OCLC announced the release of a new platform December 5 that will let its member libraries create, configure, and share a growing number of new services and web-based library applications. The new OCLC WorldShare Platform, a shared technical infrastructure, will serve as the host for OCLC WorldShare Management Services, a significant expansion of the Dublin, Ohio–based nonprofit’s Webscale Management Services that launched July 1 after a year of testing by early adopters.
The earlier system had already streamlined library workflows by moving acquisitions, circulation, and license management into a cloud-computing network, thereby reducing software support costs. The new platform allows participating libraries to add service applications—whether built by themselves, by partner libraries, or by OCLC—to the cloud network hosted at OCLC data centers.
This week, OCLC is opening a data center in the United Kingdom, its first outside the United States. Additional data centers will be deployed in continental Europe, Australia, and Canada in 2012 that will support performance, reliability, and scalability in the expanding OCLC cooperative.
OCLC Global Marketing Vice President Cathy De Rosa told American Libraries, “The new OCLC WorldShare Platform will provide libraries with the infrastructure they need to create and share applications and services that deliver new functionality and value for libraries and their users.” She added, “Public and academic library users can look forward to accessing a wealth of new content, apps, and innovations that these new collaborations will enable.”
In coming weeks, participants from libraries in the WorldShare pilot program will work with members of the OCLC Developer Network to help create and build applications for a new WorldShare App Gallery. From this gallery, member libraries can download and install locally developed software to enhance and extend core functionality.
Access to the app gallery is open to everyone. Developers at libraries with active subscriptions to one or more OCLC products can test any of the web services available through the WorldShare Platform. To install apps into a production environment, a library must be a subscriber to the relevant service.
As of launch day, more than 30 libraries are using the OCLC WorldShare Management Services, and more than 150 libraries worldwide have agreed to adopt the new service.
“OCLC WorldShare provides a web-based platform for collective innovation across shared services, integrated applications, and streamlined library workflows,” said OCLC President and CEO Jay Jordan. “In combination with WorldCat, WorldShare will support the work of libraries of all types to collaborate in new, more efficient ways; reduce operating costs; and provide greatly enhanced user experiences.”