Help & FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between the Featured libraries and All libraries tabs in WorldCat.org search results?

The libraries listed on the Featured libraries and All libraries tabs is determined by libraries’ OCLC subscriptions.

The All libraries tab of WorldCat.org search results provides a basic institution listing with a library name, city, state/province, and country for thousands of libraries that were not previously visible on WorldCat.org. This  helps people find resources in libraries that do not maintain the subscriptions required for participation in OCLC’s web visibility program. This brief information displays for all libraries with OCLC cataloging subscriptions on records for which they have holdings.

The Featured libraries tab includes libraries that were visible on the former WorldCat.org because they maintain subscriptions that enable their participation in OCLC’s web visibility program. They continue to receive an expanded presence on WorldCat.org that includes benefits such as links to their catalog, detailed information about their library and its collections, a display of recently added titles, library staff accounts, and the ability for people to “favorite” their library.

Historically, WorldCat.org has only included libraries that had both a cataloging and a FirstSearch/WorldCat Discovery subscription


Why don’t I see my library listed on WorldCat.org for books I know they own?

Libraries are visible on WorldCat.org when they maintain appropriate OCLC subscriptions. If you don't see your library listed for items you know they own, ask your library staff whether they plan to add these subscriptions.


I see an item of interest from a library where I don’t have a library card. How can I get access to the item?

Contact staff at your local library to discuss options for obtaining the items you need through a reciprocal borrowing program or interlibrary loan.


I am an experienced searcher, and I would like to enter search terms in fields such as subject, title, and author. How can I do this in WorldCat.org?

You can use Advanced Search to easily search in specific fields.  Access Advanced Search by clicking the filter icon next to the WorldCat.org search box. Here you can select the following popular fields for your WorldCat.org searches: Keyword, Author, ISBN, ISSN, Journal Name, OCLC Number, Publisher, Subject, and Title..


I posted reviews on WorldCat.org in the past. Where are my reviews?

WorldCat.org now displays reviews from Goodreads, and no longer includes an option to post reviews. Reviews previously posted to the former WorldCat.org site were not moved to the new site.


Will the new WorldCat.org provide access to the lists I’ve saved on the former WorldCat.org site?

When you request a personal account on the new WorldCat.org site, you may request that your lists move to your new account on the new WorldCat.org site.


Can I link to full text-materials and my library’s interlibrary loan request from WorldCat.org?

When you access WorldCat.org through an authenticated Web connection, you may see links to your library’s online resources displayed on records in search results. Options to view the item online, check for electronic resources or full text leads to your library’s licensed content that is searchable on WorldCat.org or to open content sources such as OAIster, Hathi Trust, and Internet Archive. A link to an interlibrary loan request form will display if this has been configured by your library.


Why can't I see links to full text articles or my library’s interlibrary loan request form on WorldCat.org?

When configured by your library, these links display only when you are within your library’s IP ranges. If you aren’t searching WorldCat.org in your library, you may need to log into your library’s site to see these links.


I am the author of a book that used to display in WorldCat.org, but I don’t see my book in search results now. What happened to my book?

Libraries regularly update information about their collections on WorldCat.org. If your publication no longer displays in search results, it is likely that no libraries whose collections are represented in WorldCat currently own a copy.


Is the list of libraries included in the Featured libraries tab limited to specific types of libraries?

No. All libraries that maintain OCLC subscriptions required for participation in OCLC’s web visibility program and have not opted out of the program display on the Featured libraries tab, regardless of library type.


Does the All libraries tab display all types of libraries that represent their collections in WorldCat through an OCLC cataloging subscription?

The All libraries tab displays library types that typically want their collections to be visible to the public. This excludes library types whose collections are usually not open to the public, including libraries that self-identify as the following types in the WorldCat registry: corporate, special, collection, correction facility, other, program, project, regional service provider, school, unknown, vendor, government, state or national.


How can I generate citations and export a list of citations to RefWorks or EndNote?

You can create a single “instant citation” from any item details page. Just select the citation button (the quotation mark image), choose the format you want, and copy the citation text. You can also generate and copy citations for up to 25 items in a list.

Directly exporting a list of citations into RefWorks or EndNote is not currently supported.  However, we plan to add the option to export citations in the RIS format (date to be determined).


Why does WorldCat.org indicate my local library owns an item but when I link to the library’s catalog, the item isn’t there?

The information about your local library’s collections that displays on WorldCat.org is maintained by staff at the library. It is possible the item you’re looking for has been withdrawn from your library’s collection but this information has not yet been updated in WorldCat.org. We suggest talking to someone at your library to confirm the status of the item.


The item details that display for records in the new WorldCat.org is different from what I used to see on the former site. I relied on this information for cataloging. Why did this change?

The item details that display on WorldCat.org records reflect information gathered during user research that informed the redesign. These details enable people to confirm whether a record represents the item they need, so they can proceed to obtain it from a library.

OCLC offers services specifically designed for cataloging that provide access to WorldCat with tools and automated processes that support cataloging workflows. You can learn more about OCLC’s cataloging services at https://www.oclc.org/en/cataloging-subscription.html.