WorldCat Navigator is a new service that provides seamless resource sharing within your library group and beyond. The service manages returnable and nonreturnable items, and integrates with circulation systems and the wider OCLC resource sharing network to create a superior discovery-to-delivery tool. Your users experience a more intuitive and streamlined process, while your staff saves time and effort.
Better access, improved efficiency
Information seekers on the Web are accustomed to real-time, integrated information flowing and connecting from multiple sources. To keep up, librarians are accessing more data services than ever before. This is currently an unbalanced equation, where the need for increased user access is being met by additional work for librarians. Librarians do a lot of work to provide access to materials at the local level, and to leverage the value of their collections through consortial relationships and interlibrary loan agreements. WorldCat Navigator lightens this workload by linking catalog data and circulation activities in a more integrated, streamlined system. Local, consortial and interlibrary loan information is shared across connected user and librarian interfaces, automating the discovery-to-delivery process in a way that is more intuitive for users and less intrusive for librarians.
Finally, the circulation process can connect with local, consortial and network-wide discovery and delivery. Better automation of delivery processes saves staff time. And users benefit from a complete view of what you make available to them, all in one place.
How WorldCat Navigator streamlines the discovery-to-delivery process
The workflow for WorldCat Navigator is simple:
- End user places request
- Staff manages the request
- User receives materials
Multiple search processes are combined into one for the user in a locally branded portal where relevancy rankings are based on group holdings. Wherever the item is held, the process is the same for libraries because of behind-the-scenes request management based on policies.
The link between circulation, consortial borrowing and interlibrary loan
At the heart of this new service is the Navigator Request Engine (NRE). The NRE builds an unlimited lender string based on a combination of local and group holdings as reflected in WorldCat. It then provides real-time availability information to users, and sends requests only to those libraries that can fulfill them. Requests that can’t be satisfied within the group can also be sent out to the wider resource sharing network using ISO protocols while remaining within the NRE staff interface.
Patron front end
From the user’s perspective, the discovery-to-delivery process becomes seamless. Authentication is provided within the discovery interface (either WorldCat.org for group catalogs, or WorldCat Local). Clickable item availability is provided in real-time, and users manage their requests all in the same interface. Relevancy rankings based on local and group holdings “bubble up” to the top of searches, so that users find the materials closest to them more easily.
From the staff perspective, the process of fulfilling an interlibrary loan request becomes, essentially, an integrated part of the group delivery solution. There is no need to manually transfer a request from the local/group circulation system to an ILL product—WorldCat Navigator does that for you. The management of what are, often, a complex set of rules and relationships is relegated to the software. Your staff saves time and can concentrate on higher-priority tasks while still providing access to a wide variety of materials and resources.
The circulation integration features built into WorldCat Navigator automate functions that would otherwise have to be performed by library staff. Rather than requiring librarians to check items in and out of a separate system, the NRE automatically takes actions in the ILS, using whatever protocol is appropriate.
User requests move seamlessly from the WorldCat discovery platform to the NRE, where they are matched to group internal policies. The OCLC circulation integration process interacts with multiple ILS systems and protocols (such as NCIP, SIP, HTML OPAC scraping and Download Port) to send the request to the most appropriate library. No matter what ILS service is being accessed, librarians can stay within the NRE staff interface in order to:
- Request items
- Check out items
- Check in items
- Renew items
- Cancel requests
- Look up users, items and requests
The ability for WorldCat Navigator to provide circulation interoperability with a wide range of systems—including Millennium, Voyager, Unicorn, Horizon and Aleph, with more on the way—means fewer steps for each request and better service for your users.