Wow! Somehow, I completely missed this update! Do you use WorldCat to help with your genealogy research? I’ve used it many, many times, but in conjunction with one of my projects that necessitates locating a book, either in paper, microform or digital format. I used it daily in 2021 when I was compiling the county history digital links that I have posted here on my blog.
However, I apparently haven’t used it since before August 2022 as noted in this Wikipedia entry:
Today, when I headed over to WorldCat to do a search, I expected to see this
but instead landed on the new updated website. That totally caught me by surprise, so I decided to try out the new search engine. I chose “Annals of Southwest Virginia” by Lewis Preston Summers because I knew it was available in print form, but also found a digital version online. I wanted to see what results would appear on WorldCat.
I like this new format:
Four results came up, with #3 and #4 being Volumes 1 and 2. I’m not quite sure what Option 2 is – apparently a reference to a copy of the book in Virginia. However,it’s the first choice in the list that interests me the most.
In the bottom right corner, I can click to view all Formats and Editions, which used to be required to discover if a digital format was available. Look at the bottom left corner – Also available as eBook with a live link to it! I clicked but the results were a bit misleading:
The choice at the top right leads to the University of Arizona Library, where I could borrow a print copy. The eBook choice is just the top left entry. When I opened “Show more information,” I scrolled down.
Not only does the Notes section say “Restricted to subscribers,” but the More Information link no longer works. It doesn’t even open. Oh, well. There is a digital copy on FamilySearch, which didn’t show up on this list, even though other FamilySearch books do appear. In spite of this, the search engine works well, as it did before. The results just appear in a new style list.
The updated website has the goal of offering “greater accessibility to the collections,” which I think it accomplishes with the new toolbar on the home page.
Topics brings up a lengthy list of categories that can be searched, including Genealogy. A new page opens that guides the user to the types of materials in this collection.
Lists is also a new feature, unless it wasn’t readily noticeable in the old format. If a user wants to keep track of multiple items of interest, Lists is the way to go. Up to 50 lists, each containing up to 500 (!!!) items can be created. Lists can be edited and deleted, too. What a great feature for researchers who locate many items of interest on WorldCat.
I like the new WorldCat look and format. It’s still very easy to use, but the new format highlights the many ways users can find information in its library catalog.