially miss browsing the shelves for serendipitous library finds.

"We knew that many of our disciplines were going to really miss that opportunity to go into the physical shelves and have that serendipitous browsing experience for new materials."

Meg Grotti
Associate Librarian and Assistant Head of Instructional Services, Reference and Instructional Services Department, University of Delaware Library

Librarians Aimee Gee and Meg Grotti looked for ways to promote WorldCat Discovery’s virtual shelf browse feature to meet this need. They worked with their colleague, Digital Content Specialist Kris Raser, to develop a short video demonstrating how to virtually browse shelves and posted it on the library’s website. Aimee and Meg combined their library experience with Kris’s talent for translating library concepts into user-centered language and imagery that are easily understood by University of Delaware students. The video has received rave reviews, especially from grad students developing reading lists. In fact, the library has seen an increase in use of all instructional videos as more instruction and research shifts online.

The shelf browse video is the latest in a series of the library’s instructional videos. According to Meg Grotti, “A silver lining of the pandemic has really been that we’ve been able to put these instructional resources we’ve been building through the paces and lead the kind of instruction we’ve been experimenting with in a much more comprehensive way.” 

"Users can refer back to this video any time. They can watch it as many times as they need to, call us when they need to, and then we can focus our instruction time with them on any questions they have"

Aimee Gee
Senior Assistant Librarian and English and American Literature Librarian, Reference and Instructional Services Department, University of Delaware Library


Watch UDL's shelf browse video


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Offer an intuitive search experience

Input from the WorldCat Discovery community drives refinements to the service. Our user-focused, methodical testing ensures that you'll have the functionality you need to help people find what they need, regardless of material format, whether it’s available in a library around the corner or across the globe.


Expand your collections through WorldCat and a broad central index

Connect your users to WorldCat, the powerhouse of research databases built over the course of more than 45 years of library cooperation with more than 498 million bibliographic records. Combine WorldCat with a content-neutral central index of more than 3,081 collections from leading publishers to give your users access to more than 4 billion items from a wide variety of resources. Unbiased search results do not favor specific topics or content collections. Learn more about OCLC's support for the NISO Open Discovery Initiative.

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Meet people where they begin their searches

A FirstSearch/WorldCat Discovery subscription works with your OCLC cataloging subscription to make your collections visible in places where people start their searches. The more than 80% of people who, according to studies, begin their research in search engines or other popular websites can continue their journey via convenient links from WorldCat.org to your library, thanks to OCLC’s extensive partner relationships. Two clicks bring searchers from search engines and websites such as Wikipedia, Google Books, and Goodreads to your library’s resources and a path toward knowledge.


Build a bond that lasts

Embedding your library's collections into people’s lives improves awareness of your services, changes their research habits, and builds lifelong connections. When people reliably find and access the resources they need through your library, they’ll be more likely to consider it next time they need information. WorldCat Discovery helps your library have a greater impact on campus and in your community.

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Member stories

Students at Missio Seminary

Maintain library resource access during transitional periods

Discover how Missio Seminary supports students and faculty with remote access to the library items they need.

OADTL staff

Make open content discoverable to share with the world

Discover how the Open Access Digital Theological Library achieves its mission to make religious scholarly content freely available worldwide.

"The major feature of WorldCat Discovery Services as a discovery tool is the global scale in which this service can help librarians. This type of tool has long been a dream of librarians and is now available and is particularly suitable for our institution."

Elisabetta Morani [photo]Elisabetta Morani
Head Librarian, John Cabot University

WorldCat Discovery helps people easily find and get resources available at your library and in libraries worldwide through a single search of WorldCat and familiar, authoritative e-content collections. It also connects users to your collections via popular websites where people typically start their research.