DUBLIN, Ohio, Dec. 28, 1999--OCLC and Pica Foundation have signed an agreement to establish a jointly owned organization to better serve the European library community.
Pica Foundation, based in Leiden, the Netherlands, has established a new Dutch limited liability company (Pica B.V.) and has transferred all present activities to this new company. OCLC will participate in the new Pica company through a graduated acquisition of part of the stock that will begin at 35 percent and increase to 60 percent within 12 months.
"The new relationship with OCLC is an exciting step towards the creation of an integrated European information infrastructure," said Cees Datema, chairman, Pica Foundation.
"We anticipate that this combination of staff competencies will add value for OCLC members globally, as well as enhance services for current Pica customers," said Jay Jordan, OCLC president and CEO.
Mr. Jordan said the merger will complement the activities of the OCLC Europe, the Middle East & Africa office, which is located in Birmingham, England.
Pica B.V. will continue development and support of its current products and services, including the further development and support of Pica's local library systems, the central library system for cataloging, interlibrary loan and end-user services.
Pica will also continue its associated cooperation with European partners: the Agence Bibliographique de l'Enseignement Supérieur in Montpellier, France; and in Germany, the Gemeinsamer Bibliotheksverbund in Göttingen, the Hessisischer Bibliotheksverbund in Frankfurt, and Die Deutsche Bibliothek, also in Frankfurt.
Pica B.V. is based in Leiden, the Netherlands, and provides cataloging, interlibrary loan and local and end-user services to hundreds of libraries in the Netherlands, France and Germany. OCLC is a nonprofit corporation based in Dublin, Ohio, which serves over 36,000 libraries in 74 countries and territories.
Pica B.V. was originally founded in 1969 as Pica Foundation. It was a joint initiative of the Royal national Library and a number of university libraries, and was a cooperative, nonprofit organization for libraries and other information-providing institutions. Pica's central online database was established in 1978 to reduce library cataloging costs. Since then, Pica has extended its services with interlibrary loan, local library systems, reference and end-user services. Pica B.V., established in October 1999, is continuing the business activities of Pica Foundation. Pica's facilities are used by hundreds of academic, public and other libraries throughout Europe.