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


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


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.

Watch an introduction to the redesigned WorldCat Discovery interface.

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 521 million bibliographic records. Combine WorldCat with a content-neutral central index of more than 3,138 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.



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.


Member stories

Kore University of Enna exterior view

Gain greater visibility and share research internationally

Learn how Università degli Studi di Enna Kore made more resources available to their users, while also increasing their global reach.

Students working in the library at SAE Institute, Sydney

Simplify ILL to increase requests

Learn how the SAE Institute dramatically increased ILL requests by simplifying both their users' experience and resource sharing workflows.

"We were able to maintain student access to library resources, even when our library was in a different city from the campus, because WorldCat Discovery makes it so easy for them to browse and get millions of electronic resources."

Lydia Putnam [photo]Lydia Putnam
Webmaster & Technical Services Coordinator, Missio Seminary

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.

Service availability

  • Available everywhere (features differ by locale)

Learn more

WorldCat Discovery brochure

Download the WorldCat Discovery brochure
Download the brochure (US Letter)
Download the brochure (A4)