Latest comment: 1 year ago by Biogeographist in topic Number of OCLC members

corrected errorEdit

I just changed the 72,000 libraries to 27,000 since it was clearly an error, the oclc website says 27,000 and the info box also says 27,000. -- (talk) 09:53, 25 July 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Ask QuestionsEdit

Did someone say "Ask Questions?" Hummm, You mean there are questionpoints around here? Now that would be a good idea. If QP and the WikiFoundation were to collaborate.--Simonfj (talk) 22:24, 7 January 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The third footnote has an invalid URL. New url suggestion: - — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:37, 20 May 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Notes to LorcanEdit

Re: Your log entry. Jan 3 2008 I really like your phrase, "the document understanding community". It's a furphy (a perfect Australianism for this context) of course. Just like "the more information, the better the issues can be understood". We'd all like to think it were so, but understanding is just something two (or a few) minds might agree upon and clarify through communicating. Unfortunately, the curator's approach is to just to put 'their' digital objects' in the centre, invariably presupposing their institutional repositories are inviolable and the world will continue to revolve around 'them', while all the evidence of how digital libraries are now being built (and more importantly, used) a la Wikipedia-type projects is studiously ignored.--Simonfj (talk) 22:24, 7 January 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]


how to enter copyright status in marc data —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:40, 24 July 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Article titleEdit

On 9 January 2008 the article was moved from OCLC to Online Computer Library Center for the reason "spell out initialisms in article titles". I cannot find this criteria at Wikipedia:Naming conventions. We have, for example, CNBC, not Consumer News and Business Channel. The full name is "OCLC Online Computer Library Center, Inc." and has been since 1981. It appears from that it has never been called just "Online Computer Library Center". The organisation mostly refers to itself as just "OCLC" and this is also what most people call it. The broad naming convention is to "use the most common name", which is "OCLC". There is no indication at Wikipedia:Naming_conventions#Companies that the full formal name should be used (only that the "Inc." should not be included). So we have HBO, not Home Box Office, its formal name. I propose reverting to OCLC, unless there is a good rationale I have overlooked for changing to OCLC Online Computer Library Center. Nurg (talk) 05:29, 7 November 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Furor over OCLC licensing term changesEdit

There is an ongoing debate in the blogosphere that editors here will be interested in. See this, this, this and this. -LeadSongDog (talk) 16:21, 14 November 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I just came here after reading something similar on a British political blog. This hasn't really made the mainstream media (at least in the UK), so getting good sources may require some work, but if those sources can be found, this looks to me like an important enough issue for something to be mentioned in the article. (The article is currently completely devoid of reports of criticism - or indeed praise - I note.) Loganberry (Talk) 16:40, 21 November 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The Guardian has covered this issue [1], which is a gives a good reliable overview of the issue. (Emperor (talk) 15:34, 22 January 2009 (UTC))Reply[reply]

What is an OCLC number?Edit

An editor at this AFD stated that isbns are for selling books, and that the OCLC number is better for identifying editions in articles on books. i probably agree, but for a nonlibrarian reader of WP, oclc doesnt mean anything, the WorldCat website doesnt look all that definitive, and most importantly, nowhere in THIS article is there a concise explanation of what an OCLC number is, despite every book infobox on WP that has an OCLC number pointing herre. i get what it is, but it should be spelled out. I would be happy to join any consensus of WP editors in promoting the use of OCLC, but we have to make it more user friendly. I may attempt to add a paragraph here myself, but im hoping someone reading this will say "aha" and have just the right idea for incorporating this idea here.Mercurywoodrose (talk) 04:09, 29 July 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Yes, the article should have a discussion of the OCLC numbers (properly called OCLC control numbers). Each unique MARC record entered into the OCLC system gets a unique OCLC number. In some cases a given book will be catalogued independently by more than one library, leading to variations in the MARC record details. Often an author name spelling or abbreviation will vary. Ultimately such MARC records are merged. The merged record take the lowest OCLC number among the duplicates, while the others are replaced by a cross-reference record pointing to the merged record. See this for details. LeadSongDog come howl! 21:13, 25 February 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Geographical coverageEdit

Geography and the OCLC

For a number of months now, I closely monitor information available on the free versions of the OCLC Worldcat as well as the World Cat Identities Project and the MERLN open access version of the OCLC. The system is excellent for the vaning economic center of the global economy (i.e. North America and the countries closely integrated with it in world economic and world political terms, like Australia, NZ, the Netherlands, the UK etc.), but the system is still woefully inadequate in integrating - even freely available information - from the major competitors of the US. Considering the rising world political, economic and even military weight of these countries, it would be very necessary both from a narrower academic perspective as well as from a more global strategic perspective to integrate library holding informations etc. from these countries into the OCLC system. From a European and Mediterranean perspective, one would have to add that existing and advanced Union catalogues from Spain, Italy, Greece, Sweden, Austria, the Israeli ULI etc. also seem to be absent from the system.

So here are my suggestions. I took particular care to check, whether OCLC data contain these systems, and came to the preliminary but perhaps wrong conclusion that they do not contain them:

World Meta-Catalogues (Karlsruhe catalogue of 60 million books in libraries in the world and in Europe, includes the major union catalogues for German academic libraries and the Austrian union catalogues) (Bielefeld International Meta-catalogue)

Europe, selection

European Union institutions (ECLAS, European Commission Library)

Europe-wide union library catalogues (The European Library. The European Library is hosted by the Koninklijke Bibliotheek - National Library of the Netherlands, and links UK British Library integrated catalogue; de Online catalogue of Die Deutsche Bibliothek ; PT Collections from the National Library of Portugal; nl General Catalogue Koninklijke Bibliotheek; fi HELKA; ch HELVETICAT: the catalogue of the Swiss National Library; si National Library Catalogue (KatNUK) ; it SBN OPAC ; fr BN-OPALE PLUS, the catalogue of the Bibliothèque nationale de France ; HR Croatian National Bibliography of Books: 1990-2003; SR Serbian Union Catalogue COBIB.SR; LV Catalogue of National Library of Latvia; DK The Danish National Collections)

other European library catalogues (IDS-Catalogue, Switzerland (German speaking Swiss Universities)) (Danish Union catalogue) (Central European University Library, Budapest) (LIBRIS Union Catalogue of Swedish Libraries) (Finnish Union catalogue) (Institut universitaire d’etudes de développement, Geneve) (catalogue public NEBIS Réseau de bibliothèques et de centres d'information en Suisse) (REBIUN, Spain Collective Library Catalogue) (Bogazici University Istanbul Turkey Library catalogue) (Czech Republic Union Catalogue) (BIBSYS Norwegian Library Net) (Catalogue collectif de France) (FSS, Central Social Sciences Library J. Goričar, Ljubljana, Slovenia) (RERO, Réseau des bibliothèques de Suisse occidentale (anciennement REseau des bibliothèques ROmandes) VThK Verbund Theologie und Kirche Meta-Catalogue accessing 5 Mio. media from theological and religious special libraries of churches in the german speaking area (Zephyr Greek Union catalogue)

CCNUL Argentina

Arab Union catalogue

additional info:

Saleh M. Al-Musned2

Arabic Union Catalogue Center

P.O. BOX 86486 RIYADH 11622

+966 (1) 4732869 +966 (1) 4732868

Rede Pergamum - Brazil Union catalogue

Catalogo Bello - Chile

CALIS – OPAC, the Union Catalogue of the People’s Republic of China (for author search, second search window left + type author name in the search window to the right; OPAC of China Academic Library & Information System C-A-L-I-S) CALIS – OPAC, the Union Catalogue of the People’s Republic of China (for author search, second search window left + type author name in the search window to the right; OPAC of China Academic Library & Information System C-A-L-I-S)

NACSIS Webcat - Japanese Academic Libraries (NACSIS Webcat - Japanese Academic Libraries)

India Union Catalogue (India Union Catalogue)

Major legislative assembly libraries around the world (selection)

Austrian Parlamentsbibliothek (,266804&_dad=portal&_schema=PORTAL ) Council of Europe Library ( European Parliament - ECLAS European Commission Libraries Catalogue ( Finnish National Repository Library Georgia –National Parliamentary Library of GeorgiaLibrary German Bundestag Library$DirectLink&sp=Slocalhost%3A4103 Swedish Riksdagbibliotek Swiss Parliament Library (

Other major libraries and library Union catalogues around the world (Bahria University Library, Islamabad) (Horizon Catalogue, Fudan University, Peoples’ Republic of China; at the Chinese language interface enter choice number 3 at the left search bar, and enter author names to the right) (Israel Union List) (University of Hong Kong Library) (Panjab University, A.C. Joshi Library, India) (National University of Singapore Library) (The Institute of Developing Economies, Japan External Trade Organization, Tokyo) (ThaiLIS Union Catalogue, Thailand) (University of Auckland Library) (King Fahd National Library, Saudi Arabia) (University of Malaya Library)

Also the following catalogue systems could be interesting for OCLC system development, although OCLC might be familiar with several of them:

Academic Onefile ADB - the Article DataBase powered by Vubis AMS Forschungsnetzwerk, Austria Bibliographie européenne des travaux sur l'ex-URSS et l'Europe de l'Est, European Bibliography of Slavic and East European Studies (EBSEES), Europaeische Bibliographie zur Osteuropaforschung (Berlin) Bibliography of Asian Studies Bielefeld Search Engine BASE Blackwell Synergy/John Wiley Journals C.E.E.O.L. Central and Eastern Europe online Cambridge Scientific Abstracts CIBERA Biblioteca Virtual Latinoamericana - Comprehensive bibliography of Latin America Cross Asia (Berlin) Deutsche Gesellschaft fuer Auswaertige Politik EBSCO ECONIS EINIRAS - European Information Network on International Relations and Area Studies Federal Ministry of Education and Research, Federal Republic of Germany, Infoconnex Science GBI Content - Genios IBLK Metacatalogue ‘International Relations’ (Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik, Berlin) IBLK The Karlsruhe bibliography on international relations IBZ K.G. Sauer online Index Islamicus Inwent [formerly IZEP – ‘Literaturdatenbank LITDOK’] IREON-Portal LABORDOC ILO Lalisio literature search - Q Sensei MENALIB – Middle East Virtual Library University of Halle an der Saale, FRG Periodicals Index Online POLDOK journal literature Proquest Abiinform Questia Sage Journals online SOWIDOK UNBIS Net United Nations Bibliographical Resource from the UN's Dag Hammarskjoeld Library Vascoda VIFAPOL - SSG Politikwissenschaft und Friedensforschung Virtual Library Eastern Europe — Preceding unsigned comment added by Franz weber (talkcontribs) 09:37, 25 January 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

changing meaning of OCLC initialsEdit

This article says that OCLC originally meant "Ohio College Library Center" but now means "Online Computer Library Center." I worked at an academic library for six years in the late 1990s and the librarians there informed me that it stood for "Online Catalogue of the Library of Congress." Googling that name gets 170,000 hits (albeit with just three pages after eliminating duplications), so I am not the only person to believe this. Was I misinformed, or has the name changed more than once? If the latter, this information might be worth adding to the article. (talk) 08:25, 22 October 2011 (UTC)RKHReply[reply]

You were definitely misinformed. OCLC has never been part of the Library of Congress. I ran a couple of focused Google searches and the only source returned that actually states what you're saying is an email from a 1998 listserv archive that was sent by a librarian at SUNY Buffalo. --Coolcaesar (talk) 16:36, 22 October 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Requested moveEdit

Online Computer Library CenterOCLC – This is a request to undo a unilateral move from over four years ago. See #Article title above for a good explanation of why that move wasn't the right one (nutshell version: it was based on a completely made-up policy). Compare Google hits; "online computer library center" -wikipedia (295 thousand) vs. OCLC -wikipedia (103 million). "Online Computer Library Center" is essentially an orphan initialism at this point, and with no other topics for OCLC, which already redirects here, the move would give the article a more concise title that's still unambiguous. Compare to, say, 3M or KFC, both of which have other topics. Assuming the page is moved, I'd appreciate a closing administrator doing the same for the corresponding category. --BDD (talk) 23:48, 10 October 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  Done. Jafeluv (talk) 17:24, 18 October 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]


OCLC and Wikipedia OCLC has a Wikipedian in Residence, who is "working with OCLC staff and libraries to help foster a broader understanding of Wikipedia's practices, and launching an inquiry into what technological integration is possible both technically and politically."

true. But not encyclopaedic. Anthere (talk)

Probable TYPO -- involving a plural -- in the "Advocacy" sectionEdit

These comments are based upon this version of the OCLC article.

There is (probably) a TYPO near instance "(b)" of footnote "[11]" -- in the "Advocacy" section, in the penultimate (second-to-last) paragraph, where it says, in part, "[...] "an open forum of libraries, archives, museums, technology organization, and software companies [...]".

In my opinion, the word "organization" should probably be plural there. I mean, just look at ALL of the other nouns (and noun phrases) in that list there; they are all plural.

ANECDOTE: Please SKIP this whole paragraph, ...unless you have the time, and you would appreciate a chuckle... and it might also be necessary, or advisable, to meet some other conditions ... such as, appreciating "my" brand of humor: ((I wish I could cite the book /slash research of Akihisa Kumayama here, on the topic of singular and plural nouns [and noun phrases] in English; but alas, it has not been published [yet]; ...and the last thing I would want here, would be to get a ticket for doing [or using] "original research", where "inappropriate", or "prohibited by the rules", or something like that.))

I was not able to actually dereference the URL that appears in that footnote -- footnote "[11]" -- because of some issue with "[...] Sorry, you do not have access to this article. // How to gain access: // Recommend to your librarian that your institution purchase access to this publication [...]".

Or, rather, I was able to go to the URL just fine;(and it seemed to auto-forward to a page with a URL having the suffix [or is it a fragment ID?] "#.VBZxh_BX9pA"); but then once I got there, if I dared to try to click on a link such as the one to "View full text" (having a URL of " "), then is when it choked, and gave me that "explanation / option" message about "[...] Sorry, you do not have access to this article. // How to gain access: // Recommend to your librarian that your institution purchase access to this publication [...]".

(Is it me, or is that sorta ironic, or self-referential, or something?)

So anyway, in "lieu" of being able to "View full text", and then investigate the ["alleged"] TYPO that way, I used Google instead. I did a Plano vanilla Google search for this character string:

an open forum of libraries, archives, museums,

and the results included -- as the 5th "hit" -- an item called "WEAVING LIBRARIES INTO THE WEB: OCLC 1998-2008" with a URL of this. Then, when I clicked on that, I was (of course!) not allowed to read the whole book, but it did allow me to read part of it -- including the searched-for "string", which was

an open forum of libraries, archives, museums,

and some "context" around [just before and after] the occurrence of that "string". That "string" did seem to appear (just fine) -- verbatim -- in that [online] book. (By the way, it had "Advocacy and OCLC", centered and in italics, at the top of the page; does that mean that "Advocacy and OCLC" is the title of the chapter? or of the book?). AND -- this is what confirmed my hunch -- the very next thing, was the plural of the phrase "technology organization".


(But this long explanation would not have fit in an "edit comment", if I were to go [try and] add that "s" to the end of a word -- which I plan to do, "RSN" [soon]. :-) ! )

Thanks for your patience, reading this explanation. --Mike Schwartz (talk) 05:50, 15 September 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Many problems with this article -- what to do?Edit

Hello, this article is riddled with problems and inaccuracies (for example, the Regional service provider model ceased 8 years ago). However, although I can see the problems and have some ideas of where the article should go, and also some decent sources to back up my work, I work for OCLC and have an obvious COI. I'm torn between keeping my hands off because of my COI and Being Bold and transparent. I think I could do a decent job of helping the article along. What do you all think?

Merrilee (talk) 17:24, 29 September 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Operant Eyes by Cornel Bierens
I didn't hear back from anyone so have started making edits to the article. If anyone sees any problems, please give feedback on my talk page!

Merrilee (talk) 21:05, 5 March 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Looks good. I would like to skip the complete paragraph of the regional service providers. Any need for replacement by something else? I would rather add a few lines about Linked Data & VIAF, from here and here. Vysotsky (talk) 22:51, 5 March 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Great minds think alike -- I was going to add in something linked data (would you add under advocacy or someplace else, perhaps change control numbers to something else?). And I found a source that talks about the role of the networks and also talks about how they weree [hased out -- I'm going to add language and a citation under history and then kill the networks section. Thank you! Merrilee (talk) 00:37, 6 March 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Best option seems to replace paragraph Regional service providers by paragraph Linked data. Go ahead, I'll keep a watchful eye. Vysotsky (talk) 10:27, 6 March 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Legal name of OCLCEdit

The lead paragraph to the article needs to be changed. OCLC's filings with the Ohio Secretary of State are publicly and freely available online. It's clear that as of this certificate of amendment dated February 3, 1981 (the actual certificate of amendment begins on page 3 of the PDF), the official name of the entity became "OCLC Online Computer Library Center, Incorporated," and it remains that way through subsequent documents (although the "Incorporated" eventually became an "Inc.").

I propose changing the current lead paragraph to the following text (with a footnote linking directly to the above-linked document):

OCLC, legally incorporated as OCLC Online Computer Library Center, Inc. [sic], is "a nonprofit, membership, computer library service and research organization dedicated to the public purposes of furthering access to the world's information and reducing information costs". It was founded in 1967 as the Ohio College Library Center and adopted its current legal name in 1981 (which included its own acronym at the start of the name itself). OCLC and its member libraries cooperatively produce and maintain WorldCat, the largest online public access catalog (OPAC) in the world.

Any objections? --Coolcaesar (talk) 06:57, 12 June 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Why the [sic]? ZarhanFastfire (talk) 03:09, 2 July 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The [sic] is necessary, because that's extremely rare for corporations to include both their full name and an abbreviation of their name in their full legal name. It looks really, really weird and most people, myself included, would automatically assume that's a typo. --Coolcaesar (talk) 04:43, 11 February 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Hearing no objections, I will proceed as proposed. --Coolcaesar (talk) 20:12, 30 April 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Hi, popping back in to comment on this -- as it reads, it is still apparently confusing (OCLC staff regularly encounter people who insist that the name is Online Computer Library Center and point to this article as proof). I'd suggest amending this part to be: "It was founded in 1967 as the Ohio College Library Center, then became the Online Computer Library Center as it expanded. In 2017, the name was formally changed to OCLC.[3]" I also think the text above the info box should be changed to be OCLC, in line with the actual name. (I'd make these changes myself but hesitate due to COI.) Merrilee (talk) 20:38, 19 November 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Merrilee: Done. I also changed the Wikidata entry: OCLC, Inc. (Q190593). Biogeographist (talk) 22:07, 19 November 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]

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Number of OCLC membersEdit

I am perplexed by a recent sudden change in the number of "members" on the About OCLC page, which today says "30,000 in 100+ countries", but until recently (for example, see the archived version from 20 January 2022) said "15,637 in 107 countries". Before changing the number of members in the OCLC and WorldCat Wikipedia pages, I would like to figure out why the number suddenly increased so much. Was it a change in the definition of "member"?

Here are the most recent OCLC annual reports with a clear number and breakdown of members:

Notice the sudden large decrease between 2011–2012 and 2012–2013, which, similarly to the most recent change, I don't understand.

The 2012–2013 OCLC Annual Report (page 4) defines a member as follows: "A member of the OCLC cooperative is any library, archive or museum that contractually agrees to contribute intellectual content to the OCLC cooperative or share resources with it." On the next page, it also includes a line item named "participating libraries (includes active and inactive symbols)", the value of which is 78,985 for the years 2012–2013. This line item appears in previous annual reports but not in subsequent ones.

Other OCLC Annual Reports are available, but I can't find relevant information in the more recent ones.

If anyone can illuminate what is going on here and clear away my perplexity, please do. Biogeographist (talk) 23:48, 10 March 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Hello! I work at OCLC in the Membership and Research Division. I do know that the definition of membership did change recently. The relevant links are here: I hope this helps. Merrilee (talk) 06:08, 11 March 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thanks! Recent documents linked at the membership resources page that you mentioned explain the change well. The previous definition of a member that I quoted above can be found in some older documents, including in documents still linked at the membership resources page. The reason why that definition was found to be no longer adequate is explained in the most recent OCLC Membership and Governance Protocols, which "was approved by the OCLC Board of Trustees on 15 November 2021 and ratified by the Global Council on 17 December 2021 by electronic vote", and says (on page 1):

Over the past decade, OCLC has purchased several companies that produce integrated library systems. Many of these libraries are unrepresented in the governance process because their systems do not integrate easily with WorldCat, so setting holdings and using global resource sharing, a prerequisite for membership, is not possible. OCLC has embarked on an ambitious program to bring these current services (and others under development) together in a new WorldShare network. OCLC now seeks to add the voices of future and potential WorldShare network users to governance by providing membership to libraries using OCLC services that have not previously qualified for that status. The goal is to nurture an environment that values the sharing of intellectual content and mutual institutional support across the new network from its earliest stages.

The same document says (on page 3): "An institution may be an OCLC member if the institution has a subscription to a Qualifying OCLC Product."
The document OCLC Qualifying Subscriptions for Membership, which was last updated on 15 February 2022, says: "Effective 1 January 2022, subscriptions to the following products and services qualify an institution for OCLC membership", and lists a variety of products and services, many of which have nothing to do with WorldCat or resource sharing.
I will try to update the OCLC and WorldCat articles accordingly. Biogeographist (talk) 16:24, 11 March 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]