WorldCat Discovery

Moving towards a single library catalogue

In summer 2018 McGill Library upgraded the existing WorldCat Local online catalogue and search tool to its successor WorldCat Discovery. The final stage of the upgrade currently underway will amalgamate all back-end applications needed to manage a library, including acquisitions, circulation, metadata, resource sharing, license management, full analytics and a single-search discovery interface for library users. As a result of this single system implementation, the Classic Catalogue will no longer be available as of May 1, 2019.

All materials in the Classic Catalogue are available in WorldCat Discovery. 

McGill joins 54% of our peers in the Association of Research Libraries in upgrading from 1990s-era Integrated Library Systems to more modern, cloud-based Library Services Platforms. 70% of ARL academic libraries have either already made the move or are currently implementing a new platform.


What changes should I expect?

  • Users will be able to log into WorldCat Discovery with McGill credentials to access their borrower account and personal lists 
  • Users can create lists of up to 100 items and will also be able to migrate old lists into the new system 
  • Holds will be submitted in WorldCat Discovery
  • Users will be able to search by call number in WorldCat Discovery
  • Call numbers will be displayed in the initial results list 
  • Simplified loan periods and improved location information 
  • Users will be able to limit searches by branch  
  • Student user accounts will use the "Preferred first name" from Banner and will not include gender-specific details 


  1. May 2018 
    • WorldCat Discovery upgrade begins. 
  2. August 2018 
    • WorldCat Discovery upgrade from WorldCat Local completed. 
  3. Fall 2018 to May 2019
    • Data migration of location, circulation, and patron information.
    • Backend testing and staff training.
    • Information sessions with various McGill library advisory groups and departments.
  4. May 2019 
    • Classic Catalogue no longer available. 
    • WorldCat Discovery is the only library catalogue at McGill.

Questions? Contact us at discovery.library [at]


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