Skip to page content

Worldwide (English) Change

What is WorldCat?

In an expanding universe of information alternatives, why stand alone? WorldCat is a global network of library content and services that uses the Web to let your institution be more connected, more open and more productive. The benefits are clear:

Your collections are cataloged in the premier database of library content

No other catalog is quite like it: WorldCat holds tens of millions of bibliographic records that represent more than one billion items. It encompasses hundreds of languages and all formats, including rapidly growing numbers of electronic resources and digital objects. High hit rates, quality-controlled metadata and the application of FRBR principles to records mean your patrons and staff both locate the right resource quickly.

Learn more about WorldCat's global catalog ››

Your content has higher visibility on the Internet

WorldCat allows more people outside the traditional library environment to discover your content with the Web tools they use every day—including Google, Google Books and Yahoo! Search. WorldCat takes data about items in your collection, relates it to basic institutional data such as the Web addresses of your catalog, electronic content servers and other online services, and actively spreads it all across the Web via strategic partnerships and distributed technologies. The result: Information seekers link to your catalog through search engines, browser toolbars, social networking sites, online booksellers and the destination site.

Learn more about "Web scale" discovery through WorldCat ››

Reduce costs and redundant effort by sharing the load

Whether you're a small public library or part of an extended academic consortium, an array of WorldCat services lets your institution and thousands of others pool information and unite common workflows—such as acquisitions, cataloging, resource sharing, and collection management—on a cooperative network driven by the shared data. Time and money you normally spend on these routine activities can instead be applied to user-facing services and activities that are more professionally challenging. You can concentrate on the real value you deliver—context, local knowledge and expertise, special collections—instead of the methods behind them.

Learn more about the WorldCat suite of services ››

Participate in something greater

Libraries help people in their communities connect to a larger world. WorldCat does the same thing for libraries: Individual collections are linked together in a massive virtual collection that amplifies value for participating institutions and information seekers everywhere. Patrons perceive you as a door to resources locally and globally, and people in other places discover the treasures you hold.

Help shape what's to come for libraries

Being a part of WorldCat also makes you a part of OCLC, the nonprofit service and research organization that works consistently to lower information costs, identify issues and trends that impact the field, advocate the societal role of libraries and develop new technologies and standards that keep them relevant and vital. Numerous membership channels let you provide guidance to OCLC, engage in dialogue with industry leaders and collaboratively define the future of librarianship.

Learn more about becoming an OCLC member institution ››

Ready to make your library a WorldCat library?

  1. Review how your library contributes to WorldCat
  2. For more information, or to request a quote, please contact your nearest OCLC office or regional service provider.

What's inside WorldCat?

Explore using our cataloging statistics, languages tag cloud and live-cataloging "Watch WorldCat Grow" window

Promote WorldCat

Inform your patrons, administrators and funding bodies with customizable posters, handouts and more

WorldCat Toolbox

Reach service logins, get software and code, or look up OCLC libraries and bibliographic formats