OCLC WorldShare Management Services
OCLC members have made it clear: libraries are faced with scarce resources, disparate systems, and
local maintenance issues. Demand for library services has never been higher and new, innovative
responses are needed to meet these challenges. The goals of OCLC WorldShare Management Services are
to save time and money while simplifying library workflows. An Advisory Council, pilot libraries,
early adopters, and the OCLC WorldShare user community all have been engaged in shaping these
services to meet those needs.
WorldCat cataloging and resource sharing members already benefit from the work of other libraries.
Similarly, sharing more data elements, processes, and new apps will broadly serve the global library
community. Essentially, OCLC WorldShare Management Services provide an environment for new sharing
With ongoing member feedback, OCLC is incrementally moving new and existing OCLC services to the
WorldShare Platform, including WorldShare Metadata and WorldShare Interlibrary Loan. One of the key
design principles for the WorldShare architecture is vendor neutrality, recognizing that libraries
work within an environment of non-OCLC and OCLC services.
Why OCLC WorldShare Management Services
OCLC is connecting the content, technology, and expert capabilities of its member libraries worldwide
to create the first Webscale, cooperative library management service. The collective vision is to
move services to the network or "the cloud," whereby libraries use the same shared hardware, services,
and data, rather than hosting hardware and software on behalf of individual libraries.
The cooperative nature of this project leverages the powerful ethos of library resource sharing –
opening up opportunities for cooperative intelligence by making sharable data available to all users
– a "network effect" not available when library management systems are simply hosted by another
OCLC is moving routine, yet critical library services – including unified acquisition, subscription,
and license management and circulation – to the cloud. This will generate cost benefits and
efficiencies not possible when utilizing disparate and specialized systems.
These services integrate with those OCLC services already operating at Webscale, such as cataloging and
resource sharing, so cooperation and collaboration can yield results for the library community far beyond
those achievable by single organizations.
What Makes OCLC WorldShare Management Services Unique?
Standing apart from traditional library management services, OCLC WorldShare Management Services are
truly revolutionary. They:
- Leverage the size and scope of WorldCat, the largest library catalog on earth, and the OCLC cooperative;
- Allow for shareable data about back-office services;
- Work entirely on the Web, eliminating many support issues;
- Integrate with discovery and delivery functions; and
Provide data, tools, and services that programmers and developers from any organization, no matter
how big or small, can use to create applications and share ideas.
According to OCLC members, the costs of "business as usual" are unacceptably high. Moving management
services to Webscale is the next, logical step.
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