OCLC’s WorldShare® platform frees up time for you to become an even greater librarian
Jan 29th, 2024

Before 2020, the evolution of modern library requirements was characterised by a gradual and consistent transformation. However, the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic required a much more rapid adjustment. The pandemic prompted librarians not only to identify shortcomings in their libraries but also to harness the opportunity to demonstrate their resourcefulness and problem-solving skills.

Libraries and librarians quickly changed how they work and progressed rapidly to having a much greater virtual presence. They adeptly ensured the continuity of library services and oversaw accelerated digital transformation—while simultaneously implementing cost-saving measures.

The demand accelerated for a fully integrated system that could support the business of libraries and save them time and money along the way. Augmenting the way librarians work, one such system WorldShare® Management Services (WMS) gives users the power to renew items, place holds, and request interlibrary loans with ease. A complete cloud-based library management platform, WMS supports your strategic priorities with actionable data and an experience designed with the user in mind. You save time and money with efficient management of physical and electronic resources in one integrated solution.

This year Sabinet celebrates eight years of helping libraries and institutions migrate to the WMS integrated suite of cloud-based library management and discovery applications.

The growing value of e-resources

WMS provides seamless access to all the content that a library would typically provide, while streamlining internal processes and procedures to optimise staff efficiency and effectiveness. Its suite of e-services includes Collection Manager, License Manager, EZproxy®, and EZproxy® Analytics and many others including Interlibrary Loan, Acquisitions, Circulation, Collection Evaluation and Record Manager.

Collection Manager, for example, streamlines your electronic and print workflows, which saves you time and improves your catalogue, so all your resources are easier for your users, other libraries and people around the world to find, request and access.

License Manager makes it easier to maintain your library’s active licenses and renew licenses that get the most use. You can keep all license information from all vendors in one centralised, cloud-based system. That means no more tracking history and status with spreadsheets and hard copies in file cabinets.

The popular EZproxy® service allows libraries to deliver e-resources to users simply and securely no matter where or when they’re searching. The offering is extremely popular among academic and education-related libraries. Students located on any campus, at a partner university, or at home, need simple and consistent access to library resources. It connects seamlessly with many content providers, enabling single sign-on access to licensed content using existing library-issued credentials, such as a library card number and PIN, or username and password. “The value of access to e-resources off-campus is the reason why most universities are opting for this product,” says Sabinet Executive Director, Pierre Malan.

An add-on product called EZproxy Analytics provides useful statistics to see who’s using what e-resources, when, and address any gaps in provision. They can also identify underused databases and target student promotions appropriately.  This more data-driven approach to decision-making, allows the librarian to demonstrate to senior management that they were investing in the most suitable learning resources. The complex data is transformed into simple visual dashboards, making it easy to better understand and communicate e-resource return on investment. At renewal time, the analytics provide a clear picture of usage against costs.

With over 4,000 libraries in more than 100 countries already using EZproxy®, Sabinet is proud to join the ranks of libraries worldwide that trust this industry-leading solution to deliver secure remote access to e-content.

Single article requests

WMS is truly a one-stop-shop for resources that saves time and costs. As budget cuts forced one South African university to cancel some subscriptions to electronic content, its innovative librarians introduced a WMS-based service where users can request single articles rather than subscribing to an entire database.

Whether based in South Africa or elsewhere in Africa, Sabinet aims to enable libraries to work collaboratively and data-share with other libraries around the world. WMS caters for collaboration while easing the technical ‘burden’ one typically expects from a powerful software suite, as server maintenance is shifted outside of the library environment. Being cloud-based, WMS reduces the risk of storing important data and managing servers that require additional technical expertise, not necessarily available within the library environment.

Creating learning environments that foster student success

It could be said that one of the reasons for WMS’s success is that librarians themselves have collaboratively helped build and refine this library management system. In 2021, for example, OCLC delivered more than 200 enhancements, with more than 70% of those in response to customer requests. Sabinet shares this collaborative vision and as a long-time partner of OCLC, the parent company of WMS, has therefore been pioneering the WMS roll-out across southern Africa. To date, there are fifteen fully functional WMS libraries in South Africa, with a further four in the process of onboarding.

“As a system built for libraries by librarians, it has been developed around an intimate knowledge of what processes are necessary to not only make libraries function but to improve the way they work,” concludes Malan. “Once you choose to partner with Sabinet and implement WMS, we will facilitate the roll-out of the system from initiation to launch, and beyond. You automatically benefit from ongoing access to our highly experienced technical support team during and post implementation. Free support and training are offered to clients once WMS is implemented. What this means is that you the librarians are given access to this complex library system, without having to study IT extensively, to use and maintain it. This leaves you with more time to focus on doing what you do best—being great librarians!”

To learn more about WorldShare® Management Services, click here.

| Press Office.