On July 9th, the move of UC Berkeley’s Melvyl instance from WorldCat Local to WorldCat Discovery (WCD) as the underlying platform marked the successful completion of all campus Melvyl instances to WorldCat Discovery. The transition of the final campus Melvyl instance occurred exactly one month before OCLC retires the WorldCat Local platform on August 9, 2019.

As with all resource transitions, the new platform’s features are either loved, hated, or fall somewhere in between. And so it is with this one.

What do we love/hate?

Love: So, one of the WorldCat Local features that many campus librarians mentioned must be available in WorldCat Discovery was Personal Lists with Shared and Private options. OCLC introduced this feature in WorldCat Discovery earlier this year; see Personal Lists are available in WorldCat Discovery for more information.

Love2: The ‘HathiTrust problem’ that has plagued us since the original switch from Ex Libris’ Aleph platform to WorldCat Local back in 2008 has finally been resolved. See At long last, HathiTrust records have been fixed in Melvyl for details.

Hate: Previously, in WorldCat Local, it was possible to limit a search by any number of Formats simultaneously (eBook, CD, Map, etc.). Currently, this is not possible in WorldCat Discovery although OCLC programmers are working on the problem. Now, in WCD, you can only select All Formats or a single Format (e.g., Music Recording) or sub-Format (e.g., Music CD).

Feedbacks, we get feedbacks…

So, after reviewing the first month or so of feedbacks, there are a couple issues that users are struggling with. In no particular order –

  1. Linking directly to an Article:  In catalog records for Articles, the Access online button, either on the multiple item display or on the detailed record, resolves to the home page of the journal the article is published in. To go directly to the article, open the detailed record and click the UC-eLinks link under the Check Availability section. Then click any of the links to the article under the Get It Online From section of the UC-eLinks menu.
  2. Exporting WCL Saved Lists now that patrons cannot access their campus WCL instance:  Users can log into the global WorldCat.org platform using their WorldCat Local (from the campus Melvyl instance) User Name & Password.  On the subsequent screen, the user’s profile displays along with links to My lists in the upper, left of the screen.  Note: The WorldCat.org interface will be available beyond August 9th, when all other WorldCat Local URLs are being automatically re-directed to the associated WorldCat Discovery URLs.  Currently, OCLC has confirmed that the WorldCat.org platform will be available for the next 18 months at least.
  3. Deselecting all databases in Advanced search:  To clear all databases (on by default), scroll to the bottom of the Advanced search screen & click the Select All in Group button. Then select the databases you want to search and click the Save Changes button at the top of the list of databases.

Finally, two important things…

  • Suggesting enhancements to OCLC:  You can locate all the WorldCat Discovery suggested enhancements (along with their statuses) in OCLC’s WorldCat Discovery Community Center. Once there, click the Create Account tab and follow the instructions.

Once in the WCD Community Center, click the Enhancements tab in the top menu bar. On the Enhancements webpage, you can Search suggested enhancements to see if your idea has already been suggested and, if so, what the current status of the potential enhancement is. If your idea has not already been suggested, you can click the Share your idea for a future enhancement link to submit your suggestion.

  • No online Help feature: An online Help feature is not provided due to the myriad of ways the WCD platform can be customized by the licensing institution. In order to mitigate the lack of this rather standard interface feature, we’re adding new Questions/Answers to the Melvyl FAQ as they arise, and we’re also adding useful information on the Melvyl WorldCat Discovery instances on the Instructional Materials webpage under the Melvyl@WCD section. Available in this section are links to the WorldCat Discovery Quick Reference Guide [PDF], UCM’s Using Melvyl video and more.

If you create any WorldCat Discovery-related documentation for your campus and would like to have this added to the Melvyl section, please send the information to Jayne Dickson at CDL.