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Policy Justification: The presence of OCLC WorldCat record numbers in bibliographic records makes it possible to match records in Alma when materials are owned by multiple Alliance libraries. The WorldCat record number provides a match point that simplifies record loading, record maintenance, and other technical operations. Requiring use of a common bibliographic utility ensures that the records of Alliance libraries can be merged and maintained with greater ease in a shared ILS. If multiple bibliographic utilities were allowed, individual institutions might lower their cataloging costs. However, such an environment would significantly increase the complexity and cost of operating a shared system.



  • Members must use OCLC as their primary bibliographic utility
  • Members must use the OCLC WorldCat record number as their primary match point when importing records into Alma, except in cases where an Alliance policy has been established to use a different match point
  • The following types of bibliographic records are not required to contain OCLC numbers nor to have holdings set in WorldCat, with exceptions limited to:
    • records created for ordering purposes
    • personal-copy course reserves
    • titles borrowed on ILL from outside the Alliance
    • inventory control of equipment
    • records representing titles in a knowledge base (e.g. Alma CZ records)
    • Marcive shipping list records
    • host bibliographic records for bound-withs
    • suppressed bibliographic records
    • record sets provided by vendors other than OCLC, including leased book sets




Current phase: Phase 5 Approved Written by: Bibliographic Mandates Review Group
Approved by: Collaborative Workforce Team on 03/08/2016; Technical Services Working Group on 02/16/2016 Last updated: 03/09/2016
Staff Contact: Cassie Schmitt Nature of last update: revised policy