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Become a member

Join other libraries in advancing librarianship

OCLC membership gives you access to global resources that are supported by the cooperative's community of libraries, museums and archives. OCLC was founded on the fundamental principle that by sharing intellectual property, libraries could better meet their mission of making the world's knowledge more accessible. Through membership, libraries contribute to the cooperative and benefit from the services, research, and advocacy and advancement programs.  

Contact us to discuss your membership

Bruce Newell

"OCLC is libraries' expression of our hopes and dreams. Together, we can do amazing things, regardless of where we are in the world or what our situation is."

Bruce Newell
Director, Montana Library Network at the Montana State Library (1999–2006)
Delegate, OCLC Members Council (2000–2006)
Member, OCLC Board of Trustees (2006–2012)

Becoming an OCLC member

Many institutions become members by contributing holdings to WorldCat—the world's largest bibliographic database and the foundation of the cooperative's shared data strategy—either as a single institution or as a member of a consortium, or through a state or national library. Libraries may belong to a group but not engage directly with OCLC—and still qualify for OCLC membership.

While there is no separate membership fee to join OCLC, members contractually agree to participate in cooperative services. Part of maintaining membership in the cooperative also includes completing at least one of these activities annually:

  • Contributing metadata
  • Sharing holdings information
  • Sharing staff resources and expertise, including participation in our virtual reference cooperative
  • Making digital content available to other members through WorldCat Digital Collection Gateway
  • Sharing materials using OCLC services, such as WorldShare Interlibrary Loan, ILLiad or other services
  • Subscribing or contracting for an OCLC library management system that will facilitate global sharing when transitioned to WorldShare.

View all qualifying activities by OCLC service (PDF)