The French national infrastructure, known as Sudoc, is hosted by l’Agence Bibliographique de l’Enseignement Supérieur (ABES) in Montpellier. The system serves the online cataloging and ILL efforts of all French universities and several academic libraries (both research and "grandes écoles").
The cataloging format in use is UNIMARC. A fully automated process devolves daily cataloging production to all universities from within their own library systems, either in UNIMARC or in MARC21. Their cataloging activity updates Sudoc and WorldCat. WorldCat is updated in what was once an asynchronous process and since 2014 in real-time, thanks to developments in Syndeo.
Since 2010, French libraries can take a subscription to WorldCat through ABES, to make their collections more visible internationally. 114 institutions have already chosen this option. David Aymonin, Director, ABES: “The 114 libraries who chose to synchronize their catalogs with WorldCat, have found a great way to promote their unique collections to a wider and international audience. There is huge appreciation for the availability of APIs and web services provided by OCLC to help them add new features and data into their own library applications.”
Downloading the ‘best’ records from WorldCat or Sudoc, irrespective of the formats they use and contributing back to both in the same way. WorldCat and national services like Sudoc remain ‘in step’ at all times. The French library community are maintaining absolute currency of their collections in the global environment, without any change to their existing workflow.