This post by April Hamilton originally appeared on her Digital Media Mom site on 9/16/15. It’s included here because, combined with inter-library loans, this free service is an extremely valuable research tool for authors.
The very useful and totally FREE WorldCat site and mobile app let users search a global network of libraries for books, CDs, articles and more: pretty much anything you’d find in physical form in a public library.
Sign Up For A FREE User Account, Or Not…
It’s free to sign up for a user account, and having an account gives users the ability to create lists, bibliographies and reviews. But you don’t have to sign up to use the site’s search functionality. For example, look at this search results page I got for a specific book without having a user account (tap or click on images to view an enlarged version in a new tab or window):
Notice that the site used my location information, probably based on my IP address, to tell me where I could find libraries close to me (red arrow). Scrolling down, I can find a listing of libraries in my general area that currently have this book in their collections: