Monday, June 4, 2012

New library catalog coming soon!

We're getting a new catalog this upcoming academic year.  It will be in the cloud. So not at all like this:

Creative Commons licensed photo from dfulmer (2010)

Moving towards the cloud...
You might already be familiar with the new catalog. Right now, when you click on our catalog, you see something called "UNC Library Express"

This is a version of OCLC's WorldCat Local, called quick start. We're currently transitioning to the more robust version. The new version should be ready this July (2012). You'll still be able to use our old catalog for awhile. I've been told it'll be still be available at least through fall 2012 and likely into spring 2013.

But starting this summer, the WorldCat search will be much more prominent on our library pages than the old catalog search.

Here's what a WorldCat Local search looks like:

I'm sure the roll out will come with official messages since a new catalog is a big deal in libraryland.

Public-facing improvements with WorldCat Local

  • Search books, e-books, and videos in our library AND in other OCLC libraries.  Greensboro, TALA (academic libraries in the Triad), other libraries in the UNC system, and the world  - already active!
  • Links into e-books and online articles - coming soon!
  • Easier InterLibrary Loan - "Request item" links fill in the request for you - already active!
  • Share - post records to Facebook and other social media sites - already active!
  • Lists - create your own book lists to share (or not) - already active!
To name just a few. 

There are some cool new features. But every catalog is different. I'm one of the old-school types who will miss call number searching.  So I'm glad that a) OCLC is constantly developing WorldCat and b) we'll have our old catalog for awhile.

Big changes on the back end...
WorldCat Local is an online search hosted by OCLC. It relies on catalog records stored by libraries locally on their own servers.

WorldShare Management uses the same search interface as WorldCat Local, but it really goes into the cloud.  Libraries no longer store catalog records on their own servers (or do lots of other behind the scenes ILS work locally).  It's web-based. This is the goal we're aiming for by the end of academic year 2012-2013.

Want more info?
FYI, these are librarian and library staff resources.

Info is based on notes from an OCLC site visit, multiple webinars and in-person meetings, a fair amount of online searching, and of course the expertise of our systems librarian and many others who work hard providing the resources that I rely upon as a public services librarian.

This post reflects my own PoV only.

Dates mentioned here are based on the info currently available to me and they are subject to change.