OCLC Updates Session at WNYLRC Provided an In-Person Opportunity

I attended the OCLC Updates session held at WNYLRC on September 22, 2015. Rob Favini, OCLC Member Liaison, was the speaker and also in attendance was Tony Skoczylas, OCLC Library Services Consultant, who helped field some questions. Mr. Favini mentioned that OCLC has become aware that its disbanding of the old OCLC network structure did away with a valuable opportunity for OCLC to communicate with its members. This session and a series of member forums are being held to address this problem. There will be a member forum held in Rochester, N.Y. on October 2, 2015 and it will include focus groups (https://www.oclc.org/en-US/events/2015/MemberForums_Rochester_NewYork_Oct2.html)

A lot of ground was covered in this 3-hour timeslot. As a cataloger, I tended to tune in most to the cataloging and metadata topics. But I’ll try to summarize a few of the points I took away:

  • Everyone is confused with the changes in OCLC services and names, many of which include the words WorldCat or WorldShare. And the relationship between these services can be difficult to figure out too.
  • WorldShare Metadata Services includes the Record Manager and the Collection Manager. It will eventually replace Connexion, but that is a ways off and no date has been set by OCLC.
  • WorldShare Management Services is the ILS portion of OCLC’s services. It goes by the acronym WMS. Even though WorldShare Metadata Services technically would share the same acronym, it is not used for the latter. I fell into that one and was corrected J
  • WorldCat Discovery Services will replace both FirstSearch and WorldCat Local. The end-of-life for FirstSearch had been announced as December 31, 2015, but that has been erased as libraries are very dissatisfied with the Discovery product. It seems no end-of-life had been announced for WorldCat Local and both OCLC staffers had no idea when that would go away. There is lots of training available on Discovery, including live office hours and tutorials broken down into small pieces. Worldcat.org will remain as is. Eventually it will have features of Discovery added to it.
  • CONTENTdm is keeping its name and the next release (7.0) will include responsive design.
  • On the linked data front, OCLC is working with the Library of Congress on BibFrame. (http://www.loc.gov/bibframe/) There is also a pilot program called Person Entity Lookup which “will help library professionals reduce redundant data by linking related sets of person identifiers and authorities.” (http://www.oclc.org/en-americalatina/news/releases/2015/201526dublin.html)*******

I often view free OCLC webinars on various topics, but I appreciated this opportunity to attend an in-person presentation and to hear and participate in asking questions.

Ellen McGrath, University at Buffalo Law Library

*****WNYLRC will be offering a Linked Data session on November 12, 2015 with Ken Fujiuchi.  Go to www.wnylrc.org to register!!!