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WorldCat Discovery beta: Change to how availability information will display in search results



This month’s WorldCat Discovery installation on November 23, 2015 included the following new features, enhancements and bug fixes.
The running list of release notes can be found at (Note that many of these do not have an impact on Melvyl.)
New Features and Enhancements

  • Availability on Demand.  This is a new option for WorldCat Discovery that will be managed by the Melvyl Operations team. A button is available for users to click to get availability information rather than showing the information by default in search results. While this might seem like a step backward, showing availability by default requires OCLC to make queries out to local OPACS which was slowing down Melvyl and campus Z39.50 servers were, in some cases, being over-extended.  Margery Tibbetts, Melvyl technical lead, identified this as a problem for University of California Melvyl instances early on and worked with OCLC to modify this feature to allow for “on demand” availability information, i.e., a user must click a button to get availability information for an individual record rather than automatically showing availability results for all records in search results by default.  Now, users can review the citation information, if they decide they want to know more about an item they can click the “Check Availability/Online Access” button. The next screen will show Availability and/or View online options where applicable. Since the availability call has not yet been made, there may be cases where the button will appear but your library does not own the title or have availability information to display.

Previously, in the UC-WorldCat Discovery instances, item availability displayed automatically.  See below.  While this is helpful to users, it posed technical challenges to UC library systems.



Now, users will be presented with the “Check Availability/Online Access” button to display the item’s availability (below).  The wording of the button may change at a later time.



The behavior of the user-initiated availability feature in WorldCat Discovery parallels the existing user-initiated availability feature in WorldCat Local where users click the Availability link to see an item’s availability displayed (below).


Note: Because UC Merced’s integrated library system (ILS) is provided by OCLC and is configured differently, UCM’s WorldCat Discovery instance ( will continue to display item availability automatically (as in the first image above).

Bug Fixes

  • Availability count in search results includes all locations for your institution. For the UC campus libraries, availability has been enabled on search results with multiple locations configured to represent the campus holdings (Level 1). Previously, while the detailed holdings displayed the total count (i.e., 5 of 5 available), the count shown in the availability display on the side panel only reflected the main location holdings (i.e., 1 of 1 available).  After the November release the count on the search results page (i.e., 5 of 5 available) will be consistent with the count on the availability display on the side panel.


  • WorldCat Local Facets and Firefox 41.0.1. OCLC resolved an issue reported by libraries related to a recent Firefox upgrade and limiting searches using facets in WorldCat Local. If Firefox 41.0.1 was in use the facets were not working properly. This issue only impacted WorldCat Local and was resolved with a separate install on October 16th.


WorldCat Discovery Services (WCD) Description

OCLC is working on major changes to WorldCat Local: a new discovery interface with major functional and design improvements. FirstSearch and WorldCat Local will be merged onto this new platform called WorldCat Discovery Services.

UC WCD Information on the CDL Website

Information on the WorldCat Discovery Services (Beta) for the UC campuses is available on the WorldCat Discovery Beta webpage. This webpage includes

  • Links to the UC campus (and union) WCD-Beta instances where you can test drive the functionality
  • OCLC’s project timeline (e.g., when will UC migrate to the new platform?)