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Online reference

FirstSearch provides access to a core collection of reference databases. The FirstSearch Base Package includes WorldCat as well as other databases such as CAMIO, Electronic Books and OAIster. Users of and WorldCat Local can access these FirstSearch databases through a user-friendly single-search box.

The Future of FirstSearch

WorldCat® Discovery Services is the new way to search WorldCat®. It will eventually replace the FirstSearch® and WorldCat® Local services. WorldCat Discovery Services provides access to 1.8 billion electronic, digital and physical resources in libraries around the world through a single search of WorldCat and a central index that represents more than 2,000 e-content collections. It makes library collections visible where people start their research.

The WorldCat Discovery interface is available to all current FirstSearch, WorldCat Local and WorldShare Management Services subscribers as part of existing and renewed subscriptions. Libraries are encouraged to start their transition to WorldCat Discovery now, before access to the FirstSearch interface ends on December 31, 2015.

Learn more about WorldCat Discovery Services

Underlying FirstSearch is the WorldCat database, the most comprehensive and up-to-date bibliographic resource available. Your users will find relevant records quickly and the location of resources—in your collection or at other libraries—with the click of a button. Users can start and refine searches at one of three different skill levels. And you have the ability to customize many aspects of the experience.

FirstSearch easily integrates into your current library resources. Your subscription includes everything you need to start using FirstSearch and promote it to your users. And a variety of support options make it easy to find answers. FirstSearch's purchase options help you stay within budget, and its functionality can be extended to include other OCLC services such as Interlibrary Loan.

The Future of FirstSearch and WorldCat Local

(streaming video, 48 minutes)
25 January 2014

John McCullough, OCLC Product Manager for Discovery Services, discusses WorldCat Discovery during a presentation at ALA Midwinter in January 2014, Philadelphia, PA.

“We value the FirstSearch interface, since it has numerous bells and whistles. Context-sensitive help is readily available for each search mode, function and feature.”

Two Library Journal reviewers, October 2006

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