OCLC at fifty—your memories, our history, our shared future

Kem Lang

50th-Anniversary-revised

For me, one of the best things about managing the OCLC Library, Archive and Museum is that the history of our organization is tied so closely to the history of libraries and librarianship. Being a corporate archivist is fun for almost any history geek, of course. But it’s special and meaningful for me to play a part in collecting and preserving works that reflect on the people, events and achievements of our profession.

Because OCLC is a cooperative, our collection isn’t just a list of items and materials about what happens inside these walls, but it’s a glimpse into half-a-century of changes and innovations that librarians have lived through and, in many cases, originated. And, as we archivists all know, a look back from time to time can be a valuable tool as we identify paths for the future.

That’s why I think it’s incredibly important that we ask you—the world’s librarians—for your memories as we celebrate OCLC’s 50th anniversary.

That’s right! On July 6, 2017, OCLC will celebrate its 50th anniversary! Through all of those decades, our purpose has remained clear: improve access to library materials while helping libraries control costs. Not many technology companies can claim to have lived by one vision for that long. And thousands of librarians all over the world have been a part of the success of our cooperative mission and vision.

So, this is my invitation to you—be a part of this historic event.

If you have any special memories from your history with OCLC, send a photo to fifty@oclc.org. Please include the year of the content shown in the photo, along with a short caption or description. We’ll be compiling them for the OCLC Archive’s special 50th Anniversary Collection as well as sharing some of them through social media and at events over the coming months. Please keep in mind that by submitting photos, you confirm that you own the image rights and agree to OCLC using them in our communications.

Fifty years of working together, sharing resources and knowledge. It’s a remarkable achievement.

I can’t wait to hear from you!