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Much has been written about Next Generation (or, NextGen) catalogs and their implications for searching and retrieval. The NextGen ideal moves beyond a discovery layer or federated search to approach a single database offering seamless access to all library resources. Criss Library at the University of Nebraska at Omaha is now four years into its experience with OCLC’s WorldShare Management Services (WMS), a NextGen catalog which merges the library’s WorldCat holdings with records from other sources ported in through a Knowledge Base. This presentation addresses several technical curiosities that users may encounter in WMS, but it also steps back to examine concerns related to the nature and management of the library. The WMS environment blurs distinctions between the local and the global, which sometimes proves confusing and perhaps raises questions about the library’s responsibility to its primary constituencies. Implementation of WMS prompted the library to largely dismantle technical services and redeploy staff to other areas. Much of the reorganization was born of changing workflows relative to the NextGen catalog, but it also reflected changing priorities and expectations in the library.


2017 Brick&Click Conference.