How WorldCat connects people from all over the Web to your library

People using the biggest search engines, the most popular websites and great online conversations discover your resources through syndication

Syndication is the process by which distributors of content—media, data, services, materials of any kind, really—work together to more efficiently reach audiences with the content that best suits their needs. On the Web, many companies and organizations now serve as information hubs. Rather than relying on a few sources for information, users pick and choose from a huge number of options. Within that environment, syndication networks provide opportunities to help connect people more quickly, efficiently and creatively to the information they need, often within the online services they already use.

For decades, libraries have worked together to build and use just such a network: WorldCat. More than 20,000 member libraries around the world have contributed information about more than 2 billion items in this, the largest hub of library bibliographic data in the world. This aggregated data is used by participating libraries within services that provide for end-user discovery, resource sharing, cooperative cataloging and library management.

OCLC members participate in this growing network in two ways: by contributing data through our cataloging and metadata programs; and enabling the discovery of those materials through a FirstSearch subscription.

WorldCat data is also syndicated out to nonlibrary partners in order to help connect users back to the unique, authoritative information collected and maintained by libraries. Through partnerships with Web services such as Google Books and Google Scholar, EasyBib, Goodreads and others, Web users can find library materials while using the nonlibrary services they rely on for research, reading, homework and socializing.

Learn more in video "Syndication for Libraries"

To find out more about how libraries are joining together to be in more places, services and conversations online, please take a few minutes to watch a brief informational video, “Syndication for Libraries.” It describes some of the ways in which libraries are collaborating to reach audiences on the Web in order to better serve local students, families and businesses.

The value of OCLC subscriptions

When your library subscribes to OCLC Cataloging and FirstSearch, your local collections are made visible and accessible to your users through WorldCat and a variety of partner sites, services and applications. What else do those subscriptions include? Learn more:

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For new or group orders, contact OCLC at or 1-(800)-848-5878.

OCLC Library Spotlight Program

Illustration: Library SpotlightA great example of library data syndication, the OCLC Library Spotlight program gives any library, regardless of size, the chance to be found in more places online. This free directory service utilizes existing location and contact data to get started. Libraries can then update this information and add to their online profile with more details about their programs, hours-of-operation, web links, pictures and more. OCLC then syndicates this information through the "search for a library" service on, and with other major online partners.

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OCLC is a worldwide library cooperative, owned, governed and sustained by members since 1967. Our public purpose is a statement of commitment to each other—that we will work together to improve access to the information held in libraries around the globe, and find ways to reduce costs for libraries through collaboration. Learn more »