OCLC continues the expansion of new applications available on its new strategic WorldShare Platform with the release of WorldShare Metadata. WorldShare Metadata collection management joins other major applications that OCLC has developed on its new WorldShare Platform, including WorldShare Management Services, which offers functionality to displace a locally-installed integrated library system, and WorldShare License Manager, which provides tools for managing a library's subscriptions to electronic resources.
The functionality in WorldShare Metadata collection management automatically generates MARC records that can be loaded into their local integrated library system, reflecting current licensed or purchased e-book and e-journal packages. It provides an alternative to MARC delivery services, such as MARCit from Ex Libris, 360 MARC Updates from Serials Solutions, or BiblioFile OnDemand from The Library Corporation. It can also replace the need for libraries to receive and load record MARC sets directly from the providers of resources.
WorldShare Metadata collection management provides a set of administrative tools delivered through the WorldShare Platform. It uses the WorldCat knowledge base, containing data regarding the individual titles associated with a given subscription package, and WorldCat, as the repository of MARC records. OCLC maintains the WorldCat knowledge base to provide current data regarding all of the packages of e-resources to which libraries subscribe. The specific holdings of any given package change continuously, making it extremely burdensome and inefficient for each library to manage this data separately. Such knowledge bases underlie OpenURL link resolvers and many electronic resource management products.
OCLC uses the WorldCat knowledge base as part of the link resolution built into WorldCat Local and as one of the components of its WorldShare License Manager. Ex Libris, Serials Solutions, and EBSCO offer knowledge bases with similar scope and function. The Kuali OLE project and JISC are working collaboratively to create the Global Open Knowledgebase (gokb.org).
Through a profiling tool provided through the WorldShare interface, libraries using the WorldShare Metadata collection management would select the specific packages for which they want to receive MARC records. If a library does not purchase the complete run of titles available in a package, it can select individual titles. A new feature, expected next year, would allow libraries to create new collections in the knowledge base and to specify the associated WorldCat records. The library can also specify delivery options, for example, the flavor of records needed by their ILS, such as MARC21, UTF-8 encoding, Unicode, MARCXML, or qualified or unqualified Dublin Core, or MODS. The library can also specify any MARC tags it requires to be removed from or added to incoming records. The library can specify a global value for the 856 subfield Z, for example, as the public note that would carry the link on a display page.
One of the key features of the service includes providing URLs in the records with the correct links to connect patrons to the resource through the library's online catalog or discovery environment. All existing links coded on the 856 tags of the master record will be removed and replaced with the one that corresponds to the version to which the library has access. The URL for the library's proxy server can be automatically and globally pre-pended to the URL if needed. If the library has access to a resource through multiple packages, additional URLs can be added to the records accordingly.
In addition to the delivery of records, the service also automatically updates the holdings statements on WorldCat for the records. The library's OCLC symbol is automatically added for records matched in their profile and removed if the title is no longer offered within the subscription, or if the library cancels the subscription. Once the profiles have been activated, OCLC will deliver the corresponding records to the library through its FTP server. Following the initial delivery, new records will be provided each day to represent items that have been added or removed from any of the content packages to which the library subscribes. The library will receive daily reports of the records processed through the service, along with monthly reports summarizing overall activity.
WorldShare Metadata collection management is designed for electronic resources, especially e-book packages, where the libraries generally acquire titles in bulk rather than individually. The copy cataloging process used for individually purchased booksó transferring single records from WorldCat and loading or overlaying them into their local ILSó is not feasible when the library purchases tens of thousands of titles at a time from an e-book supplier.
The effectiveness of WorldShare Metadata collection management depends on collections being represented in the WorldCat knowledge base and the corresponding records available in WorldCat. The completeness of the record sets available through this process varies, but will be comprehensive for many ebooks, especially if OCLC provides the cataloging service for the e-book provider. The number of collections represented and the completeness the MARC records available in WorldCat will continue to increase.
Libraries may also have options to receive record sets directly from the providers of the e-content packages. These vendor-provided records may vary in completeness and quality and may lack the OCLC control number needed to set the library's holdings on WorldCat. The WorldCat knowledge base currently includes more than 50 e-book packages, representing 9.6 million titles.
OCLC makes WorldShare Metadata collection management services available without additional costs to libraries that subscribe to its cataloging service. Libraries need to activate their access to the WorldCat knowledge base if they haven't previously done so and then establish their subscription profiles using the WorldShare interface.
WorldShare License Manager, a full electronic resource management system, requires an additional subscription purchase. The use of WorldShare Metadata collection management does not require that the library subscribe to WorldCat License Manager.
Most libraries that subscribe to OCLC's WorldShare Management Services would not have a need for the MARC record delivery of WorldShare Metadata collection management because these libraries would not operate a local ILS. However, the service can deliver MARC records for use in union catalogs or discovery interfaces, and it can automatically update WorldCat holdings in e-materials represented in the WorldCat knowledge base.
OCLC worked with a number of libraries to pilot the service, including the Sladen Library of Henry Ford Hospital, Drexel University, Southern Methodist University, McGill University, and The Ohio State University Libraries. WorldCat Resource Sharing to Become WorldShare Interlibrary Loan As part of its ongoing strategy to consolidate its services on the WorldShare Platform, the current WorldCat Resource Sharing service will become WorldShare Interlibrary Loan. Testing of the new environment was completed in August 2012, and a phased shift to production use will take place in 2013, with a complete transition expected by the end of the year.
In the initial phase of the transition, the differences seen by library personnel that use the service will be largely cosmetic. Rather than the current interface design, based on FirstSearch, library staff members will see the menu structures and placement consistent with other services based on the WorldShare Platform, such as WorldShare Management Services. All existing functionality offered will be preserved.
The initial roll-out of WorldShare Interlibrary Loan will include some new capabilities. Through the new platform, lending libraries using WorldCat Local as their discovery system will be able to display the current availability of a requested item in the WorldShare ILL workflow. Knowing the current status of an item offers a more efficient lender workflow. Borrowing workflow capability will be added at a later date. Other new features include the ability to view lender fees through integration with OCLC's Policies Directory.
The transition to WorldShare Interlibrary Loan will not require libraries to perform any data migration. The same underlying transactional database and WorldCat records that underlie the current service will simply be accessed through a new layer of business and presentation software. The transition will be transparent for libraries that use ILLiad to manage their interlibrary loan requests. The OCLC Resource Sharing API used by ILLiad will remain constant.
Although the new functionality offered in this initial deployment of WorldShare Interlibrary Loan is relatively minor, the move opens up the possibility for ongoing development in the future. This service will benefit from residing on the platform that is the focus of OCLC's strategic development and from the functionality available in related applications. Library patrons will use WorldCat.org or their library's instance of WorldCat Local for discovery and to place requests. Much of the end-user access to WorldCat Resource Sharing current comes through the FirstSearch interface, which is being phased out in favor of enhanced searching capabilities integrated into WorldCat. This change falls within the overall context of OCLC's strategic consolidation of its many products and services to fewer platforms. The WorldShare Platform stands as the shared business infrastructure through which OCLC will deliver the applications and services used by library personnel. WorldCat, including the WorldCat knowledge base, serves as the shared content resources that underlie these services.