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WorldCat Local at the Univ. of Washington Libraries

Library Technology Reports vol. 44 no. 6

  • “...The new search catalog, WorldCat, is AMAZING compared to the old University of Washington library search. It's one of those things I wished we had, and then, all the sudden, it was there. Bravo!"—User, quoted in

LTR 44:6, p. 39
The University of Washington Libraries' information and library material discovery-and-delivery platform WorldCat Local was launched in the spring of 2007. It has been a boon for the UW libraries (and UW library users) ever since.

"The impact on delivery has been impressive, with users requesting and getting far more materials than when we had separate silos for discovery and delivery," states the Abstract in the sixth issue of Library Technology Reports this year, "WorldCat Local at the University of Washington."

Written by three UW librarians who were integral to the WorldCat Local project at UW Libraries—Jennifer Ward, Pam Mofjeld, and Steve Shadle—this LTR issue provides an overview of the UW Libraries' WorldCat Local development, usability testing methods and exercises, and implementation.

"One of the strategic directions of the University of Washington Libraries Vision 2010 Strategic plan is 'Enhance user services,'" report the authors in the Introduction of the report. "Our goal is to 'meet user needs by providing access to resources and services at the point of need an in the users' enviroments.' We strive to meet this goal through this initiative: 'Build or integrate new tools and services for information discovery and delivery.'"

As the authors also note in the Introduction, library staff knew that creating such a tool would require partnership beyond the UW Libraries.

"In the summer of 2006, the UW Libraries approached OCLC to gauge interest in a project to the discovery-to-delivery issue." And the rest is history.

In this sixth issue of Library Technology Reports in volume 44, you'll find:

  • Chapter 1: An introduction to the UW Libraries' WorldCat Local project
  • Chapter 2: A description of WorldCat Local—what it is, how it works, key features of the application, and a comparison of discovery and delivery of information before and after WorldCat Local was implemented at UW Libraries
  • Chapter 3: Information about the user experience, feedback, and testing
  • Chapter 4: Usage and Impact of WorldCat Local
  • Chapter 5: Planning and implementation documentation, including information about working with OCLC; the UW Libraries' implementation teams; circulation and interlibrary loan issues; and Web services aspects
  • Chapter 6: An overview of "working at the network level" for UW Libraries' WorldCat Local implementation
  • Chapter 7 and the appendix: A summary of the project as well as the WorldCat Local Impact Summary at the Univ. of Washington

About the Authors
Jennifer L. Ward is head of Web Services at the University of Washington Libraries, where she is responsible for general oversight of the libraries' Web presence. Jennifer manages the Services group within the Information Technology Services department, as well as the libraries' human factors/usability program. Prior to her start at the University of Washington, she was a Visiting Research Programmer at the University of Illinois Library and a Slavic languages cataloger at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She received her MS in library and information science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2000 and her Bachelor of Arts in Russian literature and languages from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is the 2008 recipient of the University of Illinois Graduate School of Library and Information Science Leadership Award and is a graduate of the Frye Leadership Institute.

Pam Mofjeld worked at the University of Washington for over 25 years. She held a number of positions, including head of the Fisheries-Oceanography Library, coordinator for the Washington State Cooperative Library Project, and head of interlibrary loan. The underlying theme throughout her career was user-centered service. Pam received her Masters of Librarianship from the University of Washington in 1982.

Steve Shadle is Serials Access Librarian at the University of Washington Libraries, where he catalogs serials, supports link resolver and knowledge-base applications, and otherwise wrangles serial holdings and bibliographic data. Steve is an active trainer in the Serials Cataloging Cooperative Training Program. He frequently presents at North American Serials Interest Group (NASIG) and American Library Association meetings and regularly writes for Serials Review. Prior to his tenure at the University of Washington, Steve was an ISSN cataloger at the National Serials Data Program of the Library of Congress and Technical Services Librarian at the Agency for International Development Library. Steve received his Masters of Librarianship from the University of Washington in 1990 and his Bachelor of Arts in linguistics (also from the University of Washington) in 1987.