Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) for Librarians

What is the New Jersey Union List of Serials (NJULS)?

The NJULS is a web-accessible database of periodicals, serials, and newspapers found in over 615 New Jersey libraries.

What kind of data can be found in the NJULS?

NJULS consists of serial bibliographic records and associated local data records (LDRs) that represent New Jersey libraries’ periodicals, serials, and newspaper holdings.

How is the NJULS used?

The NJULS can be searched free by both library staff and the public to find volumes, numbers, and years for periodicals, serials, and newspapers held throughout New Jersey. Library staff use the NJULS to locate the serial holdings of other libraries in order to request interlibrary loans and photocopies from them.

Where does the NJULS data come from?

The serial bibliographic records and local data records in the NJULS are found in the OCLC WorldCat database. Libraries or their union list agents (the New Jersey State Library for non-OCLC libraries) enter volume and other holdings information for serials they own into the OCLC Union List Subsystem.

What exactly does union listing mean?

Union listing is the process of creating records and updating the volumes, years, etc. of your library’s serial publications. The updating is done on the local data record (LDR) which is attached to the bibliographic record for the title of a serial. Keeping your LDRs up to date impacts ILL requests positively, since a borrowing library will check the holdings of a potential lender to make sure the lender has the appropriate volume or year. Incorrect or old data causes superfluous ILL requests and wastes time and money.

Which New Jersey libraries have data represented in the NJULS?

Approximately 615 New Jersey libraries have their union listing data represented in the NJULS. NJULS libraries include academic, corporate, hospital, public, school, and special libraries. Libraries range from large academics to small publics.

How often is the NJULS database updated?

Updating and record creation by OCLC libraries and the union list agent is done year round. All changes to the NJULS database reflect current LDRs for each library’s holdings.

What’s in it for your library?

Since searching the NJULS is free, use of the database will help encourage regional resource sharing.

What are the charges incurred when searching the NJULS?

There are NO search charges, NO display holdings charges, and NO connect time charges. The only charges are those you currently pay for access to the Internet.

How is the NJULS funded?

The NJULS is funded by the New Jersey State Library primarily through New Jersey Library Network Aid and also by Library Services and Technology Act funds. The Virtual Academic Library Environment of New Jersey (VALE) and Rutgers University also support the project.

Is there interlibrary loan capability in the NJULS?

Not at present, however, this function will be added in the future.

How do I ensure that my holdings data is up to date in the NJULS?

OCLC library participants are required to update their own records in the OCLC Union Listing Subsystem. Non-OCLC libraries are responsible for updating their own records. Instructions are available from Casey Confoy: (609) 278-2640 x114 or

What type of training is available if I choose to do my own union listing on OCLC?

There is one recommended workshop:

  • The WorldCat: Searching & Navigation Basics workshop teaches participants how to search through WorldCat (the OCLC Online Union Catalog).

Is NJULS a part of the Statewide Bibliographic Database?

Yes. NJULS is one important component of the Statewide Bibliographic database. Displaying the titles and volume holdings of periodicals, newspapers, and serials in libraries throughout New Jersey, NJULS provides direct patron access for New Jersey residents.

How do I become a participant in the NJULS?

Contact Casey Confoy:
Casey Confoy
New Jersey State Library
PO Box 520
Trenton, NJ 08625-520
(609) 278-2640 x114