New Community Center offers a place online for library staff to share ideas about OCLC services, best practices

The new OCLC Community Center offers a place for library staff to connect online, share best practices, stay up to date on new product releases and contribute ideas to improve OCLC services.

Introduced to user groups at the 2015 ALA Annual Conference in June, the Community Center is now available to users ofWorldCat Discovery Services, WorldShare Management Services (WMS), WorldShare Interlibrary Loan, WorldShare Collection Manager, WorldShare Record Manager and WorldShare License Manager. More OCLC services will be added to the Community Center in the future.

“OCLC has always been based on a spirit of collaboration, and the Community Center is an extension of that collaborative spirit,” said Mary Sauer-Games, OCLC Vice President, Product Management. “OCLC and member libraries work closely together to build and maintain the services libraries need. The Community Center offers a single point to access resources to ensure that the knowledge, experience and expertise of library professionals are shared to benefit the entire community.”

The Community Center enables library staff who use WorldShare and WorldCat Discovery services to find information they need in one place, including product updates, news, upcoming events and discussion boards. Users can provide feedback and suggestions to peers and to the OCLC product teams to help improve and enhance products and services.

“We’re excited about the new OCLC Community Center,” said Terry Brandsma, Information Technology Librarian, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, who serves on the WMS Community Leadership team. “Within one website, we can now connect and collaborate with peers, review documentation and training, submit and comment on product enhancement requests, and much more. OCLC and the community working together—that’s what it’s all about.”

“The ‘Insights’ and ‘Enhancements’ features of the new Community Center are welcome additions,” said Noah Brubaker, Assistant Director, Private Academic Library Network of Indiana (PALNI), and also a member of the WMS Community Leadership team. “The Insights pages provide a good opportunity to learn more about ways WMS is being used by others, and offers access to resources that those in the community are willing to share. The Enhancements pages under each module are a great way to contribute to the improvement of WMS. By allowing anyone to add to or refine an existing request, different perspectives and discussion can be heard for proposed enhancements.”

The Community Center was inspired by the success of the OCLC Developer Network, where developers share ideas about a variety of OCLC services, and the WMS User Support Center, where libraries access news and information about WorldShare Management Services and share best practices.

“The Community Center makes it possible for our users to work together and learn from each other as we adapt to new kinds of services in new environments,” said Helene Blowers, OCLC Community Program Manager. “The Center also offers an easy way for users to communicate directly to OCLC staff with ideas for improvements or enhancements to products and services.”

Library staff can sign in with the same credentials used to access WMS, WorldShare services or the staff view for WorldCat Discovery to participate in the Community Center. Staff can create a profile and join the community related to specific services of interest.

The new Community Center makes it easy for users to contribute to discussions using listserv-like email functionality, offer feedback, and make connections with peers who use the same OCLC services.

View a brief video about the OCLC Community Center on YouTube.