Library Technology Guides

Company Directory

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Connect to the OCLC Web site

6565 Kilgour Place
Dublin, Ohio 43017-3395
United States
Toll free: 800-848-5878 ext 5091
Phone: 614-764-6000
Fax: 614-764-6096
Web site:

Board of Directors

  • Skip Prichard -- President and Chief Executive Officer


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

Company Ownership

OCLC is a non-profit membership organization.

Library automation systems

OCLC offers the following Integrated Library Systems:

  • WorldShare Management Services (486 libraries, 615 facilities in
    Public libraries: 19
    Academic libraries: 355
    School libraries: 12
    52 libraries have migrated away from this system.
  • Amlib (62 libraries, 149 facilities in
    Public libraries: 61
    Academic libraries: 0
    School libraries: 1
    158 libraries have migrated away from this system.
  • Sunrise (14 libraries, 54 facilities in
    Public libraries: 3
    Academic libraries: 9
    School libraries: 0
    6 libraries have migrated away from this system.
  • bicatWise (164 libraries, 746 facilities in
    Public libraries: 157
    Academic libraries: 0
    School libraries: 0
    1 libraries have migrated away from this system.
  • OLIB (25 libraries, 39 facilities in
    Public libraries: 2
    Academic libraries: 16
    School libraries: 0
    16 libraries have migrated away from this system.
  • LBS Lokaal Bibliotheek Systeem (20 libraries, 22 facilities in
    Public libraries: 0
    Academic libraries: 14
    School libraries: 0
    14 libraries have migrated away from this system.
  • Bibliotheca2000 (15 libraries, 112 facilities in
    Public libraries: 13
    Academic libraries: 1
    School libraries: 0
    2 libraries have migrated away from this system.
  • LS/2000 (0 libraries, 0 facilities in
    Public libraries: 0
    Academic libraries: 0
    School libraries: 0
    75 libraries have migrated away from this system.

A total of 1737 library facilities included in use an ILS provided by OCLC.

Corporate Chronology

Jan 17, 2018   OCLC acquires Relais International.
Jan 13, 2015   OCLC acquires Sustainable Collection Services.
Dec 19, 2014   OCLC reports that 270 libraries are live on WorldShare Management Services and a total of 340 have signed contracts.
Jun 12, 2014   University of Delaware is first ARL and 200th library to go live with OCLC WorldShare Management Services.
Apr 2, 2014   WorldCat Discovery Services is now available.
Jan 21, 2014   LIBROS consortium of 16 academic libraries in New Mexico selects WorldShare Management Services.
Jan 9, 2014   Private Academic Library Network of Indiana of 23 institutions selected OCLC WorldShare Management Services as its cloud-based library management system..
Dec 31, 2013   OCLC reports 177 total installations of Sierra for the Library Systems Report.
Oct 1, 2013   OCLC acquires Huijsmans en Kuijpers Automatisering for $10,311,000.
Jul 1, 2011   General release of WorldShare Management Services.
Apr 18, 2011   OCLC acquires the assets of German library system provider, BOND GmbH for $5,915,400.
Nov 18, 2010   Craven-Pamlico-Carteret Regional Library System places WorldShare Management Services into Production.
Mar 17, 2010   OCLC sells NetLibrary to EBSCO Publishing for $7,867,200.
Mar 17, 2010   EBSCO Publishing acquires the NetLibrary Division from OCLC.
Aug 1, 2009   OCLC sells Preservation Service Center to Backstage Library Works.
Apr 22, 2009   OCLC announces new Web-scale Management Services (later branded as WorldShare Platform).
Sep 12, 2008   OCLC acquires Amlib for $2,477,800 (US).
Jan 11, 2008   OCLC acquires EZproxy from Useful Utilities for $600,000.
Jan 1, 2008   OCLC EMEA B.V. sells its shares of Strata Preservation N.V. $331,000 to KMM Group.
Jul 3, 2007   OCLC acquires remaining shares of OCLC PICA.
Apr 11, 2007   OCLC begins pilot of WorldCat Local discovery service.
Jan 19, 2007   Eric van Lubeek appointed Director of Operations and Services of OCLC PICA.
Aug 14, 2006   OCLC acquires DiMeMa, Inc. for $3,912,200.
Jul 1, 2006   OCLC acquires Research Libraries group.
May 3, 2006   OCLC announces agreement to acquire Research Libraries Group.
Jan 3, 2006   OCLC acquires Openly Informatics for $1,950,000.
Nov 3, 2005   OCLC PICA acquires Fretwell-Downing Informatics for $8,913,100.
Jun 27, 2005   OCLC PICA acquires Sisis Informationssysteme for $4,504,700.
May 27, 2005   OCLC PICA acquires a majority share in Strata Preservation in The Hague..
Aug 2004   OCLC absorbs 24/7 Reference Service from Metropolitan Cooperative Library System.
Nov 12, 2003   OCLC acquires CAPCON.
Jul 1, 2003   OCLC PICA acquires V3.Web, the ILL requesting and management system from LIBPAC.
Jul 1, 2003   OCLC PICA acquires V3.Web ILL requesting and management system from LIBPAC.
Apr 16, 2002   Rein van Charldorp appointed Managing Director of OCLC PICA.
Jan 2002   OCLC PICA formed through the consolidation of Pica BV and OCLC Europe, Middle East and Africa.
Apr 20, 2001   InfoVision Technology assumes support for Altarama Systems library management products.
Apr 2001   Altarama Information Systems founded.
Oct 2000   OCLC becomes exclusive distributor for ILLiad software developed by Virginia Tech and Atlas Systems.
Apr 1999   OCLC acquires 60 percent ownership of PICA BV for $8.7 million.
1999   Stichting Pica forms PICA BV established as a Dutch limited liability company.
1999   OCLC acquires Library Technical Services (LTS).
Jan 1999   OCLC acquires WLN.
Jun 1, 1998   Openly Informatics Inc. founded by Eric Hellman.
May 11, 1998   Robert L. (Jay) Jordan becomes President and CEO of OCLC.
Oct 1997   OCLC acquires Blackwell North America’s authority control service business.
Jul 14, 1997   OCLC opens its office in Montréal, Canada.
Jul 1997   OCLC sells Information Dimensions to Gores Technology Group..
1997   Sisis Informationssysteme founded by Siemens.
1997   Bibliocentre joins OCLC.
1997   Pica takes a majority share in new-founded company ALS International Limited.
1996   Stichting Centre for Library Automation, Pica becomes Stichting Pica.
1995   InfoVision founded.
Jun 1993   OCLC Acquires Information Dimensions, Inc., from Battelle Memorial Institute.
1992   Fretwell-Downing Informatics founded by Anthony Fretwell-Downing.
1992   Altarama Systems Pty Ltd founded by Shirley Forster.
Apr 1990   Ameritech acquires LS/2000 from OCLC.
1988   OCLC acquires Dewey Decimal Classification.
Feb 1987   OCLC acquires ALIS I and II software from Data Phase to be marketed under the new name of LS/2.
1986   PICA becomes an independent organization named Stichting Centre for Library Automation, Pica.
1985   OCLC acquires MetaMicro.
Aug 1983   OCLC acquires Avatar.
May 28, 1983   Huijsmans en Kuijpers Automatisering founded by Hendrikus Johannes Kuijpers and Jozef Nicolaas Maria Huijsmans.
May 1983   OCLC purchases Integrated Library System (ILS) from Lister Hill Center.
Apr 1982   OCLC purchased Total Library System from The Claremont Colleges.
1981   OCLC Europe established.
1981   OCLC Online Computer Library Center, Inc. becomes the legal name for OCLC.
1979   OCLC introduces Interlibrary Loan service.
1977   OCLC begins to accept members outside Ohio and changes its name to OCLC, Inc.
Aug 26, 1971   Alden Library at Ohio University begins online catalog on OCLC system.
1969   PICA founded by Royal National Library and a group of Dutch University Libraries.
Jul 6, 1967   Ohio College Library Center founded.

Selected Articles from Library Technology Guides

The following are a sample of articles related to the major events in the corporate history of OCLC, or you can view all articles related to the company from Library Technology Guides.

Breeding, Marshall, Smart Libraries Newsletter (April 2013). Innovative Interfaces Absorbs SkyRiver and Withdraws Lawsuit Against OCLC

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.

(November 1, 2012). OCLC Launches WorldShare Metadata Collection Management

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, Smart Libraries Newsletter (October 2012). BIBSYS and OCLC Withdraw from Partnership

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, Smart Libraries Newsletter (October 2012). OCLC Expands Opportunities for Sharing WorldCat Metadata

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, Smart Libraries Newsletter (July 2012). Smarter Libraries through Technology: The OCLC Non-Event

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, Smart Libraries Newsletter (June 2012). OCLC Navigates the Realm of Open Linked Data

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, Smart Libraries Newsletter (March 2012). OCLC Launches the WorldShare Brand and Wins an ARL Member

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, Information Today (December 5, 2011). OCLC WorldShare Platform: OCLC Brands and Strengthens its Webscale Strategy

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, Smart Libraries Newsletter (October 2010). OCLC Web-scale Management Services enters Adoption Cycle

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.

Breeding, Marshall, Smart Libraries Newsletter (June 2011). OCLC Acquires German Public Library Vendor BOND, Extending its European Presence

In the latest business acquisition of a library automation company, OCLC announced in April 2011 that it has acquired BOND GmbH & Co. KG Bond, is a major commercial vendor of library automation software for libraries in German speaking countries in Europe. Around 4,000 libraries in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland have implemented the company's automation products, including Bibliotheca2000 or The company also offers a bibliographic utility for its customers to support cataloging operations. While public libraries dominate its customer base, it also serves school, special, and academic libraries in smaller proportions. The acquisition represents the latest in a series of business acquisitions that contributes to OCLC's standing as one of the largest players in European library automation sector.

Breeding, Marshall, Smart Libraries Newsletter (February 2010). OCLC Opens Up WorldCat through APIs

In a move that opens the massive WorldCat database to external developers, OCLC has released a limited set of application programming interfaces (APIs) to programmers outside of its direct membership. OCLC has offered a more robust API to affiliated organizations for more than a year. Releasing an API to external, unaffiliated developers may open up new opportunities that will enable library-created bibliographic data to be used in new types of applications

Breeding, Marshall, Smart Libraries Newsletter (June 2009). OCLC Reveals its Strategy for Library Automation

In a move that has stirred some controversy in the library automation industry, OCLC has announced that it will extend WorldCat Local, initially positioned primarily as a discovery tool, to provide a complete suite of services for the automation of libraries. Work is now underway to create services associated with WorldCat Local that perform circulation, resource fulfillment, acquisitions, and license management. Taken together, these services will obviate the need for a library to operate its own integrated library system.

Breeding, Marshall, Library Journal Online (5/15/2009). OCLC Enters Fray with New Library System

In a bold move that could reshape the library automation landscape, OCLC has expanded WorldCat Local’s existing cataloging and discovery tools with new circulation, delivery, and acquisitions features. This new project, which OCLC calls “the first web-scale, cooperative library management service,” will ultimately bring into WorldCat Local the full complement of functions traditionally performed by a locally installed integrated library system (ILS) and, OCLC says, at a lower cost.

Breeding, Marshall, Smart Libraries Newsletter (March 2008). OCLC Acquires EZproxy

OCLC has acquired EZproxy from Useful Utilities, a one-person company based in Peoria, Arizona, a suburb of Phoenix. The acquisition of this product gives OCLC control of an important piece of the infrastructure that connects individual libraries to the content and services on the Web.

Breeding, Marshall, Smart Libraries Newsletter (August 2007). OCLC Completes Its Acquisition of PICA

OCLC took another step in its growth as a global organization by gaining complete ownership of OCLC PICA, the integrated library system based in the Netherlands and used by libraries and library consortia in Europe and elsewhere. While this move represents a solidification of OCLC’s European holdings, it does not reflect a major change in strategy. OCLC already owned the majority of the shares of OCLC PICA through combined investments of $8.7 million made in December 1999 and September 2000. OCLC has not yet revealed the amount paid for the remaining 40 percent of the shares.

Breeding, Marshall, Smart Libraries Newsletter (July 2006). Big Bibliographic Services: OCLC and RLG

RLG, a smaller-scale organization that offered an alternative set of bibliographic databases and services for research libraries, announced it would be joining the OCLC brood. Although cast as a merger, the terms of the arrangement spell out an acquisition. the transaction involves OCLC purchasing the assets and assuming the liabilities of RLG. If the deal completes, RLG will no longer exist as a separate organization. The plan calls for OCLC to integrate RLG’s products and services in two ways: some will be combined with existing OCLC products and services to create economies of scale and to eliminate redundancies, while others will continue within OCLC and be managed through a new RLG-Programs division.

Breeding, Marshall, Smart Libraries Newsletter (February 2006). OCLC’s ongoing open season on acquisitions

Opening 2006 with the purchase of Openly Informatics, OCLC (Online Computer Library Center) continues its buying spree of technology companies. This company brings into the OCLC fold content components related to e-journals holdings and key technologies in the reference-linking arena. Openly shifts its private-company status into a division of a non-profit organization. Eric Hellman, founder/president of Openly Informatics, will continue to head the activities of his former company as director of the OCLC Openly Informatics division, reporting to Mike Teets, VP of Global Product Architecture at OCLC.

Breeding, Marshall, Smart Libraries Newsletter (December 2005). OCLC PICA acquires Fretwell-Downing Informatics Group

Continuing its expansion into the library software arena, OCLC recently announced its intent to acquire U.K.-based Fretwell-Downing Informatics (FDI) Group. A transaction to be processed through OCLC’s major European division, OCLC PICA, this move to add FDI comes after OCLC PICA’s takeover of Sisis Informationssysteme, a German-based ILS company. This event also takes place within the larger context of a robust consolidation phase within the library automation industry (as evidenced by this year’s SirsiDynix merger).

Fretwell-Downing Informatics will continue to operate under its established name, though as a wholly owned for-profit subsidiary of OCLC PICA. Existing management and staff will remain in place. As part of OCLC, FDI gains access to a significant development and support infrastructure. FDI’s customers in Benelux (Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxemburg) will especially benefit from closer proximity to OCLC PICA facilities

Breeding, Marshall, Smart Libraries Newsletter (September 2005). OCLC Back in the ILS Business?

Though not considered a major move back into the integrated library system arena, OCLC PICA, a cooperative of European libraries in the Netherlands, has acquired Sisis Informationssysteme, a small company that produces library automation software. Based in Oberhaching, Germany, Sisis offers a library management system called SISIS-SunRise, which finds use in about 150 libraries. The company also produces SISIS Elektra, a product designed to help implement a portal for an organization. This acquisition strengthens the OCLC PICA operation, adding to its resources in systems development and support.


Sunday Oct 13, 2019

All 855 Press Releases from OCLC

10 most recent items:

September 9, 2019. Strategic partnership to improve access to civil legal justice through public libraries. OCLC’s WebJunction program and the nonprofit organization, Legal Services Corporation, are partnering to design and deliver a national online training course to public library staff that will strengthen access to civil legal justice through public libraries. <<more>>

September 5, 2019. Lynn Silipigni Connaway is 2019 recipient of the Watson Davis Award for Service. The Association for Information Science & Technology (ASIS&T) has announced that Lynn Silipigni Connaway, Ph.D., Director, Library Trends and User Research, OCLC Research, is the 2019 recipient of the Watson Davis Award for Service. <<more>>

August 25, 2019. The American College of Greece selects OCLC’s WorldShare Management Services as its library services platform. The American College of Greece, the oldest American-accredited college in Europe, has selected OCLC's WorldShare Management Services as its new library services platform. <<more>>

August 9, 2019. OCLC receives Diversity in Business Award. OCLC, the nonprofit technology organization and global library cooperative based in Dublin, received a Diversity in Business Award representing large organizations in Central Ohio.The Awards program, administered by Columbus Business First, recognizes inclusive organizations and individuals in Central Ohio. The program highlights excellence in encouraging diversity in age, disability, gender, sexual orientation, race and religion at local workplaces. <<more>>

July 30, 2019. Kokomo-Howard County Public Library aims higher to meet local needs with OCLC Wise. Kokomo-Howard County Public Library in Kokomo, Ind., has signed on to implement OCLC Wise, the first community engagement system for U.S. public libraries. <<more>>

July 1, 2019. OCLC’s Syndeo provides foundation for K10plus, the new collaborative database created by BSZ and GBV. The Bibliotheksservice-Zentrum Baden-Wuerttemberg (BSZ) and Verbundzentrale des GBV (VZG) have announced the launch of a new joint initiative, K10plus. The new collaboration will result in the largest catalog for scientific libraries in Germany and is developed using OCLC’s Syndeo, a suite of services that facilitates national and regional library collaboration. <<more>>

June 19, 2019. OCLC signs agreements with publishers worldwide. OCLC has signed agreements with leading content providers from 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. <<more>>

June 18, 2019. BCI selects OCLC’s WorldShare Management Services as its shared service platform for Québec university library partnership. The Bureau de coopération interuniversitaire (BCI), a coalition of Québec universities, has selected OCLC’s WorldShare Management Services as the library services platform for 17 of its members. <<more>>

June 18, 2019. Le BCI choisit les Services de gestion WorldShare d’OCLC comme plateforme partagée de services pour le partenariat des bibliothèques universitaires du Québec. Le Bureau de coopération interuniversitaire (BCI), un regroupement d’universités québécoises, a choisi les Services de gestion WorldShare d’OCLC comme plateforme de services de bibliothèque pour 17 de ses établissements membres. <<more>>

June 12, 2019. Utrecht University selects OCLC’s WorldShare Management Services to support its inspirational learning environment. Utrecht University, one of the oldest and most highly regarded universities in the Netherlands, has selected OCLC’s WorldShare Management Services as its library services platform. <<more>>