Clemson Libraries, PASCAL collaborate to update hundreds of thousands of records

Clemson Libraries and PASCAL have worked together to update hundreds of thousands of catalog records, which will ultimately make it easier for people across the state and beyond easier to find the items they need.

The project, which took about seven months to complete, ensures the accuracy of Clemson’s catalog in OCLC’s WorldCat, a platform that allows libraries around the world to view one another’s holdings and facilitates borrowing through Inter-Library Loan services. Over time, as libraries add and remove titles from their collections, those changes may not always be accurately reflected in WorldCat.

The collaborative project involved wiping the slate clean by deleting all of Clemson’s inventory from WorldCat. Then, using a set of records provided by Clemson’s staff, OCLC updated its catalog to accurately reflect the materials on Clemson’s shelves. Once the OCLC update was complete, PASCAL staff were also able to update the shared system with current versions of Clemson’s records.

“The impact of this project is substantial, meaning improved discoverability of resources for our users, local and global, and greatly benefitting the workflows of our team by improving the accuracy of our global bibliographic footprint,” said Ariel Turner, associate dean for collections and discovery for Clemson Libraries. “Additionally, this work has had significant impact on our visibility within PASCAL and the ability of researchers statewide to access resources they need. I am so grateful to our internal team for their work on this: Renna Redd, Kathryn Wesley, Lisa Bodenheimer, Chris Morris, Chris Vinson, and Michelle Colquitt. I’m also deeply grateful for the incredible support and hard work of our colleagues in PASCAL, in particular Rachel Smith and Susan Wynne. I cannot overstate the importance of their support and our appreciation of their immense work on this project. I’m so delighted to see this important project come to a successful conclusion.”

The benefits of the completed project are significant. More accurate holdings records result in seamless inter-library loans, so that libraries can borrow and lend books more efficiently. For example, Clemson removed more than 200,000 incorrect entries and added more than 24,000 accurate ones through this process. The project allowed Clemson to improve its own collection and share more than 600,000 records with other PASCAL libraries. This means more discoverable books and resources for everyone across the state – a win-win for libraries and their patrons.

Rachel Smith, PASCAL Shared Systems Librarian, said “While I get to work with many PASCAL libraries, including Clemson, on a day-to-day basis, the collaboration with them on this project has been a wonderful experience. It’s incredibly rewarding to see such a tangible impact on Clemson’s data and library resource discoverability, not to mention the rest of PASCAL’s data and resource discovery. Through this project, we’ve been able to create a stronger collaborative connection between PASCAL libraries. Clemson’s updated data has made the sharing of library resources across the state even smoother and more widespread.”

All libraries have an opportunity to perform an OCLC streamlined holdings update. There is no cost to the libraries to participate and PASCAL staff are available to provide support. More information about the streamlined holdings update program is available on the OCLC website. PASCAL member libraries interested in exploring this opportunity are asked to reach out to PASCAL via a support request.