OCLC is launching the OCLC WorldShare Platform, which will enable library developers, partners and other organizations to create, configure and share a wide range of applications that deliver new functionality and value for libraries and their users.
OCLC will also deploy data centers around the world in support of OCLC WorldShare and other services. The first data center outside the United States will be implemented this week in the United Kingdom. Additional data centers will be deployed in continental Europe, Australia and Canada in the coming year.
“OCLC’s mission and public purpose are clearly aligned with the concept of Webscale,” said Jay Jordan, OCLC President and CEO. “We have been providing infrastructure and services that have enabled members to build efficiencies in the management of libraries, and to increase the visibility and impact of their collections in compelling user environments on the Web. To date, this work has been significant. Now we see a need to provide more of those connective elements, the services and systems that will allow libraries to leverage even more of their activities and data together, at Webscale.”
The OCLC WorldShare Platform facilitates collaboration and app-sharing across the library community, so that libraries can combine library-built applications, partner-built applications and OCLC-built applications. This enables the benefits of each single solution to be shared broadly throughout the library community.
In the coming weeks, participants from platform pilot libraries will work with members of the OCLC Developer Network to help create and build new applications to populate the OCLC WorldShare App Gallery, where users will see available apps and can install them into current work environments. Developers can showcase their creativity, partners can create add-on functionality and library staff can find practical, everyday solutions to streamline and enhance their workflows.
The first services built on this new technical infrastructure are Webscale Management Services, which have been rebranded as OCLC WorldShare Management Services, and include circulation, acquisitions and license management applications. Today, more than 30 libraries are already using OCLC WorldShare Management Services, and more than 150 libraries worldwide have committed to the new service since September 2010.
Over time, OCLC will bring together additional OCLC services and applications under the OCLC WorldShare name, including resource sharing, consortial borrowing, metadata management and additional applications. OCLC’s currently deployed library management solutions will continue to be maintained and enhanced in line with libraries’ ongoing requirements under their current brand names.
WorldCat will continue to serve as the name for shared data, including registries and the knowledge base, as well as discovery services such as WorldCat.org and WorldCat Local.
There are many examples of organizations contributing to the broader Webscale information environment. Some, like HathiTrust, JSTOR and Europeana, are most recognizable to libraries and library users. Others, such as Google and Amazon, are global services familiar to all Web users. These services, and many others, are all part of the information environment users navigate every day—a Webscale environment.
OCLC is committed to working with libraries to expand the scope and type of partnerships that will be critical for libraries to achieve Webscale.
“OCLC WorldShare provides a Web-based platform for collective innovation across shared services, integrated applications and streamlined library workflows,” said Mr. Jordan. “In combination with WorldCat, OCLC WorldShare will support the work of libraries of all types to collaborate in new, more efficient ways, reduce operating costs and provide greatly enhanced user experiences.”
Visit the OCLC website at www.oclc.org for more details about OCLC WorldShare.