WorldCat Local is a commercial ‘next-generation’ library resource discovery platform, produced by “the world’s largest library co-operative”, OCLC. Its tagline: “Single-search access to 800+ million items from your library and the world’s library collections”
As of June 2011, it is capable of providing access to more than 1,400 databases through a single search interface, via a mixture of ‘centrally indexed’ content, and remote databases retrieved by z39.50. There’s a list of content sources on OCLC’s website.
Libraries that purchase WorldCat Local can then mesh their own library collections with WorldCat (adding to the whole), via a mixture of batch upload-then-nightly synchronisation with their traditional library catalogue, OAI-PMH import, and use of OCLC’s own e-resources knowledgebase tool (alone or in synchronisation with an existing knowledgebase).
Records include both bibliographic and ‘evaluative’ (e.g. ToCs, summaries, book cover image) content, links to detailed authority records on named individuals etc., as well as some social features (tagging/commenting). Users can create a WorldCat account and log in to build their own lists of content (with the possibility that these could be used as formal or informal reading lists).
Higher Education libraries in the UK using WorldCat Local include:
A few links about WorldCat Local:
- Details of collections and databases (centrally indexed and remote)
- How WorldCat Local ‘maps’ MARC record data to provide search facets
- The ‘Digital Collections Gateway‘, used to import repository records via OAI-PMH (example of a record)
New features coming soon include the ability to limit searches to ‘available full-text only’, as well as to ‘peer-reviewed articles only’, and a new periodicals A-Z listing tool.
More information on WorldCat Local at: http://www.oclc.org/worldcatlocal/