Biblioteca Max von Buch, Universidad de San Andrés goes live with WorldCat Local

By Andrea Saladino, Director, Biblioteca Max von Buch, Universidad de San Andrés

Biblioteca Max von Buch, Universidad de San Andrés, located in Victoria, Buenos Aires, Argentina, has gone live with WorldCat Local. We are the first OCLC member in Argentina and the first in Latin America to go live with the service. We’ve been an OCLC member since 1998, and we went live with WorldCat Local in September.

Prior to selecting WorldCat Local, we knew we wanted to transform our users' discovery experience. The access to the different resources had become very difficult for them. We also wanted to provide more visibility to the collection and increase query statistics.

One of the challenges our library was facing before we implemented WorldCat Local was providing users with bibliographic instruction. We wanted a solution that would allow our users to have streamlined access to 100 percent of the resources available to them.

By allowing our users to take advantage of all of these resources—subscription-based, free, Web-based and beyond— we knew that their experience would be parallel to that of Web browsers. We wanted to ensure that users could quickly and easily get to their search results.

WorldCat Local is now the first access point to the library. Instead of teaching toward the various databases that we subscribe to, we now have a single method for our users to conduct their searches. We have also started to use the service to create course reserves. Queries to our reference team are also now more specific and accurate.

More about Biblioteca Max von Buch, Universidad de San Andrés

Biblioteca Max von Buch and Universidad de San Andrés both opened in 1989. Since the beginning, the library has had open shelves and the books were classified using the Dewey Decimal System to physical locations and alphabetical subject access using Macrothesauro and UNBIS Thesaurus. Our online catalog was developed with MicroIsis software.

In 1990, a new version of our software allowed us to automate loans. Our university professors have helped grow our collection by suggesting books to purchase and subscriptions to periodicals. Major donations have also contributed to the library's growth.


The University and library grew substantially. We needed to align our new vision with the latest technologies and international standards of academic libraries. In 1998, we became an OCLC member through cataloging, then later we also started interlibrary loan through the cooperative. In November of the same year we acquired through a grant, the library software, ALEPH. Also during this time, the library needed a new building, and architect Rafael Viñoly was selected to lead its design and construction. It was critical that the design was state-of-the-art, providing the best environment and amenities for our staff and users.

We moved into the new building in April 1999. We started using our new software, and we changed to the Library of Congress Classification system for the physical location of documents and Library of Congress Subject Headings for alphabetical subject access. We also adopted MARC21 for bibliographic records. Our Serials Collection was organized on open shelving and we also provide a Document Supply Service.

The new building officially opened on June 23, 1999. The name "Max von Buch Library" honors the family who donated the funds for its construction.

The collection was enhanced significantly due to increasing electronic resources, especially databases. We launched our Special Collections and Archives in 2000. Our strategic direction also shifted, making participation in several international cooperatives a top priority.

Today, our strategic initiatives focus on providing information literacy, improving access to online resources (on and off campus), and the dissemination of academic scientific production of the University through the Repositorio Digital San Andrés (online repository).

Cooperative work with other libraries is also a priority for us. We have recently signed a cooperative agreement with UNIO, a consortium that includes our library, plus three additional Argentinean university libraries, to broaden our users’ access to the collections of these participating libraries.


Andrea Saladino, Director, Biblioteca Max von Buch, Universidad de San Andrés

By the numbers

OCLC Symbol: U@S

Volumes: 60,000

Periodicals: 1,700 print; 34,000 electronic

Population served: 2,000 (students, professors, researchers and staff)

Library staff: 10 (seven librarians, one historian, one lawyer and one clerical)