OCLC has announced WorldCat® Discovery Services, a new suite of cloud-based applications that will be bringing the FirstSearch® and WorldCat® Local (WCL) services together. They have also announced that WorldCat Discovery Services will be available to all current FirstSearch subscribers in March 2014. However, as mentioned in an earlier CDLINFO article, the UC libraries will not be moving to the new service until the merge of these two separate services (FirstSearch WorldCat and WCL Melvyl) is out of beta and into production. The earliest date for the release of the merged WorldCat Discovery Services is early 2015.
In the meantime, the UC libraries will continue using the current versions of FirstSearch and WCL. Additional features (most of which we currently have in WorldCat Local) are being phased into the new service throughout the beta period. Because we don’t want to lose any features we already have in WCL, the UC campuses won’t transition to the new WorldCat Discovery Services interface until all the features have been moved in and are fully functional with our existing Melvyl services such as Request and UC-eLinks. The earliest we would move to WorldCat Discovery Services is mid to late 2015.
CDL staff and the FirstSearch Resource Liaison, Bob Heyer-Gray (UC Davis), continue to monitor closely how the changes will impact our users and we are in regular communication with OCLC regarding the transition. Two CDL staff, along with Bob Heyer-Gray, are participating in an OCLC Advisory Group as part of OCLC’s product development for the WorldCat Local discovery features. The role of the Advisory Group is to provide feedback on OCLC’s direction and strategy and to influence the design of the interface and additional features.
The Melvyl Operations Team has created a web page for UC library staff to provide an overview of the WorldCat Discovery Services beta progress and timeline: http://www.cdlib.org/services/d2d/melvyl/betas.html.
Learn more: http://www.oclc.org/go/worldcat-discovery.html.