Members own the cooperative, and librarians guide and shape its services, policies and direction through a 16-member Board of Trustees—more than half of whom are librarians—and a Global Council of librarians, who are elected by Regional Councils of member libraries. This governance structure ensures regular and open dialogue between member libraries and OCLC management.
Any library, museum or archive that embraces the OCLC values of collaboration and sharing is welcome. Institutions worldwide become members of OCLC by contractually agreeing to contribute intellectual content or share resources.
Regional Councils facilitate connections among OCLC members in three world regions: OCLC Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA); OCLC Asia Pacific; and OCLC the Americas. Members from each region elect an Executive Committee, plus Member Delegates to OCLC Global Council. The Regional Councils strengthen the cooperative throughout the world and make it easier to participate in its governance. Members convene at Regional Council meetings each year to keep current on issues of vital and immediate interest to the OCLC cooperative.
The Global Council serves as a key discussion forum on issues of importance to the membership community and helps to inform OCLC's strategic directions. The Global Council convenes in-person at least once a year for an annual meeting, in addition to virtual meetings held throughout the year. Global Council Member Delegates ratify amendments to the Articles of Incorporation and Code of Regulations, and they also elect six members of the Board of Trustees.
Board of Trustees
In addition to the six Global Council-elected members, the Board consists of the President of OCLC and nine trustees elected by the Board itself, five of whom come from fields outside librarianship. The Board works to align OCLC’s product, research and advocacy strategies with OCLC’s mission: to connect people to knowledge through library cooperation. To ensure that OCLC remains a strong collaborative, the Board encourages a culture of cooperation and vigorous debate. The Board meets five times annually.