Dublin, OH -- 8 March 2022. Twenty-seven libraries that are part of the Appalachian College Association have selected OCLC's WorldShare Management Services as their new library services platform. The move is intended to meet current and future needs of the consortium that brings together these libraries spanning five states to collaborate and share resources.
The Appalachian College Association (ACA) is a non-profit consortium of private liberal arts institutions located in the central Appalachian Mountains of Kentucky, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia. The Bowen Central Library of Appalachia, the library services program of the ACA, partners with member institutions to provide library services to students, faculty, and staff.
The ACA reviewed library services platforms for several years before reaching consensus about WMS. During that time, consortium members met virtually during the pandemic across different states to compile a long list of system requirements and key characteristics, including stability, interoperability, flexibility, reporting, and robust support.
"We were looking for a system that is reliable, with strong support and out-of-the-box functionality balanced by configuration options," said Heather Tompkins, ACA's Director of Library Programs. "WorldShare Management Services (WMS) was our top choice of a system for our consortium because of its stability, its integration with collection manager, a built-in discovery service, success that institutions of similar size and type to our member institutions have had in implementing and sustaining WMS, vendor neutrality, reputation, and goodwill in the library community."
WorldShare Management Services is a cloud-based library services platform with WorldCat as its foundation, which allows library staff to draw on OCLC's shared data network and technology for more efficient workflows. WMS also enables staff to better manage resources in all formats and to provide their users with improved access to the library's collections and the world's knowledge.
Tompkins said flexibility, interoperability, and the ability of WMS to integrate with existing workflows is important for ACA libraries. She also said the libraries wanted a system that could manage e-resources as well as print. "WMS is an established system that is robust enough to handle the complexities of our day-to-day, is supported by OCLC, and is also sustainable for our ACA libraries," she said.
"We're proud to welcome ACA libraries to the WMS community," said Bruce Crocco, OCLC Vice President, Library Services for the Americas. "OCLC and the ACA share the goals of increasing access to knowledge and information through cooperation. We look forward to working together to ensure that ACA libraries have the system and services they need to be successful for years to come."
"It's important for us to work with an organization that aligns with our mission and our values," said Tompkins. "While working through this evaluation process, OCLC has shown that they are invested in us, they care about the integrity of the consortium, and that they are the partner we need."
OCLC is a nonprofit global library organization providing shared technology services, original research, and community programs so that libraries can better fuel learning, research, and innovation. Through OCLC, member libraries cooperatively produce and maintain WorldCat, the most comprehensive global network of data about library collections and services. Libraries gain efficiencies through OCLC's WorldShare, a complete set of library management applications and services built on an open, cloud-based platform. It is through collaboration and sharing of the world's collected knowledge that libraries can help people find answers they need to solve problems. Together as OCLC, member libraries, staff, and partners make breakthroughs possible.