DUBLIN, Ohio, April 12, 1999--OCLC and Pica Foundation have announced the signing of a letter of intent that could lead to the establishment of a jointly owned organization to better serve the European library community.
Pica Foundation will establish a new not-for-profit Dutch limited liability company (Pica B.V.) to which all present activities will be transferred. OCLC will participate in the new Pica company through a graduated acquisition of part of the stock.
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 Gemeinsamer Bibliotheksverbund in Göttingen, the Hessisischer Bibliotheksverbund in Frankfurt, Die Deutsche Bibliothek in Frankfurt (all in Germany) and the Agence Bibliographique de l'Enseignement Supérieur in Montpellier, France.
Pica Foundation, a cooperative, not-for-profit organization based in Leiden, the Netherlands, provides cataloging, interlibrary loan, 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 34,000 libraries in 67 countries.
Subject to satisfactory negotiations, approvals by both boards of trustees, and the conclusion of the due-diligence process, the parties hope to conclude an agreement and complete the transaction by late 1999.
"Both OCLC and Pica were founded in the late 1960s with similar missions and commitments," said Look Costers, director, Pica. "Today, information flows are global, and the collaboration of the two organizations would expand and enhance the emerging global library network."
"Together, Pica and OCLC will be better able to serve the international library community than if we continue to work separately," said Jay Jordan, OCLC president and chief executive officer. "We believe the alignment of OCLC and Pica would provide libraries both in Europe and around the world with improved services as well as enhanced opportunities for cooperation."
Founded in 1969 as a joint initiative of the Royal national Library and a number of university libraries, Pica Foundation, also known as the Netherlands Centre for Library Automation and Online Services, is 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's facilities are used by hundreds of academic, public and other libraries throughout Europe. More information is available at < http://www.pica.nl/ >. An English version is at www.pica.nl/en.
Headquartered in Dublin, Ohio, OCLC Online Computer Library Center is a nonprofit, membership, computer library service and research organization whose computer network and services link more than 34,000 libraries in 67 countries and territories. OCLC is dedicated to the public purposes of furthering access to the world's information and reducing information costs.