Library Technology Guides

Company Directory


This dashboard brings together data, trends, news, and other resources from Library Technology Guides describing the organization, its executive leadership, personnel employed, business history, as well as related features and news articles.

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6565 Kilgour Place
Dublin, Ohio 43017-3395
United States
Phone: 614-764-6000
Web site:

Resource Management Products (ILS or LSP)

WorldShare Management Services product logo
WorldShare Management Services
[product profile]
OCLC Wise product logo
[product profile]

Executive Leadership

photo of Skip Prichard
Skip Prichard
President and Chief Executive Officer
photo of Bill Rozek
Bill Rozek
Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer
photo of Bart Murphy
Bart Murphy
Chief Technology and Information Officer
photo of Julie Presas
Julie Presas
General Counsel and Vice President of Legal Services
photo of Bruce Crocco
Bruce Crocco
Vice President, Library Services for the Americas
photo of Lorcan Dempsey
Lorcan Dempsey
Vice President, Membership and Chief Strategist
photo of Drew Bordas
Drew Bordas
Vice President, Management and Customer Operations
photo of Chip Nilges
Chip Nilges
Vice President, Business Development
photo of Tammi Spayde
Tammi Spayde
Vice President, Marketing, Human Resources, Facilities
photo of Eric van Lubeek
Eric van Lubeek
Vice President, Managing Director, OCLC EMEA and APAC
photo of Mary Sauer-Games
Mary Sauer-Games
Vice President, Global Product Management

Company Ownership

OCLC is a non-profit membership organization.

Mergers and Acquisitions

Mergers and Acquisitions for OCLC

IRS Form 990 for Non-Profits

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2017 IRS Form 990 for OCLC
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2016 IRS Form 990 for OCLC
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2015 IRS Form 990 for OCLC
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2014 IRS Form 990 for OCLC
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2013 IRS Form 990 for OCLC
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2012 IRS Form 990 for OCLC
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2011 IRS Form 990 for OCLC
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2010 IRS Form 990 for OCLC
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2009 IRS Form 990 for OCLC
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2008 IRS Form 990 for OCLC
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2007 IRS Form 990 for OCLC
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2006 IRS Form 990 for OCLC
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2005 IRS Form 990 for OCLC
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2004 IRS Form 990 for OCLC
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2003 IRS Form 990 for OCLC

Personnel employed

[Data source: statistics supplied for the annual Library Systems Report or from public information]

OCLC 2020507358140145881238
OCLC 2019511370140156951272
OCLC 2018518358130156891251
OCLC 2017507355125158921237
OCLC 2016498348123148871204
OCLC 2015492341116154921195
OCLC 20141315
OCLC 20121250
OCLC 20111211
OCLC 20101200

Documents or articles featuring OCLC

Breeding, Marshall. OCLC Acquires Capira Technologies, Strengthening its Mobile Offerings. October 2020. Smart Libraries Newsletter. OCLC has acquired Capira Technologies, a small firm specializing in mobile apps for libraries. In a deal concluded on July 1, 2020, OCLC assumes responsibility for the company, including the development and support of its existing mobile apps. The four employees of Capira Technology also joined OCLC, including company founder Michael Berse.

Breeding, Marshall. Smarter Libraries Through Technology: 50 Years of Technology at OCLC. August 2017. Smart Libraries Newsletter. July 2017 marks fifty years since OCLC was founded as a pioneering organization to provide a new model of collaborative cataloging. OCLC has been a mainstay in the realm of cooperative services and in library technology. The history of OCLC has played out in terms of creating new services, expanding its reach through partnerships and acquisitions of other organizations, and evolving its products through new generations of technology. A detailed history of OCLC would consume volumes. In this issue of Smart Libraries Newsletter, we review some of the high points of the organization's evolution, focusing mostly on the technology trends behind its products and services.

Breeding, Marshall. OCLC Acquires the Dutch ILS Provider HKA. November 2013. Smart Libraries Newsletter. OCLC has acquired Huijsmans en Kuijpers Automatisering BV (HKA), a vendor of library automation systems in the Netherlands. This acquisition further expands OCLC's already extensive involvement with cataloging and discovery services in the Netherlands. It also brings another for-profit ILS company into its organizational structure and brings a new set of products into its portfolio of technologies.

Huijsmans en Kuijpers Automatisering Background.

Breeding, Marshall. Innovative Interfaces Absorbs SkyRiver and Withdraws Lawsuit Against OCLC. April 2013. Smart Libraries Newsletter. In a major shift in strategy reflecting a more collaborative style of its new ownership and management, Innovative interfaces has withdrawn the lawsuit it filed against OCLC in July 2010. SkyRiver Technologies, the sister company and lead plaintiff of the suit, has been absorbed into Innovative Interfaces, which will integrate the SkyRiver cataloging service into its product offerings.

OCLC. OCLC Launches WorldShare Metadata Collection Management. November 1, 2012. . OCLC continues the expansion of new applications available on its new strategic WorldShare Platform with the release of WorldShare Metadata. WorldShare Metadata collection management joins other major applications that OCLC has developed on its new WorldShare Platform, including WorldShare Management Services, which offers functionality to displace a locally-installed integrated library system, and WorldShare License Manager, which provides tools for managing a library's subscriptions to electronic resources.

Breeding, Marshall. BIBSYS and OCLC Withdraw from Partnership. October 2012. Smart Libraries Newsletter. In previous issues of Smart Libraries Newsletter, we reported on the partnership for the BIBSYS consortium, comprising more than 100 research and special libraries in Norway to implement OCLC's WorldShare Management Services (WMS). The BIBSYS project has been presented by OCLC as an example of a large-scale project based on WMS that uses it as a foundation to support applications and services created by libraries and other third parties, as is the vision for the WorldShare Platform. OCLC and BIBSYS have recently announced that the project has been discontinued.

Breeding, Marshall. OCLC Expands Opportunities for Sharing WorldCat Metadata. October 2012. Smart Libraries Newsletter. OCLC and Europeana have recently reached an agreement that would allow member libraries to contribute data to the portal and remain within the WorldCat Rights and Responsibilities guidelines. Under this agreement, OCLC member libraries can contribute metadata derived from WorldCat using the Creative Commons Zero public domain license. Europeana and OCLC would then request that subsequent users of that contributed metadata give attribution to OCLC and the contributing institution.

Breeding, Marshall. Smarter Libraries through Technology: The OCLC Non-Event. July 2012. Smart Libraries Newsletter. The topic sparking the most buzz in library tech circles at ALA's Annual Conference was the unfortunate turn of events surrounding OCLC leadership. OCLC had named Jack Blount as its new President and Chief Executive Officer on June 8, 2012 and then rescinded the appointment with a subsequent and surprising announcement. A letter from Larry Alford, chair of the OCLC Board of Trustees, to the organization's membership dated June 20, 2012, gave the first public statement of this dramatic change of course. Jay Jordan will continue at the helm. The expected duration of Jordan's extended tenure as President and CEO of OCLC was not immediately announced as the organization defines a new executive selection process.

Breeding, Marshall. OCLC Navigates the Realm of Open Linked Data. June 2012. Smart Libraries Newsletter. OCLC's stance on linked data and open data has become a key topic of interest for libraries. OCLC has been involved with the Semantic Web and linked data as research projects for several years. It has released open data licenses for some of its ancillary products. Where the massive WorldCat database, OCLC's prime strategic asset, fits into plans for open data remains a pressing concern for librarians. Through a series of actions, OCLC has demonstrated a progressively more open approach to the information assets under its stewardship.

Breeding, Marshall. OCLC Launches the WorldShare Brand and Wins an ARL Member. March 2012. Smart Libraries Newsletter. OCLC announced WorldShare License Manager based on the OCLC WorldShare Platform to offer a complete set of services to help libraries manage their subscriptions to electronic resources. This product makes use of the OCLC WorldCat knowledge base, which holds data describing the universe of specific holdings that can be accessed via the electronic resource packages available to libraries. Functionality offered by the WorldShare License Manager includes selection, acquisition, and management of electronic resources as well as link resolution. The application manages related to vendors, subscription details, license terms, and access restrictions.

Breeding, Marshall. OCLC WorldShare Platform: OCLC Brands and Strengthens its Webscale Strategy. December 5, 2011. Information Today. OCLC has been promoting its Web-scale Management Services as an alternative to traditional library management systems and it has created a new technology platform to support both its own automation services as well as those created by library developers. Significant activity has been churning around these activities, with the initial version of the library automation services complete and 32 libraries now using it as their production platform. OCLC has now launched a new brand around these efforts: OCLC WorldShare.

Breeding, Marshall. OCLC Web-scale Management Services enters Adoption Cycle. October 2010. Smart Libraries Newsletter. The emergence of a new library management platform from OCLC represents a potential change of major proportions in the library automation industry. Given the size and reach of OCLC, its new entry into the field marks a major event. In recent weeks, this system has shifted from concept to practice as it begins to find production use. Beginning July 1, the WMS became available to libraries willing to be early adopters. Lupton Library of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga is on track to become the first library to implement OCLC’s new Web-scale Management Services as its production automation system.

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News Announcements

November 15, 2021. Debbie Schachter, Janet Walls take seats on OCLC Board of Trustees. Debbie Schachter, Director of Library Services and Learning Commons, Langara College, and Janet Walls, President of Delta Blvd, a leadership consulting and executive coaching organization, took their seats on the OCLC Board of Trustees today during the board's regular November meeting.

November 9, 2021. University of Milano-Bicocca now live with OCLC’s WorldShare Management Services. The University of Milano-Bicocca (Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca) is now live with a new library management system, OCLC's WorldShare Management Services.This public university, established in 1998 and built on the former Pirelli complex, is a multi-disciplinary institution focused on research and innovation. Ranked among the top Italian universities in 2021, the University of Milano-Bicocca serves more than 32,000 students.

November 9, 2021. La biblioteca dell'Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca diventa operativa con WMS di OCLC. L'Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca è ora online con un nuovo sistema di gestione delle biblioteche, WorldShare Management Services (WMS) di OCLC.

October 27, 2021. Millions of open cultural heritage resources from Europeana now easily accessible through WorldCat. A partnership between OCLC and Europeana has now made millions of open cultural heritage resources easily accessible through WorldCat, the world's most comprehensive database of information about library collections. The contribution of over 25 million openly licensed records from the Europeana website to WorldCat adds to the rapidly growing number of open content resources that are accessible through OCLC services.

October 6, 2021. OCLC’s WorldShare Management Services is first in library service industry to achieve StateRAMP Ready authorization. OCLC's WorldShare Management Services, a leading global library services platform, is first in the library service industry to be included on the StateRAMP Authorized Vendors List as “Ready,” following a thorough evaluation to meet security requirements for cloud services at state and local levels of government in the United States.

September 28, 2021. OCLC signs new agreements with publishers and other content providers worldwide. OCLC has signed new agreements with leading publishers and other content providers around the world to add metadata for high-quality electronic and print books, journals, databases, and other learning materials that will make their content discoverable through WorldCat Discovery.

September 1, 2021. OCLC and Talis to offer leading resource list management system to support library and university e-learning strategies. OCLC and Talis are partnering to offer Talis Aspire, a market-leading course resource list management system, to new and existing customers of OCLC's WorldShare Management Services. As a result of this new partnership, OCLC will be able to offer Talis Aspire to WMS customers throughout the United States, Germany, Spain, the Netherlands, Australia, and New Zealand. Rich interoperability between the two services will help institutions better manage the acquisition, use, and retention of materials within the context of in-person and online learning environments.

August 30, 2021. More libraries choose Tipasa for interlibrary loan management. More than 20 libraries have implemented Tipasa in recent months, and there are now 340 libraries worldwide using Tipasa for interlibrary loan.

August 5, 2021. OCLC receives IMLS grant to support libraries responding to the opioid crisis. OCLC has been awarded an IMLS National Leadership Grant to develop a set of free online resources that staff at public libraries can use to determine how their library can address opioid use disorder in their local communities. The resources will include pragmatic strategies, tools, and other content to help guide libraries—particularly those in rural areas—as they determine their specific communities' needs and define the roles and activities their library is most suited to carry out. These resources will help libraries assess their staff strengths and capacity, identify key local partners with whom to collaborate or coordinate, and plan and implement an initiative that contributes to ending the opioid crisis.

July 16, 2021. University of Suffolk now using OCLC’s WorldShare Management Services. The University of Suffolk is now live with OCLC's WorldShare Management Services as their new library services platform, a move that will improve workflows and make it possible for staff to make more data-driven management decisions.

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Corporate Chronology

Jul 01, 2020 Capira Technologies becomes part of OCLC
Capira Technologies is now part of OCLC starting July 1, 2020.

May 31, 2019 Springshare acquires QuestionPoint from OCLC
OCLC has divested its QuestionPoint online reference service, selling the product to Springshare, a commercial company offering a variety of products, mostly focusing on public-facing library services delivered through a software-as-a-service platform. This product, officially branded as the Question- Point 24/7 Reference Cooperative, has been offered to libraries as a subscription service since 2002.

Jan 13, 2015 OCLC acquires Sustainable Collection Services
OCLC has acquired Sustainable Collection Services, the industry leader in helping libraries manage their print collections. OCLC maintains WorldCat, the largest aggregation of library data in the world, as well as the world's largest library resource sharing network. SCS is the leader in analyzing print collection data to help libraries manage and share their materials. SCS services leverage WorldCat data and analytics to show individual libraries and library consortia which titles should be kept locally, which can be discarded, and which are the best candidates for shared collections. All four SCS staff members will join OCLC as employees including its former executive director Rick Lugg.

Oct 01, 2013 OCLC acquires Huijsmans en Kuijpers Automatisering for $10,311,000
OCLC has acquired the shares of Huijsmans en Kuijpers Automatisering (HKA), a Dutch organization that develops, implements and manages systems for libraries, educational and cultural organizations. The addition of HKA, which offers the Wise line of library systems and services, enhances and extends OCLC services for libraries in the Netherlands. OCLC currently manages the infrastructure for interlibrary loan for many Dutch libraries and offers cataloging services through the GGC, the Dutch shared cataloging system, and the WorldCat global shared cataloging system. OCLC and HKA staff will now work together to accelerate the development and delivery of innovative services for libraries.

Dec 2012 Capira Technologies founded by Ted Gutmann, Robert Johnson, and Michael Berse
Capira Technologies founded by Michael Berse

Apr 18, 2011 OCLC acquires the assets of German library system provider, BOND GmbH for $5,915,400
OCLC acquires the assets of German library system provider, BOND GmbH and Co. KG. BOND, based in Böhl-Iggelheim, near Mannheim, is a leading integrated system provider for public libraries in German speaking countries. From the 2011 OCLC Annual Report: Effective April 15, 2011, OCLC EMEA B.V. acquired certain assets and related liabilities of B.O.N.D. GmbH & Co.KG (BOND), a German software development organization specializing in library management systems for 4,100,000 Euros ($5,915,400). The agreement allows for additional consideration of up to a maximum of 1,500,000 Euros that may be paid if BOND achieves predefined revenue targets during fiscal year 2012. The fair value of the contingency is deemed to be zero at June 30, 2011. The purchase was accounted for by the acquisition method of accounting. Assets acquired, primarily software of 4,823,600 Euros ($6,959,500) and liabilities assumed, primarily contract performance liabilities of 723,600 Euros ($1,044,100) were based on their fair values at the date of acquisition. BOND’s operations subsequent to the date of the sale are included in the consolidated financial statements for the year ended June 30, 2011, and its revenues for the two and a half months ended June 30, 2011, were $283,000.

Mar 17, 2010 OCLC sells NetLibrary to EBSCO Publishing for $7,867,200
From the 2009/10 OCLC Annual Report: On March 17, 2010, OCLC sold the assets of the NetLibrary Division (including the NetLibrary platform, operations and infrastructure in Boulder, Colorado) and the rights to license a select number of vendor-owned databases previously sold on the OCLC FirstSearch service to EBSCO Publishing for $7,867,200 and assumption of related liabilities. The transition services agreement between OCLC and EBSCO Publishing ($230,000 annually for an initial term of three years) ensures that all NetLibrary eBooks have been placed in a dark archive at OCLC and OCLC will continue to make OCLC- MARC records available for download by the relevant library for NetLibrary eBooks as well as providing library holdings synchronization. OCLC recognized a gain on the sale of $21,666,500.

Mar 17, 2010 EBSCO Publishing acquires the NetLibrary Division from OCLC
OCLC and EBSCO Publishing signed an agreement whereby EBSCO will purchase the assets of the OCLC NetLibrary Division and the rights to license a select number of vendor-owned databases currently available through the OCLC FirstSearch service. The purchase includes the NetLibrary eBook and eAudiobook platform as well as operations and infrastructure in Boulder, Colorado.

Aug 01, 2009 OCLC sells Preservation Service Center to Backstage Library Works
From the OCLC 2009/10 Annual Report: Effective August 1, 2009, OCLC sold the assets of its Preservation Service Center operation to Backstage Library Works, Inc. for $100,000 cash, $313,500 promissory note (paid in full on October 1, 2009), and a royalty of up to $1,750,000. The royalty agreement has a seven-year term and requires 4% of revenues above $300,000 per year, payable quarterly. The first $1,000,000 of royalty is secured by personal guarantee and a life insurance policy. The royalties above $1,000,000 will be recognized as payments are received. The building in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, was purchased by Backstage Library Works, Inc. on November 2, 2009, for $1,400,000. OCLC recognized a total gain on the sale of $822,400 including the discounted guaranteed royalty receivable of $717,100.

Sep 12, 2008 OCLC acquires Amlib for $2,477,800 (US)

From the 2009 OCLC Annual report: Effective July 1, 2008, OCLC EMEA B.V. acquired certain assets and related liabilities of Amlib Pty. Ltd., (“Amlib”) the Australian software development organization specializing in library management solutions for 2,600,000 Australian dollars ($2,477,800). The purchase was accounted for by the purchase method of accounting. Assets acquired of 2,796,200 Australian dollars ($2,644,700) and liabilities assumed of 427,500 Australian dollars ($407,300) were based on their fair market values at the date of acquisition. Goodwill, representing the excess of cost over fair value of assets acquired of 231,300 Australian dollars ($220,400) was recorded and is included in fixed assets. Amlib’s operations subsequent to the date of the sale are included in the consolidated financial statements for the year ended June 30, 2009.

OCLC has acquired Amlib, the Australian software development organisation specialising in library management solutions. Amlib, based in Rowville and Perth, Australia, serves libraries in Australia, Africa, the United Kingdom and the United States. The Amlib library management solution is particularly popular amongst school, public and special libraries, because of the combination of comprehensive functionality, high reliability and attractive pricing. It further complements the existing OCLC portfolio of integrated library management systems, a market where OCLC has established a strong presence in recent years. As a result of the acquisition, 11 Amlib staff members will become part of the OCLC Australia office, under the direction of Chris Thewlis.

Jan 11, 2008 OCLC acquires EZproxy from Useful Utilities for $600,000
From the 2009 OCLC Annual Report: Effective January 11, 2008, OCLC acquired certain assets and related liabilities of Useful Utilities, LLC, (“EZproxy”) the owner of the EZproxy software for $600,000. EZproxy provides libraries a solution for authenticating remote user access to licensed databases. The purchase was accounted for by the purchase method of accounting. Assets acquired of $600,000 and liabilities assumed of $395,400 were based on their fair market values at the date of acquisition. Goodwill, representing the excess of cost over fair value of assets acquired, of $395,400 was recorded and is included in fixed assets. EZproxy’s operations subsequent to the date of the sale are included in the consolidated financial statements for the year ended June 30, 2008.

Jan 01, 2008 OCLC EMEA B.V. sells its shares of Strata Preservation N.V. $331,000 to KMM Group
OCLC EMEA B.V. sold its shares of Strata Preservation N.V. for 225,000 Euros ($331,000) to KMM Group.

Jul 03, 2007 OCLC acquires remaining shares of OCLC PICA
Effective July 1, 2007 OCLC EMEA B.V. repurchased the outstanding shares from its minority shareholder Stitchting Pica effectively becoming a wholly owned subsidiary of OCLC for 10,272000 Euros or $13,903,200

Jan 19, 2007 Eric van Lubeek appointed Director of Operations and Services of OCLC PICA
van Lubeek was previously Managing Director of Infor Library Solutions.

Aug 14, 2006 OCLC acquires DiMeMa, Inc. for $3,912,200
From the 2006 OCLC Annual Report: On August 14, 2006, OCLC through OCLC Information Distribution, Inc., acquired DiMeMa, Inc., the organization that developed and supports CONTENTdm, for $3,912,200, which approximates the value of the software intangible.

Jul 01, 2006 OCLC acquires Research Libraries group
From the 2006 OCLC Annual Report: Effective July 1, 2006, OCLC combined operations with The Research Libraries Group, Inc. (“RLG”). The fair values of assets acquired with the transaction were approximately $2.8 million and liabilities assumed were approximately $7.1 million with goodwill expected to be approximately $4.3 million. that will be evaluated for impairment.

May 03, 2006 OCLC announces agreement to acquire Research Libraries Group

Jan 03, 2006 OCLC acquires Openly Informatics for $1,950,000
From the 2006 OCLC Annual Report: On January 1, 2006, OCLC acquired certain assets and related liabilities of Openly Informatics, Inc., a global knowledge base provider for $1,950,000.

Nov 03, 2005 OCLC PICA acquires Fretwell-Downing Informatics for $8,913,100
According to the 2006 OCLC Annual Report: FDI—On November 2, 2005, OCLC PICA B.V. purchased Fretwell-Downing Group, Ltd. and subsidiaries (“FDI”), a provider of digital library solutions, for 7,383,600 Euros ($8,913,100 at November 2, 2005).

Jun 27, 2005 OCLC PICA acquires Sisis Informationssysteme for $4,504,700
According to the OCLC 2006 Annual Report: SISIS—Effective July 1, 2005, OCLC PICA B.V. purchased library management systems provider Sisis Informationssysteme GmbH and subsidiary (“Sisis”) for 3,769,500 Euros ($4,504,700 at July 1, 2005).

May 27, 2005 OCLC PICA acquires a majority share in Strata Preservation in The Hague.
Strata Preservation specializes in high-end preservation services, for fragile and unique materials that cultural heritage institutions want to preserve and make more easily accessible to the public. Strata Preservation N.V. was established in 2002 as a joint venture of American-based OCLC Inc (60 %) and the Koninklijke Bibliotheek (40 %). OCLC PICA B.V., also a Dutch company and itself owned by OCLC Inc (60 %) and Stichting Pica (40 %), has now taken over the share that OCLC Inc had in Strata Preservation. On top of the synergy advantages mentioned earlier, this means that Strata Preservation can now be managed more directly in a time that national and international microfilming and digitization are expected to take off. Strata Preservation currently employs a staff of almost 20.

Aug 2004 OCLC absorbs 24/7 Reference Service from Metropolitan Cooperative Library System

Nov 12, 2003 OCLC acquires CAPCON
On June 17, 2003, the membership of CAPCON approved an agreement that enabled the nonprofit OCLC regional service provider to become the OCLC CAPCON Service Center. OCLC purchased CAPCON and created OCLC CAPCON, an OCLC-owned service center to offer education and support for all OCLC products and services. On November 12, the CAPCON Library Network officially became the OCLC CAPCON Service Center.

Apr 16, 2002 Rein van Charldorp appointed Managing Director of OCLC PICA

Apr 20, 2001 InfoVision Technology assumes support for Altarama Systems library management products
InfoVision Technology and Altarama Systems have concluded an agreement for InfoVision Technology to provide support for the Altarama library software products and a migration path for all Altarama customers (using Data*Library, VTLS or Virtua) to InfoVision's Windows based Amlib Library Management System.

Apr 1999 OCLC acquires 60 percent ownership of PICA BV for $8.7 million
OCLC acquires sixty-percent ownership of PICA, with forty percent retained by the Stichting Pica. From the 1999 OCLC Annual Report: "Effective December 23, 1999, OCLC acquired 35 percent equity interest in Pica B.V. for $5.4 million from the Pica Foundation, a nonprofit organization based in Leiden, the Netherlands. Pica B.V. provides cataloging, interlibrary loan, local and end-user (reference) services to libraries in the Netherlands, France and Germany. Subsequently, on September 29, 2000, OCLC acquired an additional 25 percent of Pica B.V. shares for $3.3 million, bringing OCLC’s total share to 60 percent as prescribed in the agreement with Pica Foundation. For the six months ended June 30, 2000, Pica B.V. recorded revenues of $3.9 million and a positive result after taxes of $397,200. OCLC’s equity share is reflected in the condensed consolidated financial statements in “Other Income.” Pica B.V. complements the activities of OCLC Europe, the Middle East & Africa, based in Birmingham, England. Both organizations are self-supporting from revenues generated by system use in their regions."

1999 OCLC acquires Library Technical Services (LTS)
OCLC acquires the Winnipeg, Canada-based Library Technical Services (LTS). OCLC LTS provides original and copy cataloging as well as physical processing of materials for libraries.

Jan 1999 OCLC acquires WLN
OCLC Pacific merged with the Western Library Network (WLN) to form OCLC/WLN Pacific Northwest Service Center. This organization is now named OCLC Western.

May 11, 1998 Robert L. (Jay) Jordan becomes President and CEO of OCLC
The Board of Trustees of OCLC Online Computer Library Center has named Robert L. "Jay" Jordan as president and chief executive officer. Mr. Jordan, 55, a business executive, will become the fourth president in OCLC’s 31-year history in May 1998, succeeding K. Wayne Smith, who is stepping down after nearly 10 years. Mr. Jordan is currently president, new business development, Information Handling Services Group, Englewood, Colorado.

Oct 1997 OCLC acquires Blackwell North America's authority control service business

Jul 1997 OCLC sells Information Dimensions to Gores Technology Group.
IDI became part of OpenText in June 1998.

1997 Pica takes a majority share in new-founded company ALS International Limited
Pica has been able to consolidate its position on the market of local library systems by taking a majority share in the new-founded company ALS International Limited, established in Stevenage, England. A close co-operation between ALSI and Pica in the area of software development for local library systems will bear its fruit in the years to come. (Pica 1997 Annual Report

Jun 1993 OCLC Acquires Information Dimensions, Inc., from Battelle Memorial Institute

Apr 1990 Ameritech acquires LS/2000 from OCLC
Ameritech acquires the rights to the library automation products of the OCLC Local Systems Division, including LS/2, LS/2000, ACQ-350, and SC350.

1985 OCLC acquires MetaMicro
OCLC acquired Metamicro, a microcomputer-based software product which later evolved into OCLCs SC350 serials control system

Aug 1983 OCLC acquires Avatar
OCLC acquires Avatar to assist in the development of LS/2000

Apr 1982 OCLC purchased Total Library System from The Claremont Colleges
Purchased Total Library System from The Claremont Colleges in California. HP/3000 based system.

Jul 06, 1967 Ohio College Library Center founded
The colleges and universities in the state of Ohio founded the Ohio College Library Center to create a computerized system for the libraries of Ohio academic institutions.

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Annual Accomplishments Statements

[Data source: text supplied for the annual Library Systems Report]

2020 OCLC Accomplishments Narrative

OCLC: 2020

2020 was a year like no other. Despite the impact of the global pandemic, libraries and OCLC stayed focused. Together we worked in these challenging circumstances to respond to the shutdown and to ensure the continued success of the library community and the communities we serve.

As the COVID-19 crisis unfolded, OCLC initially focused on quickly creating information and resources to help librarians adjust and manage their OCLC services. Then, based on library requests, we moved our efforts from operations to virtual learning as library staff engaged with professional development opportunities during the shutdown. At the end of the year, our focus shifted to support the world’s archives, libraries, and museums as they considered reopening plans.

Helping archives, libraries, and museums inform reopening plans

As libraries and museums in the U.S. began to resume operations and reopen to the public in light of COVID-19, the need for clear information to support the handling of core museum, library, and archival materials became increasingly urgent. As part of the REALM project, OCLC, the Institute of Museum and Library Services, and Battelle are conducting research that includes testing to determine how long the COVID-19 virus survives on materials that are prevalent in libraries, archives, and museums. The project, which continues through September 2021, is drawing upon the research to produce authoritative, science-based information on how—or if—materials can be handled to mitigate exposure to staff and visitors. OCLC is managing the project and is developing a range of toolkit resources to contextualize the results and help libraries, archives, and museums plan with more confidence.

Building COVID-19 resources

To help libraries find new ways to serve users and their broader communities, OCLC created several COVID-19 resource pages that included timely information for providing remote access to library collections, optimizing the use of OCLC services, and connecting and collaborating with other libraries.

Sharing valuable information

OCLC’s Resource Sharing team identified unmet community needs during the initial stages of the shutdown and created the webinar “Managing your library’s ILL services during the COVID-19 crisis” in less than a week. The webinar attracted 1,300 registrants, with more than 4,000 views and downloads of the recording. Based on pressing interlibrary loan needs, we added additional webinars and virtual office hours. A crowdsourcing effort was launched on the safe return of ILL physical items—and a way to identify which libraries are currently lending physical materials—that includes a map offering the ability to visualize and interact with the information using search and filtering tools. More than 2,100 libraries worldwide are participating in this effort.

Reaching out to support each other

The OCLC Research Library Partnership (RLP) convened their network in various capacities to help libraries learn and act confidently. The SHARES network held biweekly Virtual Town Halls. The RLP Research Support Interest Group hosted online “COVID check-in” sessions where participants discussed COVID-19’s impact on the university research enterprise. And the Metadata Managers Focus Group met to discuss “Metadata management in times of uncertainty.”

Bringing the community together

To help libraries connect and share best practices, OCLC hosted a Virtual Town Hall: “Libraries and the COVID-19 Crisis,” that more than 2,100 people attended with numerous attendees sharing experiences and ideas in a lively discussion via chat. The town hall web page has received nearly 16,000 views with another 8,000 additional viewers accessing the recording of the event and the collection of resources shared by both panelists and attendees.

Speeding up service implementation

Increased demand for EZproxy hosted, which provides remote access to e-content, answered the need to ensure 24/7 remote access from outside the library. To support libraries in this transition, OCLC optimized the implementation process so that EZproxy hosted sites can be tested and live within three to seven business days. Libraries can now test their configurations and connect users to e-content more efficiently.

Capira Technologies

Libraries are increasingly using mobile technology to engage with their patrons and serve their communities. In 2020, Capira Technologies staff became part of OCLC to integrate their intuitive mobile product line with OCLC services.

OCLC’s CapiraMobile is a customizable mobile app that makes it possible for users to engage with a library and learn about events, services, and resources from the convenience of their phone. Librarians can send notifications about new programs and promotions, while patrons can search the library’s catalog, request or check out items, schedule them for contactless pickup, or pay fees and fines. As libraries begin to reopen, the app’s self-checkout functionality allows users to check out materials on their own.

CapiraCurbside is an intuitive pickup solution that integrates with a library’s ILS and efficiently manages distribution of library materials. It meets community expectations with a convenient option to get the resources they need when and how it makes sense for them, without adding work for library staff.

Creating answers for today’s needs and tomorrow’s success

OCLC continued work with libraries to improve our systems and how we serve our members in FY20. Our efforts to help public libraries reinvent how they build relationships with their users and communities moved forward. We added dozens of new features to our cloud-based library services platform critical to the success of academic libraries and library groups. We built a new API infrastructure that speeds development and innovation. And we advanced our groundbreaking work in helping libraries understand and manage print collections through new and enhanced services.

OCLC Wise: The first community engagement system for public libraries

OCLC Wise is OCLC’s community engagement system that is creating new connections for public libraries. Already used by more than 75 percent of public libraries in the Netherlands, OCLC announced in 2018 that it would be bringing Wise to the U.S.

Allen County Public Library went live as the first US library to put the Wise system into production. Anythink Libraries began implementation and Chesapeake Public Library went live with a virtual launch during the COVID-19 shutdown. OCLC also signed Bucks County Free Library and Fayetteville Public Library as early adopters.

OCLC continued to expand Wise in Europe, adding libraries from Cultuurconnect in Flanders, the Dutch-speaking region of Belgium. 149 libraries (416 branches) with Cultuurconnect are live with Wise, and there are 1.2 million active user accounts. This project includes all 315 public libraries in Flanders, with libraries implementing the system in phases through 2021. In the Netherlands, DOK Delft, one of the most innovative public libraries in the world, also joined the Wise community.

WorldShare Management Services: The first cloud-based library services platform

The WorldShare Management Services (WMS) community continued to grow. Libraries in 23 countries are now using WMS as their cloud-based library services platform. More than 200 new enhancements were added to WMS in 2020—70 percent of which were based on community input—that are helping libraries reengineer processes and improve how they interact with customers. Some of the most popular changes are integration with campus financial systems, a WMS sandbox for training and testing, and a new tool for more easily managing end-user trial surveys.

During the year, 18 Québec university libraries, grouped as a subcommittee within the Bureau de coopération interuniversitaire (BCI), went live with WMS. This was OCLC’s first full delivery of WMS training in French for a North American consortium.

Among the new WMS community members are:

  • In North America, the Canadian Museum of History and the Canadian War Museum; Texas A&M University at Texarkana; Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute; Oklahoma City University and Law School; Cleveland Museum of Art; University of Central Arkansas; the law libraries at the Universities of Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Arkansas at Little Rock; and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.
  • In Europe, the American College of Greece; Franklin University in Switzerland; the University of Twente in the Netherlands; the Università degli Studi della Tuscia in Viterbo in Italy; and the University of Roehampton, University College Birmingham, National College of Art and Design (Dublin, Ireland), and Manchester Metropolitan University in the UK.
  • In the Middle East, Zayed University library in Dubai and Sultan Qaboos University in Oman.
  • In Southeast Asia, the Vietnamese Germany University, the first WMS subscriber in Vietnam.

A new “API first” approach to product development

APIs are key to connecting OCLC’s systems with those of our members so that we can collectively respond to changing user expectations across mobile, personal assistant, and other devices. In FY20, we built a new API infrastructure that runs in the cloud, uses best-in-class standards, and follows a consistent, reusable design pattern to support an "API first" approach to product development. This will ensure greater parity between our product user interface and API functionality, giving developers the flexibility to interact with more OCLC services, integrate with partners, and innovate faster so that the entire cooperative benefits.

OCLC leveraged this new API infrastructure to enhance the WorldCat Metadata API with new shared print functionality and publish the WorldCat Search API 2.0. OCLC will build on this momentum to develop next-generation WorldCat Discovery APIs.

Groundbreaking work in shared print collections

OCLC’s groundbreaking work in shared print collections accelerated. GreenGlass, a web application that allows libraries and groups to visualize their holdings in the context of collective collections, is now used in more than 400 libraries in both individual and group projects. These libraries have used the service to inform print collection management decisions, such as which titles to deselect, retain, digitize, and transfer to remote storage or special collections.

In partnership with the Center for Research Libraries, OCLC enhanced and expanded its shared print registration to support print serials and developed new and enhanced ways to discover shared print commitments in a variety of OCLC services using a $1 million grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

The number of shared print commitments registered in WorldCat increased more than 400 percent in 2020, from 573,930 commitments registered to 2,370,533 commitments registered.

Connecting people to libraries and libraries to each other

2020 was a year that emphasized the power of connection. As the COVID-19 pandemic swept across the globe, our services helped libraries stay in contact with their users and with each other. Using OCLC services, libraries continued to advance access to library collections with a focus on improving vital, back-office tasks and the user experience.

The most comprehensive network of data about library collections

WorldCat expanded to 482 million records and 2.9 billion holdings. Publisher partners added 102 new content collections to the WorldCat Discovery central index to connect users to information they need. We continued to add important global resources as well, partnering with Europeana, the digital platform for European cultural heritage, to add millions of records of digitized items to WorldCat, making this open content easily discoverable and freely accessible to readers, researchers, and students through libraries.

The largest resource sharing community in the world

OCLC advanced its commitment to library resource sharing by expanding its global network of resource sharing libraries and enhancing the WorldShare Interlibrary Loan platform. WorldShare Interlibrary Loan was improved with the new Automated Request Manager, which makes it easier to configure automations and saves staff processing time, and the ability to deliver Get It Now articles via Article Exchange.

There are 347 libraries now live on Tipasa, the world’s first cloud-based interlibrary loan management system. The system was enhanced throughout the year with new features, including the introduction of the new My Account interface to replace the existing Tipasa user portal. It offers improved accessibility and a refreshed look. For libraries with WMS and Tipasa, the new My Account provides library users with a single, easy-to-use interface for managing their interlibrary loan and circulation activities.

OCLC’s work to advance smart fulfillment was strengthened by adding more detailed holdings information. This includes the WorldCat knowledge base holdings in WorldShare ILL and Tipasa interfaces, enabling borrowers to more quickly find electronic resources.

We also supported community-driven enhancements to ensure libraries’ interlibrary loan activities could continue during the COVID-19 pandemic. These include lengthened aging periods for requests, the creation of OCLC profiled groups, and a community sourced map/tool to help libraries manage returning of physical materials.

A discovery service with a distinct user experience

We integrated Third Iron’s LibKey Discovery tool with WorldCat Discovery to deliver one-click access to PDF documents from search results. We provided more options in WorldCat Discovery for configuring display features, such as search result filters and edition grouping to meet local needs. We expanded search capabilities so users can search multiple authority files to find additional terms for their searches.

Analytics that demonstrate library impact and value

We launched EZproxy Analytics, a turnkey analytics service that helps libraries better understand the vast amount of e-resource usage data in their EZproxy hosted logs. With an additional subscription, EZproxy Analytics manages the entire analytics process—data storage, extraction, enrichment, reporting, and visualization—making it easy for libraries to get insights demonstrating their impact and value. These insights also help libraries optimize their collections, negotiate package deals with vendors, identify better ways to serve users remotely, and connect library services to learning outcomes.

The release of EZproxy version 7.1 introduced powerful new security features. These updates significantly improve library security in an environment where data breaches threaten library network security and interrupt e-resource access and are more frequent and sophisticated. EZproxy added a robust and customizable set of security rules that automatically identify and disable compromised single sign-on credentials before they can be used to exploit systems; and an optional pseudonymous user identifier that maintains patron privacy, resolves security issues faster, and provides more continuous access to e-resource subscriptions.

OCLC Research

Through thought-leading research, OCLC helps libraries understand and plan for the future. Events and member engagement provide opportunities to facilitate the sharing of knowledge among libraries. And in our online community center, we share expertise and support with each other.

Continued leadership in linked data

OCLC was awarded a grant for $2.4 million from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to develop a “Shared Entity Management Infrastructure" (SEMI) that will support linked data management initiatives underway in the library and scholarly communications community.

Leading up to SEMI, OCLC collaborated with 16 US libraries to publish Creating Library Linked Data with Wikibase: Lessons Learned from Project Passage. This research project experimented with creating linked data to describe library resources—without requiring knowledge of the technical machinery of linked data. Project Passage paved the way for OCLC’s current work on linked data in SEMI.

OCLC completed the CONTENTdm linked data pilot, which evaluated ways to increase researchers’ ability to discover, evaluate, and use digitized cultural materials, while also investigating improving library staff efficiency with a better descriptive environment. The pilot project developed a linked data model for managing cultural material descriptions, built a “full-stack” Wikibase system, quantified its limitations, created new applications to improve data entry and discovery, and optimized reconciliation services for matching headings to entities.

Exploring new areas of librarianship with research

Prepared with the Big Ten Academic Alliance (BTAA), Operationalizing the BIG Collective Collection: A Case Study of Consolidation vs Autonomy explores the benefits of closer collaboration in managing the BTAA collective collection across the network of BTAA libraries. The approach to coordination in the report is broadly applicable in other consortium settings as well, providing lessons and recommendations to benefit any group. The BTAA libraries have committed to developing the BIG Collective Collection, influenced by the directions outlined in the report.

The report Responsible Operations: Data Science, Machine Learning, and AI in Libraries identifies seven areas where research is needed to better use algorithms, data patterns, and intelligent machines in library operations. The report was developed with more than 70 librarians and professionals from universities, libraries, museums, archives, and other organizations.

Open Content Activities in Libraries: Same Direction, Different Trajectories—Findings from the 2018 OCLC Global Council Survey synthesized current and future open content activities and areas of investment for a large group of research and university libraries. This group of 511 respondents from 69 countries is highly engaged with open content activities. The survey suggests that new services will emerge in managing open research data and with digitized open collections through statistical and machine learning techniques.


OCLC had revenues of $214.6 million in FY2020.

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