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NCompass Live: Introduction To World Cat
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NCompass Live: Introduction To World Cat


OCLC's WorldCat database is an essential tool of librarians around the world. If you're not a regular user of WorldCat through FirstSearch, and aren't familiar with its value, then this session is for …

OCLC's WorldCat database is an essential tool of librarians around the world. If you're not a regular user of WorldCat through FirstSearch, and aren't familiar with its value, then this session is for you.

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  • Union catalog is like a combined catalog, containing bibliographic data representing the holdings of many different libraries. In the case of WorldCat, the catalog records are contributed by many types of libraries around the world. These include public, academic, and K12 school libraries, special libraries, libraries associated with museums, archives, and historical societies, Libraries must have contributed information about what they own to OCLC in order for their holdings to show up in WorldCat. Primary method of contribution is to use OCLC’s cataloging system, but a library might also add holdings via batch load.Other types of content in WorldCat: internet resources / online documents; digitized images, musical scores, toys, puppets, games, EVEN SKELETONS!
  • Purchase – can’t buy through WorldCat, but WC can assist you with collection development by showing you what other libraries own on particular topics.
  • WC contains records from 72,000 libraries , located in 171 countries and territories
  • Any Nebraska library that has signed up for NebraskAccess has a unique FirstSearch account that they can access directly using a unique FS autho/password or via IP address recognition.Streamlined WorldCat-only account available through NebraskAccess.
  • Libraries can link directly to individual databases or they can link to NebraskAccess.Direct links require IP recognition in library and proxy server or individual usernames/passwords for remote access.Through NA – IP recognition, NA password (unique to each library, changed twice a year on Sept 1 and April 1), or via NE driver’s license number.Linking options URL: - detailed instructions on various options for linking to databases.


  • 1. Introduction to WorldCat
    What is it and how
    can it help me do my job?
    NCompass Live – April 7, 2010
    Nebraska Library Commission
  • 2. About the Presenter
    Susan Knisely, Online Services Librarian @ NLC
    Database Roadshow
    Database Discount Purchasing Program
    Database Trials
    Nebraska OverDrive Library
    Reference Desk
    Other duties as assigned….
  • 3. What is WorldCat
    The most popular database available via OCLC’s FirstSearch Service
    A union catalog containing > 174 million records describing material owned by libraries around the world:
    Books, videos, sound recordings, maps, manuscripts, anything else libraries have cataloged using OCLC’s cataloging services.
  • 4. What is WorldCat (cont.)
    Records represent material in over 470 languages and dialects, and material dating back to 1,000 B.C.
    A great place to go when you’re trying to identify and locate an item you don’t own locally, because you want to:
    purchase it
    refer your patron to it
    request it via interlibrary loan
  • 5. WorldCat facts and statistics
  • 6. How can I access WorldCat
    WorldCat is one of 13 databases available through Nebraska’s statewide FirstSearch subscription.
    Libraries can:
    Access WorldCat through their own unique FirstSearch account; or
    Use the streamlined WorldCat-only account customized by NLC.
  • 7. How can I access WorldCat (cont.)
    Directly: (using authorization/password) (using IP recognition)
    Through NebraskAccess: (using IP recognition, a NebraskAccess password, or a NE driver’s license number)
    For more linking options see :
  • 8. Forgotten Password?
    Contact the Nebraska Library commission Technology & Access Services Department at:
    Phone: 800-307-2665
  • 9. Never Registered?
    Fill out and submit the online registration* Nebraska libraries only!
  • 10. WorldCat Live Demo
  • 11. Questions?
    Susan Knisely
    402-471-3849 / 800-307-2665
  • 12. Additional Sources of Information
    WorldCat Training Handout
    WorldCat Practice Questions & Answers
    Nebraska Library Codes
    Focus on Genealogy: A WorldCat Quick Reference Guide
  • 13. Upcoming Sessions
    April 21 – Tech Talk w/Michael Sauers (Podcasting at Schmid Law Library)
    May 5 – Great Summer Reading Programs
    May 19 – Cataloging with RDA