WorldCat Local library holdings- and cataloging-related frequently asked questions

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Library holdings- and cataloging-related

Not all of my holdings are in WorldCat—how do I update them?

If your library has not initiated a batchload reclamation project since July 1, 2005, you may request a no-charge, one-time retrospective batchload of your entire collection in your library catalog into WorldCat. You may use this retrospective batchload to add holdings, original records and local data such as local subject headings, uniform titles and notes.

For additional information, see Batchload.

If I catalog a record today, when will it be visible through WorldCat Local?

New cataloging additions to your collection will be visible in WorldCat Local in real time.

What are the plans for making data from our local catalog available in WorldCat Local?

Following enhancements to batchload ordering installed February 16, 2011, you can batchload local bibliographic data into WorldCat to prepare for upcoming WorldCat Local enhancements that will let your users search and display your local data. Local bibliographic data you can batchload includes local subject headings, uniform titles, and much more. You must be fully subscribed to WorldCat Local and maintain unique persistent local system bibliographic numbers in your records.

How many tiers of holdings can be configured within a WorldCat Local implementation?

A WorldCat Local library can have three tiers of holdings plus a fourth WorldCat tier as part of its relevance ranking. The first three tiers are configurable by the library, and the fourth tier is always the global view of resources in all WorldCat libraries.

A WorldCat Local implementation can, for example, have local holdings in the first tier, group/consortial holdings in the second, a state library system’s holdings in the third, and then WorldCat libraries.

Can my users limit search results to resources located at a specific branch?

WorldCat Local can show which location of your library holds copies, provided individual branch holdings are clearly represented in WorldCat. At a minimum, your library should have a unique symbol in WorldCat, and that symbol should be attached to all records for items in your collections. If your library currently indicates branch library holdings in the local holdings field of your catalog records (MARC field 049), you will need to work with OCLC to create records that represent branch level collections at the OCLC symbol level.

If your branches are represented separately by three or five character OCLC institution symbols, you may configure scoping in the Search Results and Relevancy Ranking module of OCLC Service Configuration.

For additional information, see Local Holdings Record Batchload for Branch Level Scoping.

Does branch scoping change the relevance ranking of the results?

No. Relevance ranking is based on a library's OCLC symbol, among other things. The relevance-based order of a result set doesn't change when branch scoping is applied. Branch scoping supports scoping of the result set to the items located at a branch.

The relevance of your library's WorldCat Local implementation is configured primarily by the addition of your library's holdings to WorldCat, which elevates the resources you own to the top of search results. Relevance is also affected by the WorldCat-based holdings of the institutions or consortium you select as your second and third tiers.

You may also display your default search results by library and relevance (current default) or by relevance only.

How can my library make sure its serial holdings information is present in its WorldCat Local implementation?

Make sure that your holdings are set on all your serial records. Staff can save time by using the eSerials Holdings service to add their holdings symbol to WorldCat records. eSerials Holdings automates the process of setting and maintaining holdings, working with partners that include WorldCat Link Manager™, EBSCO LinkSource, Serials Solutions 360Link and the TDNet e-Resource manager.

OCLC has enhanced the display of serials holdings information in WorldCat Local through the use of Local Holdings Records (LHRs) in WorldCat. When enabled, LHRs are used to display serials data in detailed records instead of pulling this information from local library OPACs. Use of LHRs for delivering serials information means that the information displays more quickly to users than when this data is retrieved from OPACs.

When the LHR option is enabled, each time a user clicks to view a detailed record for a serial or article, WorldCat Local will look for the presence of the related LHR. If an LHR is found, WorldCat Local will display data from the following fields and subfields:

  • Online links (856 field)
  • Summary holdings data
  • Call number (852 $k,h,I,m – in this order)

If an LHR is not found, WorldCat Local will attempt to retrieve this information from a library's local OPAC.

When users see the holdings information display, they may choose to "Get current status information" to retrieve item availability and status information from their local OPAC.

When my library batchloads records in preparation for WorldCat Local, how does this process interact with existing Local Holdings Records (LHRs)?

There are two ways LHRs can be added through batchload. When you send MARC Format for Holdings Data to be loaded as LHRs, the process deletes all of your existing LHRs and replaces them. If you choose to create LHRs from bibliographic records, existing LHRs are not deleted and only new LHRs are added. You do not need to send your entire database each time you submit a batchload order. You only need to send sets of records (one or more) that require updating.

Are records in our local catalog that do not contain OCLC numbers included in search results?

If your OCLC symbol is set on the record in WorldCat it will be included in the search result. However, in order for WorldCat Local to display real time item availability for your local catalog the OCLC number must be indexed in all records in your local system The OCLC number is a unique identifier that connects records in WorldCat with records in your local system that contain location and availability information.

OCLC plans to add local system number as another way for WorldCat Local to communicate with your local system. Starting on February 16, 2011, OCLC adds local system bibliographic numbers in WorldCat when you batchload your bibliographic records. The numbers provide another way for WorldCat Local to communicate with your local system, for example, to display local bibliographic data to your WorldCat Local users.

Does the use of WorldCat Local require that all records in our catalog be in WorldCat? Does this include our records for licensed content?

WorldCat Local searches records in WorldCat and does not search your local system. This means all records currently in your local system must be in WorldCat.

OCLC recognizes that libraries often obtain bibliographic records from record providers that prohibit loading of those records into WorldCat. To resolve this issue, OCLC has an ongoing program to identify these record sets and their providers and negotiate directly with the record providers on behalf of all our members for permission to load the records into WorldCat. See the list of vendors that currently partner with OCLC to provide records of their content.

Can OCLC customize mapping of IP addresses to ZIP codes? For example, our IP looks like it is coming from Fairbanks, Alaska, but it is really in Anchorage some 500 miles away.

No. This mapping occurs automatically based on information WorldCat Local can perceive about the IP of the incoming machine. In the case where an IP is provided by an Internet Service Provider (ISP) that is not located near the user, location information may not match that of a user. Users always have the option to change the location to the correct ZIP, state, city or country. Once a user makes this change, a cookie is written to that machine and subsequent visits to or WorldCat Local will reflect that change.

Is the information about print and digital access to a periodical driven by a single record approach? How would that work for the libraries with a separate record approach?

The WorldCat database does not use a single-record approach. OCLC will work with libraries to ensure holdings are on all applicable record formats in WorldCat through a reclamation project.

What is the process for adding my library's symbols to vendor record sets for which OCLC has obtained permission to surface through WorldCat Local?

If your library already licenses vendor record sets for which OCLC has obtained permission to surface though WorldCat Local, log on or create an account in the OCLC Online Service Center to order a batchload project for adding your library's holdings symbol to the record sets.

Please see more about Ordering.