Modernized Interface of University Libraries’ Catalog Provides a New Experience for Users

In our rapidly changing educational environment, academic libraries are continually looking for tools
that shine a light on their vital contributions toward the success of their users and their institutions. 

To entice, excite and maintain those users, library services and collections need to be familiar, available on-demand, and beneficial to them. In the case of discovery and searching for items in the library’s catalog, users expect an intuitive experience that delivers easy-to-use, predictable ways to conduct and narrow searches so that precise results are retrieved. 

Working with librarians around the world, including several within the UNCG University Libraries, OCLC has redesigned the WorldCat Discovery interface to meet the expectations of modern-day users by providing an experience akin to what they expect from everyday sites across the web. 

“OCLC has been very responsive to our design suggestions and input,” said University Libraries Information Technology Librarian and Associate Professor Terry Brandsma. “We have been working with them for over a year, and we believe the new design is much more user friendly.”

This new modernized interface was created to comply with current web accessibility guidelines and boasts a responsive design where the interface adjusts to the screen size of users automatically. OCLC will continue to refine the interface with routine updates in the future.

“OCLC has leveraged Material Design, an opensource design language developed by Google that offers a consistent, familiar look that users find more comfortable and usable,” said OCLC Executive Director, Delivery Services, Cathy King. “Further compliance with WCAG 2.1 AA accessibility guidelines ensures a consistent, meaningful and productive experience for all users will be met.”

From a user perspective, these enhancements will deliver more intuitive options for obtaining needed items at the most convenient location(s), as well as enable a fulfillment experience that prioritizes locally owned editions for works, both in print and electronic formats.

“From the library’s perspective, the modernized interface will consistently present the best available options for access to library owned and licensed resources, with additional options for quickly requesting materials from other libraries worldwide,” said King.

The University Libraries will switch to the modernized interface on July 23. For questions or more information, contact your UNCG liaison librarian for your academic discipline by visiting

Image courtesy of OCLC.