Thursday, January 16, 2014

Why Did the University Libraries Move to a New Library Catalog?

You may have noticed a few changes to the library catalog recently. The new public catalog, using a product from long-time library system supplier OCLC, is known as WorldCat Local. In addition to supporting a user in finding books and other materials held here in Jackson Library, this Worldcat local catalog now searches collections of thousands of other libraries worldwide, and most of our electronic content such as e-journals, databases, and e-books. It also replaces our old Journal Finder product with a Journal A-Z list to help you find electronic journals available to UNCG users. While it is mostly transparent to those who use the catalog, we have also moved our library operations to OCLC’s WorldShare Management Services (WMS) to manage the ordering, processing, and circulation of library materials, along with holds, book renewals, print reserves, and similar user services.

Why did we make these changes? Several years ago we realized that our old library systems were not being developed to meet our users’ needs. The online catalog was no longer being supported by the vendor and we had to make a change in order to continue to provide reliable service. Cloud-based systems, such as the one we chose, were more attractive than locally-managed systems, reducing overhead and management costs, and reducing duplication of effort among libraries. Of all of the options available to us, the WorldCat Local / WMS combination was the best choice. 

Our new library system provides broader and more flexible information discovery. Researchers can choose to find books, films, music, and articles from libraries around the world, with easy to use Interlibrary Loan services embedded within records, or simply choose to search only materials here at UNCG. Additionally, Libraries staff are actively involved in the OCLC user community and are positioned to influence the future development of both WorldCat Local and WMS to better meet our users’ needs.

As always, please contact your library or library liaison if you need assistance.
Jackson Library Reference and Instructional Services: (336) 334-5419
Schiffman Music Library: (336) 336-5610
Library Liaisons: http://library.uncg.edu/info/faculty_liaisons.aspx




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