WorldCat Local general frequently asked questions

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What configuration options are available to a library in WorldCat Local?

Configuration options include the following:

  • Unique URL as a subdomain of
  • Branded interface with logo and color options for backgrounds and links
  • Branded version of the WorldCat search box for use on your Web site and other Web sites that are familiar to your users
  • Definition of institution, branches and/or group to determine the priority position in search results
  • Interoperability with a library's local system and/or consortial borrowing system (three configurable levels) in areas such as display of item availability, circulation, resource sharing, the ability to place holds and link to an OpenURL resolver
  • Definition of the workflow for institution requests, group requests and requests made to other WorldCat libraries.
  • Selection of databases, to be included in the single search
  • Creation of searchable groups of databases
  • Designation of default database(s) or database group
  • Use of information from Local Holdings Records (LHRs)

Can a WorldCat Local search box be added to e-learning tools such as Blackboard?

Yes. Library staff may place their WorldCat Local™ search box on any Web site or in any Web-enabled environment where they want it to be accessible to library users.

How does WorldCat Local differ from OCLC's group catalogs? Why would my library want to purchase WorldCat Local if we already have a group catalog?

WorldCat Local delivers a locally configured view of your library's and/or group's collections through the environment. This functionality goes beyond what is available in group catalogs on FirstSearch and in the interface.

Below are many of the key characteristics of group catalogs on FirstSearch, group catalogs on and WorldCat Local.

Group catalogs on FirstSearch:

  • FirstSearch-based databases that contain holdings of a specific library group
  • Visible to users of group participants with optional "guest view" for other users
  • "Scoped views" of content help users search subsets of the larger group's holdings
  • Group branding on interface
  • Functionality mirrors FirstSearch service
  • Authorization required for access.

Group catalogs on

  • interface
  • Group holdings elevated in relevance ranking
  • Scoping lets users view results for subsets of the larger group's holdings
  • Group-level branding
  • Custom Web links to group-specified sites
  • Ability to put search box on any Web site to reach users where they frequently search for information.

WorldCat Local:

  • Single-search access to 500+ million items from your library and the world's library collections
  • Local holdings elevated in relevance ranking
  • Option for up to two levels of group/consortium holdings to be elevated in search results
  • Local branding
  • Custom Web links to locally specified sites
  • Interoperability with local ILS for item availability and placing of holds
  • Interoperability with consortial ILS for item availability and placing of holds
  • Interoperability with local OpenURL resolver for delivery of online materials
  • Interoperability with resource sharing system for placing of interlibrary loan requests
  • Opportunity to integrate local collections in search results
  • Ability to place search box on any Web site to reach users where they frequently search for information.

What kinds of statistical reports does OCLC provide to WorldCat Local libraries?

OCLC provides WorldCat Local subscribers with access to a hosted tracking/metrics tool to view all Web usage statistics for their WorldCat Local site. This consists of dozens of reports, most of which are customizable to fit an institution's needs. The reports include (but are not limited to) search counts, search terms, delivery option clicks and page views for every local page.

Usage statistics for licensed content from OCLC that is accessed through WorldCat Local are included in FirstSearch statistical reports at and through My Files (under the WorldShare Metadata tab). Usage statistics for content from non-OCLC sources are available from the providers of those sources.

Starting in November, all statistics will be available via the hosted tracking tool.

How can our library make interface changes or suggestions?

OCLC reviews feedback from library staff and library users as it plans enhancements to the service. In addition, OCLC conducts extensive usability testing with a variety of users to determine needed changes.

What is the difference between WorldCat Local and TouchPoint?

Unlike WorldCat Local, OCLC TouchPoint is deployed within a library's service environment, rather than on the web. It is an ideal solution for those libraries that require a high degree of customization for their discovery environment.