OCLC on January 22 announced WorldCat Discovery Services (WDS), a suite of cloud-based applications that combines FirstSearch and WorldCat Local. Beginning in March, the suite will offer FirstSearch subscribers access to a central index that represents nearly 2,000 e-content collections containing articles, ebooks, and other content from providers including EBSCO, Gale, and ProQuest. In total, WDS will enable the discovery of 1.3 billion electronic, digital, and physical resources in libraries around the world, using a single search.
The Wikipedia Library is an open research hub started in 2010 when Credo Reference donated 500 free research accounts to Wikipedia’s most active editors. Partnerships with HighBeam, Questia, JSTOR, and the Cochrane Library followed. Now, the Wikipedia Library is developing into a portal to connect editors with libraries, open access resources, paywalled databases, digital reference tools, and research experts. Two of the project’s leaders discuss the potential for collaboration between libraries and Wikipedia, as well as the new Visiting Scholars pilot program.
Movie and game rental business Redbox and OCLC will launch a pilot program this summer that will sponsor arts festivals, concerts, outdoor movies, and other free public entertainment events in partnership with local libraries. The program, called “Outside the Box,” will begin with five libraries: the Billings (MT) Public Library, the West Town Branch of the Chicago Public Library, the Richland Library in Columbia, S.C., Chattahoochee Valley Libraries in Columbus, GA, and the Cuyahoga County (OH) Public Library.
OCLC has begun supporting demand-driven acquisition (DDA) through the WorldCat Knowledge Base. DDA pioneer and ProQuest subsidiary EBL will be the first ebook service to provide data, with sister company ebrary to follow soon. Interest in DDA is well established, but there are still challenges facing adopters of these programs.
OCLC recently launched Library Spotlight, a new, free service that uses data from the WorldCat Registry to make it easier for users to find location and contact information for libraries using the web, and includes analytics tools to help libraries examine patron traffic trends or compare their collections and services to other libraries by location, local demographics, or other criteria.
In recent months, EBSCO Publishing has been deepening and extending partnerships with major vendors of library management systems around the world so that it can remain focused on what it considers a core competency—discovery. To that end, the company is planning in 2013 to implement ILS integrations (first announced in June 2012) with OCLC, SirsiDynix, […]
There is great hope that these rapidly maturing discovery products will not only promote information literacy strategies but also deliver what metasearch (or federated search) has failed to achieve—a Google-like interface that provides a fast, single point of entry to an institution’s relevant and vetted scholarly content. However, at the moment, even as libraries are struggling to reestablish themselves as a compelling place to start research, the three constituencies—libraries, content providers, and discovery service vendors—cannot even agree on a common vocabulary to describe what they do.
A $4.1 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will support the ongoing operations of library resource and training center WebJunction, OCLC has announced. Founded in 2002 and launched the following year with grant funding from the Gates Foundation, WebJunction’s training resources, programs, and content have since been used by staff in almost 70 percent of U.S. libraries, and have helped more than 70,000 library staff members enhance their job skills, according to OCLC.