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OCLC WorldShare Management Services: The power of worldwide cooperation comes to library management

Libraries share many common challenges: they are faced with scarce resources, changing user needs and increasingly diverse collections, systems and workflows. To manage these overlapping challenges, libraries need new ways to save time and meet users’ expectations.

OCLC WorldShare Management Services (WMS) address these challenges. They allow library staff to collaborate “in the cloud” to manage routine tasks more efficiently and free up resources to focus on the things that make each institution unique and serve users better.

How will WMS benefit your library?

Both replacing and standing apart from traditional ILS systems, WMS offers:

  • Cost benefits. Generates cost benefits for your library, since you no longer have to purchase and maintain local hardware and software.
  • Increased efficiencies. Helps your library staff to manage both electronic and print collections through a single, Web-based interface.
  • Simplified workflows. Offers workflows that let you reclaim time spent in the back office.
  • Time savings. Enables you to save time in the back office and to focus on those higher priority projects that best serve your users.
  • Better discovery. Since users are able to do one search across all of your library materials (physical, licensed and electronic), it makes discovery and access easy and fast for your users—in other words, more convenient.

Libraries using WMS are seeing drastic reductions in the time it takes to perform routine tasks because of the integration in the cloud among many libraries, applications, partners and data sources. In some cases, they report being able to cut the time for some processes in half. In others, they’ve been able to reallocate multiple full-time staff to doing more impactful work with users. 

In short, WorldShare applications take less time behind computer screens in your back office, giving you more time to spend in front of the people you serve.

“UNCG believes that WorldShare Management Services are the next major advance in library cooperation. The services significantly reduce redundant and duplicative effort across libraries, thereby allowing each library to focus on their unique content and strengths.”

Tim Bucknall, Assistant Dean of University Libraries and Head of Electronic Resources and Information Technologies, University of North Carolina at Greensboro [Live with WMS since June 2013]

WMS: A cooperative, cloud-based library management system

Continuing the mission of the OCLC cooperative. Together with a library advisory council and pilot libraries, we have worked to pioneer a paradigm shift in library management systems. WMS provides one set of applications in the cloud that share data and activities across as many workflows as possible—acquisitions, circulation, metadata and license management, and others.

This provides the means to save libraries both time and money that wasn’t possible when utilizing disparate and specialized systems. Data entered once doesn’t have to be keyed in again and again. Information can be shared not just between departments, but between libraries, improving in quality and relevance as it’s enhanced along the way.

A foundation of cooperative data. Serving as the foundation of WMS is WorldCat—the world’s largest database of library metadata. Built by libraries around the globe, WorldCat includes over a billion items in every conceivable physical, licensed and electronic format. The result is having the information your users need to identify and select materials in a unified system that your library staff need for acquiring and managing them.

Requirements of a cloud-based library management system

At OCLC, we are designing and engineering OCLC WMS to provide your library with:

  • Security: Hardware and software safeguards that ensure secure operations.
  • Privacy: Private data is private data. This is true for local systems and applications and associated information that lives on the Web (see OCLC's Commitment to Secure Library Services).
  • Scalability: A solution that meets the needs of small to large members, independent libraries, groups and regional consortia.
  • Availability: High technical standards translate into system and service availability. Downtime for participating libraries will be absolutely minimized.
  • Flexibility: The service-oriented architecture allows users to extend the power of WMS with locally created enhancements. Standard APIs and data exchange will facilitate customization as well as interoperability with other systems.

What makes OCLC WorldShare applications unique?

OCLC WorldShare’s cloud-based applications offer a new approach to managing library workflows cooperatively: (1) WorldShare Metadata Management, (2) WorldShare Acquisitions, (3) WorldShare License Management, (4) WorldShare Circulation, (5) WorldShare InterLibrary Loan, (6) Analytics and Reporting, and (7) Discovery (WorldCat Local).

Here’s how these WorldShare applications are unique:

  • WorldCat. Every application leverages and shares the data in WorldCat, the largest library catalog in the world.
  • An intuitive and common interface. Every application is available from a common interface, enabling you to more easily manage all physical and electronic materials.
  • Web-based. All of the WorldShare applications work entirely on the Web, eliminating many IT support issues and costs.
  • Seamless integration. WorldShare applications are well-integrated; for example, the integration of ordering, receiving and cataloging provide significant efficiencies, saving you a lot of time.
  • Partnerships. As a nonprofit, member-governed cooperative, OCLC supports partnerships with a growing variety of content providers, search engines and Web services that enhance the value of WorldShare and its applications for all participants.

“WMS has revolutionized our cataloging process. We can now catalog items as we receive them, and that frees up our cataloger for other projects. We have a wonderful archive and special collections, but we did not have any staff available to work with them. Since we implemented WMS, our cataloger now has time to work with our archive—something I considered to be an undiscovered treasure.”


OCLC WorldShare Management Services are growing around the world

In the past few years, OCLC has been working with member libraries to rapidly build WMS, with the first library going live in September 2010.

In March 2013, WMS reached a milestone when the University of Nebraska Omaha became the 100th institution to fully implement WMS. The WorldShare community shared the excitement and fun that had been part of this truly cooperative experience by contributing to a 4-minute, WMS community video.

Today, more than 250 libraries on three continents—Australia, Europe and North America—have joined the WMS community.

Contact us with your questions about OCLC WorldShare Management Services, or request a webinar for your library.

We are 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 »