The year 1997 found the members of the OCLC (Online Computer Library Center) cooperative in an expansive mood. More than 1,000 library leaders attended the OCLC President’s Luncheon in San Francisco, where they celebrated OCLC’s 30th anniversary. There were more than 25,000 libraries participating in the cooperative, including nearly 3,000 libraries in 62 countries outside the U.S., and the WorldCat database contained more than 37 million bibliographic records.
Over the next ten years, the global digital library would indeed emerge, but in a form that few could have predicted. Against a backdrop of continuous technological change and the rapid growth of the Internet, the OCLC cooperative’s WorldCat database continued to grow and was a central theme of the past decade.
As the chapters in this book show, OCLC’s chartered objectives of furthering access to the world’s information and reducing the rate of rising library costs continue to resonate among libraries and librarians, as the OCLC cooperative enters its fifth decade.
This book was published as a special issue of the Journal of Library Administration.
Introduction Jay Jordan 1. Biographical sketch of Frederick G. Kilgour (from NextSpace) Phil Schieber 2. Governing a global cooperative Larry P. Alford 3. A brief history of the OCLC Members Council George Needham and Rich Van Orden 4. RLG and OCLC: Combined for the Future Lizabeth Wilson, James Neal, James Michalko and Jay Jordan 5. OCLC in the Asia Pacific Region Anthony W. Ferguson and Andrew Wang 6. History and activity of OCLC in Canada Daniel Boivin 7. OCLC in Europe, the Middle East and Africa Janet Lees 8. OCLC in Latin America and the Caribbean: A Chronology Lawrence Olszewski 9. The OCLC Network of Regional Service Providers: The Last 10 Years Brenda Bailey-Hainer 10. The Jay Jordan IFLA/OCLC Early Career Development Fellowship Program: A Long Name for an Important Project Nancy Lensenmayer and George Needham 11. 21st Century Library Systems Andrew Pace 12. Next Generation Cataloging Karen Calhoun and Renee Register 13. The DDC and OCLC Joan S. Mitchell and Diane Vizine-Goetz 14. The Revolution Continues: Resource Sharing and OCLC in the New Century William J. Crowe 15. Virtual Reference Reflections Stewart Bodner 16. Digital Collections: History and Perspectives Greg Zick 17. The RLG Partnership James Michalko 18. WebJunction: A Community for Library Staff Marilyn Gell Mason 19. OCLC Research: Past, Present, and Future Nancy Elkington 20. Advocacy and OCLC Cathy De Rosa 21. OCLC 1998-2008: Weaving Libraries into the Web Jay Jordan 22. Chronology: Noteworthy Achievements of the Cooperative 1967-2008 Phil Schieber