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Library Orientation - New Faculty Cohort

This guide is designed to orient new faculty members to Library resources and services

WorldCat FAQ

WorldCat is a research tool that has made modern scholarship possible.

  • What is WorldCat? It is the world's largest union catalog, that represents the holdings of over 16,000 libraries around the world.
  • Who created WorldCat and when? OCLC is a worldwide library cooperative which launched WorldCat in 1971. Member libraries continue to build the WorldCat database by adding an average of one new record per second.
  • What I am searching exactly when I search WorldCat? Not just books, dissertations, and journals, but also DVDs, musical scores, Web pages, and much more.
  • How can using WorldCat help me as a researcher? Besides allowing you to search the holdings of libraries across North America and beyond, it provides an easy way for you to request interlibrary loans of books not held by the ORU Library.
  • What does WorldCat look like? It currently has two interfaces:FirstSearch and the Web version. See the images to the right.

As of September 2016, WorldCat contains nearly 381 million bibliographic records with close to 2.5 billion holdings records.


5 Uses for WorldCat

  1. To initiate an interlibrary loan request for a book or a dissertation from another library.
  2. To find out what books a particular author has written.
  3. To see what books other libraries might have on a particular topic that the ORU Library does not own.
  4. To locate a near-by library that owns a book that is not accessible through the ORU Library.
  5. To find out whether a book written in a language you don't know has been translated into a language you do know.

Search Options Available in the FirstSearch Interface

Simple Search: Search by keyword, author, title, ISBN, and/or year.

Advanced Search: Search by the simple search fields plus many more including material type, publisher, and ISSN.

Limit Options: On the advanced search and on any results page, a search may be limited by year, language, and number of libraries as well as by type, such as books, internet resources, visual materials, sound recordings, serials, musical scores, and maps, and even subtypes such as dissertations, fiction, non-fiction, juvenile, non-juvenile, braille, etc. Limit by author or subject headings by clicking the limit button in the gray tool bar at the top.

Sort Options: On any results page, where there is more than one or fewer than 501 results, either select the Sort iconSort at the top of the screen or click the Options link in the Navigation menu. Choose how you want the list sorted and select Set to sort.

Expert Search: This search box allow you to enter logical search strings, which are made up of search terms prefaced by field codes (e.g., ti: or au:) and combined with Boolean operators (AND, OR, or NOT) and/or special characters. You may need to ask a librarian for help in constructing such a search strategy.


WorldCat Interfaces

Screenshot of First Search's WorldCat Interface

Screenshot of the interface