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OCLC Support

WorldCat Holdings

Find information about where your institution's holdings are visible and how to set and maintain WorldCat holdings.

What are WorldCat holdings?

Holdings are used by libraries to communicate what they currently own or license by associating their unique institution symbol with specific records in WorldCat. Libraries set and maintain their holdings information by using tools and services included in OCLC cataloging subscriptions.  

How are WorldCat holdings used? 

WorldCat holdings information represents the collective inventory of OCLC member libraries. As your library collections evolve, it is extremely important to maintain accurate holdings as this information informs a number of features and capabilities found in other OCLC subscriptions, including FirstSearch/WorldCat Discovery, WorldShare Interlibrary Loan, OCLC Cataloging and Metadata and more. 

Who uses WorldCat holdings?

When a library’s holdings are indicated in WorldCat, that library can take advantage of tools that increase efficiency and save time.  

  • OCLC Cataloging and Metadata subscribers can automatically receive WorldCat updates, which include customizable MARC records when data that you care about in a WorldCat record changes.
  • Library users view WorldCat holdings information in search results in FirstSearch, WorldCat Discovery and to determine which libraries have the resources they need. 
  • Collection management staff rely on accurate WorldCat holdings to inform selection and deselection decisions and support shared print initiatives. 
  • Reference and ILL staff use holdings information to confirm the location of items needed by library users. Plus, accurate holdings information enables identification of appropriate lenders for fulfillment of resource sharing requests. 

How do you set and maintain WorldCat holdings?  

Your OCLC Cataloging and Metadata Subscription includes all the tools you need to set and maintain your WorldCat holdings via a number of approaches depending on your needs. 

  1. Manual record-at-a-time options with your OCLC Cataloging and Metadata Subscription

    Your OCLC Cataloging and Metadata subscription contains three options to manually maintain your holdings in WorldCat.  
  2. Collection-at-a-time options in WorldShare Collection Manager 

    OCLC reduces the need for record-at-a-time holdings management with collection-level capabilities found in WorldShare Collection Manager, including:   

For additional assistance, contact OCLC Support.

How do you use WorldCat holdings audience levels?

You can use WorldCat holdings audience levels to further manage your holdings. Audience levels allow you to control who can see specific titles or copies of an item in your collection. By assigning a specific level to a holding, you can suppress the holding from the general public.

 Note: Your institution must be a WorldShare Management Services (WMS) library to use this feature.

How do you add and maintain OCLC numbers in your OPAC?

You must maintain accurate metadata once you have set your holdings in WorldCat. The OCLC number and ISBN or ISSN must be added to each bibliographic record in your local OPAC in order for deep links to function accurately.

You can add the OCLC number and ISBN or ISSN to a bibliographic manually or receive bibliographic records from OCLC and overlay them with the existing bibliographic records in your local OPAC.