During the research work on my latest book, Library World Records, I used both Worldcat and several European union catalogs, in my search for specific books, because I travelled to several European libraries, being able to know if particular books I needed, for my book project, was in a library I was visiting, proved invaluable and saved me a lot of time searching individual catalogs. [INFO CONNECT: Union Catalogs of the World.]
The author, Godfrey Oswald, notes the utility of WorldCat as the only ‘big global union catalog’. Spotted in Catalogablog which spotted it in ResourceShelf.
Libraries are not ends in themselves, but serve the interests of the organizations of which they are a part. As university emphasis varies around research, education and career poles, we can expect to see libraries evolve to support those emphases more strongly.