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 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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2019 IRS Form 990T for OCLC
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2019 IRS Form 990 for OCLC
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2018 IRS Form 990 for OCLC
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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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2004 IRS Form 990 for OCLC
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Personnel employed

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

OCLC 2021534363138150891274
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

May 12, 2022. WorldCat quality efforts to enhance millions more records. The OCLC metadata quality team consistently improves WorldCat records to help libraries make their resources more accessible to users worldwide through discovery, research, and interlibrary loan services. Using a combination of automated systems and manual enrichments, we review, delete, merge, and enhance an average of 4 million WorldCat records per month. In addition, each month we add more than 280 collections to the WorldCat knowledge base and enhance another 45,000 collections. This work helps ensure that information seekers can easily find the resources they need as soon as they're available in libraries.

May 10, 2022. From local to global: Benetton’s cultural heritage is now online. Benetton Research Libraries is a project that involves the Fondazione Benetton Studi Ricerche, Fabrica and Benetton Group's Historical Archive. The aim is to enhance and make available to everyone — online — the services and wealth of knowledge collected over decades of activity by the libraries linked to the Benetton world, creating a single point of access to over 100,000 volumes, periodicals, multimedia materials, maps and documents. The three organisations, which have always collaborated synergistically in their cultural endeavors, have joined forces and adopted a common software platform, WorldShare Management System.

April 22, 2022. Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research is now live with OCLC’s WorldShare Management Services. Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research is now live with OCLC's WorldShare Management Services as its new library services platform. The UFZ is one of the world's leading research centers in the field of environmental research. Currently employing 1,100 people, it has earned an excellent reputation as an international center of expertise in environmental sciences.

April 13, 2022. OCLC and Google now connect web searchers directly to library collections. OCLC and Google are working together to link directly from books discovered through Google Search to print book records in the catalogs of hundreds of U.S. libraries. This feature is part of Google's ongoing effort to connect people to their local libraries through Google Search. The initial phase of this new program connects people using Google Search to the catalogs of hundreds of U.S. libraries whose books are cataloged in WorldCat, a worldwide database of information about library collections, and made available for discovery on the web. The program is expected to expand to more libraries and connect to more library resources in the future.

March 23, 2022. Sustainable Libraries initiative releases updated Road Map to Sustainability mobile app with support from OCLC. With support from OCLC, the Sustainable Libraries Initiative has released an updated, mobile app version of their ‘Road Map to Sustainability' for Android and iOS users. This mobile app is a portable, interactive version of their award-winning ‘Roadmap to Sustainability' that has been recognized by the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions through their “Green Library” award. This was the first project from a library in the United States to receive such a distinction. The Sustainable Libraries Initiative's ‘Road Map to Sustainability' is a guided journal to help library leaders envision how their organization can use the concepts of triple bottom line sustainability to inspire change within their library and become leaders in their community.

March 8, 2022. Appalachian College Association libraries select OCLC’s WorldShare Management Services. Twenty-seven libraries that are part of the Appalachian College Association have selected OCLC's WorldShare Management Services as their new library services platform. The move is intended to meet current and future needs of the consortium that brings together these libraries spanning five states to collaborate and share resources.

February 24, 2022. Operationalizing the Art Research Collective Collection (OpArt). Art libraries play a vital role in supporting art scholarship, but COVID-19 impacts have strained budgets and sustainability challenges are more acute than ever. To respond to these challenges and build institutional sustainability, art libraries will look to innovative partnerships and collaborations as one way forward. Understanding the opportunities, challenges, and potential strategies for cooperation between art, academic, and independent research libraries can help identify new collaborative models to support the continued availability of the art research collective collection. Operationalizing the Art Research Collective Collection (OpArt), an OCLC Research project, will help art libraries identify potential collaborative models to address shared sustainability barriers and consider practically what institutions will need to make these models operational.

February 23, 2022. Jisc and OCLC agreement to provide libraries with improved access to cataloguing services and records. Jisc and OCLC have signed an agreement meaning academic and specialist libraries across the UK will have better access to fit-for-purpose catalogue records and an enhanced ability to share and reuse bibliographic metadata. Building on the aims of Plan M to streamline the metadata marketplace in the UK, this transitional agreement, which runs until July 2022, will allow subscribing libraries to access OCLC WorldCat cataloguing services - a comprehensive database of information about library services.

February 18, 2022. Complutense University of Madrid extends partnership with OCLC. Universidad Complutense de Madrid, one of the oldest universities in the world and among the top universities in Spain, is extending its partnership and commitment to OCLC's shared platform and services. The university uses OCLC's WorldShare Management Services and is also using Tipasa, the cloud-based interlibrary loan management system.

January 21, 2022. Lorcan Dempsey to retire as OCLC’s Vice President for Research and Membership, and Chief Strategist. Lorcan Dempsey, known globally as a thought leader and strategist for libraries, has announced his plans to retire at the end of April as OCLC's Vice President for Research and Membership, and Chief Strategist.

View All OCLC News Announcements

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]

2021 OCLC Accomplishments Narrative

Libraries have been an incredible engine of opportunity this past year, rising above all of the turbulence to deliver information digitally, support online learning, and provide communities with other resources they need. OCLC has been proud to support libraries in all of these efforts. Though how we work and where we work have shifted, OCLC’s work on behalf of libraries remains at the forefront of everything we do.

The environment was very difficult in 2021. Yet, looking back over this past year, OCLC has accomplished a great deal. The enormous challenges presented by the pandemic reinforced what we have always known to be true: Libraries can do anything when they work together.

The REALM project

As libraries were forced to close their doors because of the COVID-19 pandemic, OCLC knew that they would need science-based information for reopening. Work on the REALM project with the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) and Battelle produced research on how materials could be safely handled and returned back into circulation. REALM completed eight laboratory tests that studied the life span of the virus on materials that are prevalent in libraries, archives, and museums; synthesized emerging research findings; and produced toolkit resources to inform local decision making.

OCLC Research

As a part of OCLC’s work in documenting how libraries operate and adapt, the OCLC Research team meets with global library leaders to discuss and address emerging library models and new and evolving library practices and policies. Five reports published in 2021 address stewardship costs, the future of metadata and linked data, and the challenges of providing research support services.

Developed by the OCLC Research Library Partnership’s Collection Building and Operational Impacts Working Group, the Total Cost of Stewardship: Responsible Collection Building in Archives and Special Collections proposes a framework for a holistic approach to understanding the resources needed to responsibly acquire and steward archives and special collections. The framework responds to the ongoing challenge of descriptive backlogs in archives and special collections by connecting collection development decisions to stewardship responsibilities.

Transitioning to the Next Generation of Metadata synthesizes six years of discussions by the OCLC Research Library Partners Metadata Managers Focus Group to consider why and how metadata is changing, how the creation process is changing, what impact these changes will have on future staffing requirements, and how libraries can prepare.

Transforming Metadata into Linked Data to Improve Digital Collection Discoverability: A CONTENTdm Pilot Project shares the CONTENTdm® Linked Data Pilot project findings, where OCLC and five partner institutions investigated methods for—and the feasibility of—transforming metadata into linked data to improve the discoverability and management of digitized cultural materials.

Archives and Special Collections Linked Data: Navigating between Notes and Nodes shares the findings from the Archives and Special Collections Linked Data Review Group, which explored key areas of concern and opportunities for archives and special collections in transitioning to a linked data environment.

Social Interoperability in Research Support: Cross-Campus Partnerships and the University Research Enterprise, which was based upon interviews with 22 individuals from 17 US research-intensive universities, examines the growing imperative for cross-campus, cross-domain institutional collaboration in providing successful research support services. It offers a conceptual model for campus research support stakeholders, including context about their priorities and contributions. It also synthesizes lessons and best practices from participants on how to optimize social interoperability in research support.

Grant-funded projects

As a lead or partner, OCLC launched or supplemented six new grant-funded research projects that support libraries, museums, and archives, and advance innovative research in the field.

OCLC was awarded a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to Reimagine Descriptive Workflows in consultation with Shift Collective. This initiative convened a diverse group of experts, practitioners, and community members to help implement antiracist and inclusive language in metadata descriptions by improving descriptive practices, tools, infrastructure, and workflows.

With funding from IMLS, OCLC is working with the University of Virginia and project lead California Digital Library, in close partnership with LYRASIS and statewide/regional aggregators, to conduct a two-year research and demonstration project to build the foundation for a National Archival Finding Aid Network (NAFAN). OCLC is leading the qualitative and quantitative research for this initiative.

OCLC was awarded an IMLS Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian grant to create a series of free, on-demand courses on the digital stewardship life cycle for tribal archives, libraries, museums (TALMs), and small public libraries. The WebJunction team is leading the project and is drawing upon the subject matter expertise of Washington State University’s Center for Digital Scholarship and Curation.

OCLC is participating in the IMLS-funded LEADING Grant, managed by the Metadata Research Center at Drexel University, to build a national network for early career professionals and LIS doctoral students to collectively advance capacities for the national digital platform.


OCLC’s WebJunction program provides a professional social network for library staff to sharpen professional skills and learn from each other. WebJunction designs and delivers learning through online training programs, self-directed study, and facilitated peer-to-peer support using tools of collaboration, applied research, and learning networks to bring new ideas and innovations to more libraries. This approach ensures that all libraries—regardless of size, type, or geographic location—can effectively use and share resources toward common goals.

In 2021, enrollment in WebJunction’s course catalog remained strong. It continued to outpace the pre-pandemic numbers, as library staff actively engaged with professional development opportunities. Last year saw 30,652 learners take part in WebJunction courses. The course catalog includes more than 50 self-paced courses on library topics and 360 webinar recordings.

Research Library Partnership

The Research Library Partnership (RLP) developed new partnerships with allied organizations to raise OCLC’s thought leadership profile in Europe and Australia.

With LIBER, OCLC hosted a discussion series on Open Science through webinars and discussion groups. The series, based on the LIBER Open Science Roadmap, will help guide research libraries in envisioning the support infrastructure for Open Science (OS) and their role at local, national, and global levels.

OCLC also partnered with LIBER to host a virtual workshop series to focus on how librarians can work toward “Building Strategic Relationships to Advance Open Scholarship at Your Institution.”

OCLC Research ran a discussion series for European libraries on the “Next Generation of Metadata,” which focused on the latest published reports from OCLC Research on metadata and linked data.


OCLC staff and thousands of member libraries cooperatively produce and maintain WorldCat, the most comprehensive global network of data about library collections. Unique in scale and unparalleled in data quality, WorldCat makes library collections findable and accessible around the world. It also enables libraries to share high-quality metadata and bibliographic records with each other, dramatically reducing time spent on collection development and cataloging tasks. It is the manifestation of the creativity and innovation of OCLC and thousands of librarians and is a testament to the power of librarianship.

In 2021, WorldCat grew beyond 500 million records and 3 billion library holdings, a 6.74 percent growth in bibliographic records and a 4.35 percent growth in holdings from 2020. These records and holdings empower libraries to share their resources across the globe and empower library users to find and access information no matter how near or far.

Together with the shared print community, OCLC is making immense progress toward a shared goal of securing and providing access to the scholarly and cultural record for generations to come. The number of shared print commitments registered in WorldCat reached more than 25 million in 2021. As that figure continues to grow at a rapid pace, OCLC remains committed to supporting shared print initiatives at scale.

Mobilizing the library network

Recognizing that effective community engagement for libraries requires an intuitive, powerful, and flexible mobile app, OCLC purchased Capira Technologies in 2020. Capira creates customized mobile apps, providing for an optimal user experience, including digital library cards, self-checkout, and more. CapiraMobile is the fastest-growing public library mobile app on the market. CapiraCurbside enables contactless, easy curbside delivery for library staff and customers—a critical service for many libraries to continue services in the COVID-19 environment.

Resource Sharing

OCLC continues to advance new smart fulfillment functionality across all OCLC resource sharing services. New smart fulfillment delivery capabilities make fast, real-time, data-driven recommendations based on a library’s local policies, item availability, network relationships, and user needs. Included with a WorldShare Interlibrary Loan (ILL) subscription and also available via ILLiad and Tipasa, these features provide the delivery experience users want with remarkable speed and minimal manual intervention from staff, which saves libraries time and money.

OCLC launched the new Express digital delivery program to facilitate exceptionally fast turnaround times using smart fulfillment enhancements to OCLC resource sharing services. More than 1,000 libraries are now participating in this new program, which is available at no extra cost to libraries with WorldShare ILL, Tipasa, or ILLiad. During its first five months, more than 160,000 copy requests were filled in an average of 10.4 hours among Express libraries.

OCLC introduced the OCLC Interlibrary Loan Cost Calculator, which is a free, online tool that has the potential to act as a virtual real-time ILL cost study. Designed in collaboration with resource sharing experts and built by OCLC Research staff, the calculator was opened up for all users in February 2021 and already has more than 60 academic and public libraries registered and more than a dozen data sets uploaded. A recorded webinar gives a guided tour of what the tool does and how individual institutions and the library community can benefit.

WorldShare Management Services

As the ever-growing WorldShare Management Services (WMS) community marked its tenth anniversary, libraries around the world continued to support this fully integrated library platform. Nearly 700 libraries in 23 countries have selected WMS. New subscribers include:

  • North America
    • Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montréal
    • Ingalls Library and Museum Archives (part of the Cleveland Museum of Art), Ohio
    • Space Telescope Science Institute Library, Maryland
    • Texas Southern University and the Marshall School of Law, Texas Southern University, Texas
    • Brookhaven National Laboratory, New York
    • Albertus Magnus College, Connecticut
    • American Museum of Natural History Library, New York
    • Hofstra University and Hofstra University Law School, New York
  • Europe
    • National College of Art and Design, Dublin, Ireland
    • Franklin University, Switzerland
    • Police University of Brandenburg, Germany
    • Kühne Logistics University, Germany
    • Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research, Germany
    • ISDI Digital Business School, Spain
    • University of Milano-Bicocca, Italy

OCLC added more than 200 new enhancements to WMS in 2021—more than 70 pecent of which were based on community input—to streamline acquisitions workflows, add new staff functions to the Digby mobile app, and enhance patron flexibility to access materials.

WMS achieved US Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP) authorization following a rigorous evaluation to meet the US government’s security requirements for cloud services. The US Census Bureau Library served as OCLC’s agency sponsor for FedRAMP.

WMS achieved the highest overall score on the latest Advanced Procurement for Universities and Colleges (APUC) Framework Agreement for Library Management Systems. The APUC, serving Scotland’s universities and colleges, looks closely at development, implementation and support, and the functional capabilities of systems so that APUC members do not have to go through a tender process.


OCLC continued to expand OCLC Wise, a transformative community engagement system that empowers public libraries to strengthen current customer relationships, build new connections with the wider community, and better meet changing community needs.

In addition to continuing to work closely with early adopters for product development, the U.S. Wise team successfully pivoted to all-remote implementations in FY21. This included the in-depth surveys and analysis of operational workflows, policies, practices, and data to configure each initial instance; library testing and reconfigurations with each data migration; and library administrative staff skills training.

OCLC also expanded in Europe, adding libraries from Cultuurconnect in Flanders, the Dutch-speaking region of Belgium.


OCLC updated EZproxy, the e-resource access and authentication solution, with security features to help mitigate data breaches that disrupt library operations. Libraries now benefit from a customizable set of rules that automatically identify and disable compromised single sign-on credentials in real-time, and an optional pseudonymous user identifier that streamlines and secures feedback loops with content providers.

COVID-19 dramatically changed learning and research workflows and user expectations for interacting with library resources. To meet these expectations and provide the most reliable, secure access possible, more libraries chose to have OCLC host and manage their EZproxy application. OCLC’s hosted customer base grew. In the EMEA and Asia Pacific regions alone, more than 100 libraries either migrated to or subscribed to the hosted version for the first time.

Libraries around the world have purchased EZproxy Analytics to get up-to-date, actionable insights about who’s using their e-resources and how. These customers use EZproxy Analytics to gain a deeper understanding of resource usage, justify their investments, and inform decisions about renewals, cancellations, and acquisitions.

WorldCat Discovery

OCLC redesigned the WorldCat Discovery interface. This updated interface provides a frictionless user experience that helps users more intuitively find and get resources from library collections. The redesigned WorldCat Discovery landing, search results, and item details pages now comply with WCAG 2.1 AA accessibility guidelines. OCLC members actively partnered with the WorldCat Discovery team throughout the year to suggest and refine new and enhanced features in the new interface.

OCLC signed new agreements with publishers to connect users to information they need: OCLC added 58 new content collections from 23 content providers (11 new providers) to the WorldCat Discovery central index to ensure discovery of their content through WorldCat Discovery. At the end of FY21, OCLC had agreements with 377 publishers and information providers to include metadata for 3,111 collections of books, e-books, journals, databases, and other materials from these global publishers to the central index. In total, these collections represent 4.3 billion records.

OCLC launched a new database of open-access content in FirstSearch to help researchers easily find open-access resources from familiar content providers. Developed in response to requests from FirstSearch users, the Open Access Content database expands on a 20-year history of partnering with the world’s leading content providers to represent high-quality open content in WorldCat and OCLC services. Searches in this database retrieve only open-access items with “access” links for users to full-text open content.


OCLC released GreenGlass for Serials, further empowering libraries to confidently make print collection management decisions by supporting the responsible deselection of serials. By leveraging and comparing data in WorldCat, JSTOR, and other known journal archives, GreenGlass for Serials equips libraries with the insights needed to take local action in a collective context and protect the scholarly record. These insights allow libraries to see how widely their serials titles are held and if their serials titles are held in known journal archives; to compare the extent of their serials holdings with those in known journal archives; to see which of their journal runs are out of date or incomplete; to segment their collection by location, subject, language, or publication status; and to search by title, ISSN, OCLC number, and OCLC work ID.


As a leader in data technology and an innovator in cloud technology, OCLC is uniquely positioned to partner with member libraries in a complex technology environment. APIs (application programming interfaces) let OCLC member libraries build and share the custom workflows they need to respond to changing user expectations across mobile, personal assistant, and other devices. In 2021, OCLC continued to expand our diverse set of APIs.

The new WorldCat Discovery Premium API package leverages popular WorldCat Discovery features to help library staff customize, enrich, and extend discovery services. These include APIs for: Discovery, New Titles, Citations, Suggestions, Access Options, Lists, and Library Profiles.

The WorldCat Metadata API allows libraries to easily search for, create, and enrich WorldCat records, and to find shared print retention commitments in WorldCat.

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