Platform van de universiteitsbibliotheken, de Koninklijke bibliotheek en het NIWI


The Transition to WorldShare programme

The Dutch university libraries, with the exception of the library of the Eindhoven University of Technology, have taken the initiative, together with the National Library of the Netherlands in The Hague (Koninklijke Bibliotheek, KB), to switch from a national to an international information infrastructure over the next two years. The initiative of the university libraries and the Koninklijke Bibliotheek, joined in the UKB consortium, was born of the desire to be able to streamline the back-office working procedures, to make better use of the scale advantages resulting from international cooperation, to fit in better with a  user group that is becoming more and more international and to realize cost reductions by carrying out work only once, if and when useful and possible, instead of having work done by each library separately. This project has been granted a subsidy of the Pica Foundation.

The international infrastructure UKB will join is OCLC’s WorldShare platform. A logical step for UKB since the present national library infrastructure is already based on OCLC technology. In this way knowledge and investments remain maximally cost-effective. Together with OCLC, UKB started a programme, Transition to WorldShare, which will consist of joint preliminary projects and several local implementation projects.

In the current preliminary stage of the transition programme special attention is paid to the harmonization of working  procedures, and to the technical and organizational conditions which will have to be met by each of the libraries involved as well as by UKB to be able to successfully carry out a local transition project.

UKB attaches great importance to the possibility of maintaining  a multi-vendor landscape with regard to use of search engines, online catalogues and local back-end systems. That is why the transition to WorldShare should have a neutral character in respect of such library systems. This makes the transition programme more complicated, but it also means that specific local ‘power’ and functionality focused on specific target groups will not be lost. Besides, the programme will be set up and carried out in such a way that the other large user group of the national information infrastructure, the public libraries and libraries of national institutes, will not be inconvenienced by the transition programme but may even benefit from it in time.

University libraries, KB and OCLC have set up a programme structure consisting of a steering committee, a group of so-called ‘pioneers’ and a feedback group/advisory council in which the project managers of all participating institutions are represented.

Contact person for the transition programme is mrs. Simone Kortekaas, project manager for UKB ( 0317 - 48 30 13 or 06-13594777)

Situation  August 2014

The Transition to WorldShare programme started in early 2014 and in the initial stages UKB and OCLC worked on the necessary preparations, needed before the first libraries will be able to make the switch to the WorldShare Platform at the end of 2014. During  the process, agreements have been made on the way in which UKB as a consortium will work on the WorldShare Platform. The point of view is that the UKB members comply with international rules and standardization so as to benefit  as much as possible from the import of metadata of large suppliers by OCLC. As to specific Dutch functionalities which cannot be expected to be available on the WorldShare Platform, for instance  metadating and thesaurizing national heritage, the Nederlandse Bibliografie (‘the Dutch bibliography’) and interlibrary loan, suggestions have been discussed on the basis of which functional specifications have been submitted to OCLC which will be developed according to an agreed time schedule. For the interlibrary loan (NCC/IBL) a synchronization will take place during the entire transition period from WorldCat to the GGC.

In the project explicit attention will be given to communication and supplying information to all parties involved, not only to the several UKB institutions and UKB work groups, but, via the GII (‘cooperative information structure’),  also to the national cooperation partners.

To make sure that the initial implementation projects at the thirteen participating libraries will run as smoothly as possible, a generic implementation plan has been drawn up, containing all actions to be carried out by the libraries and OCLC. This generic implementation plan will be the basis for the local transition projects which will be executed by the library in question and OCLC together. To manage the thirteen local transition projects and to be able to monitor not only the realization of the desired specifications but also the intended ultimate goal and final date, a planning has been made for the entire transition programme.


In the fall of 2014, the first university libraries will start to use the WorldCat Knowledge Base and begin  with the internal preparations for cataloguing in WorldCat. In early 2015 the first libraries will then be actively cataloguing in WorldCat. The library of the University of Amsterdam had already made this transition.

In the overall planning of the transition programme, transition to the WorldShare Platform in groups is seen to, basically every time with three or four libraries simultaneously. The Koninklijke Bibliotheek will be the last library to migrate because a number of specific facilities must be developed by OCLC regarding the national tasks of the KB. These developments will be completed in 2016, after which the transition of the KB will  be realised. If all UKB libraries work on the WorldShare Platform and the UKB specifications for the new interlibrary loan based on WorldShare (ILL) are realized  a joint transition from NCC/IBL to WorldShare ILL will probably take place in 2016.

Video UKB Transition Project

Last edited: 3 October 2017


UKB - samenwerkingsverband van Nederlandse universiteitsbibliotheken en de Koninklijke Bibliotheek.