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Our shared values

Shared Values and Membership Principles of the OCLC Cooperative

21 June 2010 as Revised and Unanimously Approved by the OCLC Global Council

OCLC is a global cooperative organization built by member libraries, archives, and museums that work together and are committed to each other, and to the OCLC organization to share resources, expertise, and costs. The cooperative is founded on the shared commitment of members and OCLC staff to the following values:

Cooperative Engagement—We believe that every individual in the OCLC cooperative has knowledge and competencies to share with and contribute to the cooperative in support of its public purpose and mission.

Economy of Scale—We believe that together we can optimize services to our users through sharing costs and by reducing the rate-of-rise of library per-unit costs.

Excellence—We support member needs for high quality information services.

Inclusivity—We understand the importance of a global cooperative that has members from all parts of the world and includes institutions of different sizes and types.

Innovation and Research—We believe in research-supported innovation that creates improvements in information services.

Open Communication—We believe in communicating openly, honestly and accurately with one another.

Respect—We honor the rights, beliefs and cultures of every member and every individual and treat one another with the highest degree of respect and dignity.

Sharing—We believe that all libraries, archives, and museums have resources that are valuable for our users and we agree to share as freely as possible these resources with one another.

Sustainability—We are committed to maintaining and enhancing the cooperative for our users.

Trust—We commit to supporting adherence to the policies and practices of the cooperative.

To support these Shared Values, the members and staff of OCLC make a commitment to follow these principles:

  • Work together to achieve mutually beneficial goals and to optimize efficiencies.
  • Share collections, metadata, best practices, and expertise.
  • Communicate honestly and openly with one another, candidly sharing opinions and respecting partners' points of view, ideas and culture.
  • Promote internationally accepted standards and follow recognized guidelines to facilitate resource sharing and information exchange.
  • Provide feedback to OCLC on products and services to improve their quality, reliability, usability and cost-benefit.
  • Enhance access to information resources, and to organize, preserve, and archive these resources for future generations.
  • Participate in OCLC governance through Regional Councils, Global Council and the Board of Trustees.
  • Promote the use of OCLC records by following the "WorldCat Rights and Responsibilities for the OCLC Cooperative" and the "WorldCat Principles of Cooperation."

We are a worldwide library cooperative, owned, governed and sustained by members since 1967. Our public purpose is a statement of commitment to each other—that we will work together to improve access to the information held in libraries around the globe, and find ways to reduce costs for libraries through collaboration. Learn more »