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OCLC  Annual Report  2022–2023

President’s Welcome Steadfast commitment to libraries

When I look back at our 2023 fiscal year, I see a year where we faced one of our biggest challenges as a company. We overcame that together and safeguarded WorldCat®, the vital community infrastructure on which tens of thousands of libraries rely. We’ve ensured that WorldCat will continue—now and for years to come—to be the rich resource for libraries and researchers around the world. The actions we took reflect our unwavering investment, development, and defense of WorldCat.

In 2023, I also saw passionate teams at OCLC delivering both transformational and continuous improvements to infrastructure, products, services, and research—all for the benefit of libraries and the communities they serve. This is nothing new. In fact, this level of dedication to libraries is something that drew me to OCLC 10 years ago.

In 2023, we delivered both transformational and continuous improvements to infrastructure, products, services, and research—all for the benefit of libraries and the communities they serve.

And in the past decade, our singular focus to accelerate library innovation, increase their impact, and improve workflow efficiency has only intensified. Our unique position in the market comes with immense responsibility, an obligation we take very seriously. We’ve spent tens of millions of dollars on security, compliance, and systems—from DDoS mitigation tools to global disaster recovery systems to ISO, GDPR, and FedRAMP compliance, all to ensure that we are there when the world’s libraries need us.

We’ve also upgraded WorldCat, which can now support more than 6,500 languages and 135 scripts. At the same time, we’ve expanded our services in regions like Japan, the Middle East, Taiwan, western Europe, Canada, and New Zealand, both to support libraries in these regions and to continue to grow the “globalness” of WorldCat. We supercharged our knowledge base to deliver electronic content to libraries 17 times faster.

Our new products have become the de facto standard in libraries or defined new library services—Choreo Insights, OCLC Wise®, Digby®, Syndeo®, WorldShare® ILL and smart fulfillment capabilities, and the Express digital delivery program are just a few. We acquired and now provide sustainable investment in companies like Capira, Ifnet, SCS, and HKA. We transformed linked data theory into practice with WorldCat Entities, our web visibility program, and expanded WorldCat’s data structure to support and transform BIBFRAME metadata.

None of that would have been possible but for the work of our world-class teams. We attract top talent because of our mission and because of our focus on inclusivity. We’ve repeatedly received honors for our DEI work, and last year we were named the #1 midsized tech company in the world by ComputerWorld. We are humbled by this recognition, but fiercely proud of the work that our focus on DEI enables. In 2022, for example, we published a seminal piece of research supported by the Mellon Foundation. Reimagining Descriptive Workflows has sparked deep conversation at national and other libraries, and within OCLC. Last year, our bibliographic experts updated tens of thousands of records within hours to remove harmful subject headings. And every year, our metadata specialists enhance tens of millions of additional records in other ways as well ensuring that the utility and value of WorldCat will continue to grow. Aided by groundbreaking machine‐learning models, we match, merge, and deduplicate records at impressive scale and speed. Collectively, this saves OCLC cataloging libraries more than 3 million hours of time each year, time that libraries have reinvested in a dazzling array of new and innovative programs and services that deliver value to the communities they serve.

WorldCat is more than a cataloging utility. It’s the data backbone upon which other services are built—services that help define library offerings for their communities:

  • Our resource sharing network—which saves OCLC ILL libraries an estimated combined $150+ million in content acquisition costs every year—delivers unmatched value thanks to the 3.3 billion library holdings that are registered with WorldCat.
  • Our Express digital delivery program uses data from our resource sharing network and WorldCat to optimize lender strings and reduce average turnaround times by 50%.
  • This year, OCLC Research used WorldCat data as well as information from our resource sharing network to analyze lending patterns and identify opportunities to support data-driven decision-making for library collaboration.
  • Hundreds of national libraries, government institutions, and university and college libraries rely on WorldShare® Management Services (WMS), the world’s only library management system holistically built on WorldCat.
  • Collections of thousands of libraries are automatically transformed into a linked data schema and discoverable on Google and the open web thanks to WorldCat.
  • Innovative new decision support solutions, like Choreo Insights, empower data-driven insights to ensure collections are aligned to institutional goals and priorities.

And our strong financial position ensures that we can continue to make investments on behalf of libraries for years to come.

The report that follows highlights innovations and accomplishments of the past year. It celebrates the efforts of more than a thousand people who work tirelessly to support libraries. There’s a lot to be proud of, and more is on the way:

  • Linked data management tools to complement the 150 million linked data authoritative descriptors already available in WorldCat Entities
  • A fully upgraded and expanded CONTENTdm® to describe, discover, and support the most special and rare items in library collections
  • New capabilities built on AI and large language models that leverage learnings from our AI-enabled recommendation engine in WorldCat.org
  • Continued evolution of our consortial resource sharing capabilities
  • New community engagement and new business intelligence capabilities for OCLC Wise
  • Ongoing expansion of e-resources and open access management solutions

Our work would not be possible without the guidance of our library members and partners. Whether through the Board of Trustees, Global Council, OCLC Community Center, advisory boards, or group or individual conversations, your expertise and perspective inform our work. On behalf of all of us at OCLC, thank you for your support, inspiration, and ongoing engagement.

I also want to thank John Szabo, the City Librarian of the Los Angeles Public Library, for his service as the Chair of the OCLC Board of Trustees and to welcome Ginny Steel, the Norman and Armena Powell University Librarian at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), as the incoming Chair. Both John and Ginny have served on the OCLC Board for several years, and I’m grateful for their continued counsel and leadership on behalf of OCLC and the world’s libraries.

Together, we all make breakthroughs possible.

Signature: Skip Prichard

Skip Prichard
OCLC President and Chief Executive Officer

Year in Review

FY23 was a year of unprecedented challenges and decisive advancements with and for libraries. Together, we took impressive steps forward to enhance our shared infrastructure, create efficiency, and innovate through research, library services, and technologies.

Illustration: Growing

We grew WorldCat, our Express program, our global reach, and our commitment to services that encourage diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Illustration: Investing

We invested in expanding our linked data ecosystem, new visibility offerings, library systems, and library staff training and education.

Illustration: Engaging

We engaged the community at conferences, in-person meetings, and online to deliver innovative services, original research, and opportunities to advance as a community.

Growing to help libraries thrive

Expand the world’s most comprehensive network of data about library collections

WorldCat makes library collections findable and accessible. WorldCat allows libraries to dramatically reduce time spent on cataloging and collection development by uniquely enabling libraries to share metadata contributions by libraries, by publishers, and by OCLC. And it’s a global leader in electronic as well as print metadata, supporting 6,500 languages in 135 scripts.

Logo: WorldCat

WorldCat activity in FY23:

Illustration: WorldCat searches

33.5 billion searches performed

Illustration: WorldCat records created

32 million new records created

Illustration: WorldCat records exported

18.9 million records exported

We continued to improve WorldCat record quality

  • Our data quality staff merged, corrected, and enriched 63.2 million bibliographic records.
  • The library community merged, corrected, and enriched an additional 16.4 million records in the past year.
  • Working with more than 300 library staff across the community, we enhanced machine-learning models that now allow us to improve our metadata quality management at a scale humans alone cannot match.

Our e-resource content grew to 146 million digital items

These efforts improve discovery of and provide one-click access to these valuable resources for your library users. In FY23, WorldCat had 4 billion records that contain article metadata with links to full text, and e-resources in our WorldCat services increased 12%. These included:

  • 63 million e-books
  • 83 million digital content items (e-journals, e-maps, e-scores, e-videos, streaming music, audiobooks)
  • 115 million open-access items

Illustration: Woman reading e-book

The WorldCat knowledge base expanded to streamline workflows

At the end of the fiscal year, this foundation for managing e-resources included 25,506 collections from 660 providers comprising 71.4 million records, a 12% growth in collections, and a 14% growth in records from last year. Libraries meet the challenges of hybrid, remote, and on-site user needs by using our knowledge base for fast access, continual expansion of available e-resources and content providers, and fostering new approaches to collection management.

More than 900 libraries used our streamlined holdings update service

Overall, it improved 191 million holdings in WorldCat. The streamlined process helps libraries quickly update their WorldCat holdings to ensure accurate representation in our services, including WorldShare ILL and FirstSearch®. Up-to-date holdings also enable direct links to library catalogs from Google Search and make collections discoverable in popular websites such as Wikipedia and Goodreads.

WorldCat data was essential in our research on art libraries’ collections. Our research used WorldCat bibliographic and holdings data to describe an art research collective collection in the US and Canada to illustrate how collection analysis can inform partnership decisions. And resource sharing transactions involving art libraries were used to better understand existing collection sharing partnerships and explore opportunities for other kinds of collaboration.

Accelerate global growth

Using our technology, the National Institute of Informatics launched a new national cataloging platform for 1,300 libraries in Japan. The NACSIS cataloging system and the new Japanese union catalog accommodate multiple metadata types, including MARC21 and CAT‐P, a unique format used in Japan, and are enhancing discovery and access to Japanese research.

Chaoyang University of Technology went live with WorldShare Management Services (WMS), the first university in Taiwan to adopt WMS. Hung-Chi Chu, Chief Officer for Library and Information, said, “We selected WMS because WorldCat delivers high‐quality metadata. We wanted to improve our staff workflows and achieve a better integration with our back‐office and front‐end systems. And we increased our worldwide visibility.”

Photos: National Institute of Informatics in Japan and Chaoyang University of Technology in Taiwan

Illustration: BIBLESPAGE union catalog

We partnered with Spanish Public Administration special libraries to develop BIBLESPAGE (Bibliotecas Especializadas de la Administración General del Estado), a union catalog of the libraries’ resources built on WorldCat® Discovery. Elena Escolano, Head of the Central Library, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Digital Transition, said, “These days, public civil servants, researchers, and the general public use digital tools and online search systems for all their queries. Gathering the catalogs of public administration libraries in one place, making them more visible, is essential, especially for ministry libraries, to reposition themselves as a reference and go‐to search point to support the public administration activity in the digital world.”

Royal Library of Belgium signed an agreement to add all of its Dutch and French publication records to WorldCat. This agreement helps the Royal Library enrich its data with WorldCat identifiers and helps its collection be more visible on the web.

OCLC can now claim WorldShare Management Services customers on six continents. Comfenalco Antioquia Libraries became the first library in Colombia to adopt WMS. Library staff selected WMS for security, stability, and innovation.

More than 100 library leaders and staff joined us in Qatar, United Arab Emirates, and Oman for OCLC Days where they learned about our recently enhanced capabilities for cataloging, indexing, and discovering Arabic-language collections.

Commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion

We continue to be fully committed in our approach to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). We demonstrate that commitment both within our own communities and among companies across many industries. We’re conducting research and developing new approaches to our technologies that aim to respect the diversity in the communities our member libraries serve.

Computerworld’s 2023 Best Places to Work in IT annual list awarded OCLC first place recognition for diversity programming strategies among midsize organizations worldwide.

Badge: Computerworld 2023 Best Places to Work in IT

Illustration: WebJunction DEI course

DEI courses on WebJunction® continued to grow, with 13 live webinars hosted during FY23 that address DEI topics. These webinars garnered more than 10,000 registrants and 3,900 total attendees for the live sessions, and more than 5,600 learners who viewed the webinar recordings in the WebJunction catalog. The most popular new webinars on the topic were:

  • Low Morale in Libraries: Impacts and Countermeasures
  • Library Safety and Security: A Holistic Approach
  • Engaging Adults with Low Literacy Levels
  • Native Stories, Native Peoples: Opportunities for Library Engagement
  • Social Work Approaches to Library Services

OCLC introduced Choreo Insights. The service enables libraries to better analyze and address collection diversity issues. Dr. Liladhar R. Pendse, Librarian for East European and Latin American Studies, and a DEI collection thought leader, participated in testing and development of Choreo Insights. He strongly recommends it as an essential tool for any academic institution in need of assessment and collection development analysis to build complementary and interdependent DEI collections.

Illustration: Choreo Insights

Illustration: Reimagine Descriptive Workflows report

Our Reimagine Descriptive Workflows research, which outlines challenges around inclusive and reparative metadata work, is shifting library strategies. The cataloging and metadata team at the British Library uses this research as a tool for benchmarking outcomes in efforts to become a more inclusive organization. The report has been downloaded more than 2,000 times.

The new Digital Collections Stewardship Course Series brings a community-centered focus to digital collections, offering opportunities for libraries to represent a diversity of experiences and voices that may be missing from physical collections. Nearly 800 learners have enrolled in this course series in the WebJunction catalog.

Illustration: Digital Collections Stewardship

We championed the National Indigenous Knowledge Alliance (NIKLA) and its Respectful Terminologies Platform Project as a seed funder of this project—the only US-based organization and the only library service provider to do so. We:

  • Presented with the project’s principal investigators at both the 2022 International Conference of Indigenous Archives, Libraries, and Museums and the Ontario Library Association Super Conference
  • Provided sponsorship to support the IFLA Satellite Indigenous Matters Section Conference held jointly with the Rare Books and Special Collections Section

A new WorldCat Discovery feature enables library staff to locally remap subject headings to hide sensitive language and facilitate a more inclusive experience for library users in their communities. This DEI initiative aims to reduce harm in item description. Library staff collaborate through a shared template that enables them to benefit from contributions of other WorldCat Discovery libraries.

More than 85,000 bibliographic records were updated within hours of receiving revisions to objectionable subject headings from the Library of Congress, making library collections around the world more inclusive and accessible.

Investing to move the profession forward

Build and nurture a linked data ecosystem

To continue our move toward the future of library metadata, we’re building and nurturing a comprehensive, sustainable linked data ecosystem. In FY23, we added more entities and entity types—7.5 million new Place entities—to enrich our data set. We also released an initial version of our data model/ontology to developers to support work on entity creation interfaces. In addition, we developed the capability to ingest BIBFRAME 2.x formatted data and convert it to MARC for inclusion in WorldCat. This ecosystem will facilitate data creation, editing, and curation; management of authoritative data; and integration of data across disparate workflows to improve discoverability of library collections.

Illustration: Linked data

Enhancing our global infrastructure

Illustration: OCLC Trust Center

We launched the OCLC Trust Center, which includes information specific to compliance, reliability, privacy, and security. Each section points to more detailed references and materials and provides contact information for the appropriate OCLC staff. This major update to our website brings all related strategy, information, certifications, contact details, and commitments into one place.

In line with our commitment to operational efficiency and environmental responsibility, we upgraded our global server infrastructure, which resulted in a significant reduction in power consumption. We also transitioned to a new data storage medium that ensures swift access with less power and cooling.

We also took tangible steps to increase security and reduce downtime. For example, we installed software that provides security patches and bug fixes without a system reboot—9,000 servers globally can now be patched with zero downtime. And we added additional security layers for storing and transferring data.

Expand opportunities to be visible where the search for information begins

The new WorldCat.org is the only website that connects online searchers to the world’s libraries with one search. By automatically converting library metadata into a linked data schema, we can surface libraries’ collections to researchers on the web. Since debuting the completely updated site, more than 25 million people have visited WorldCat.org with more than 10 million clicks to library catalogs.

Illustration: WorldCat.org

Illustration: WorldCat Find mobile app

FY23 enhancements to WorldCat.org include:

  • WorldCat Find, a new companion mobile app for WorldCat.org, available for download by users in the US at no charge from the Apple App or Google Play stores
  • Beta testing of AI-generated book recommendations on WorldCat.org and WorldCat Find to help people find their next books to read
  • The ability to export citations in the RIS format to enable users to load them into a variety of citation management tools

To help raise libraries’ profiles online, we expanded our web visibility subscription options to improve impact and exposure on the open web for more libraries:

  • Libraries with a WorldCat Visibility subscription get links to their catalog and detailed information about their library and collections on WorldCat.org, as well as direct links to their catalog from Google Search results (for qualifying libraries in the US).
  • The OCLC Small Library Edition subscription is designed for small public, community college, qualifying special, and K–12 libraries.

Topic pages, a new feature on WorldCat.org, showcase unique and important materials in libraries. These pages were viewed more than 180,000 times. Among the people and organizations we worked with were: Martin Luther King III; Dr. Tammy L. Kernodle at Miami University; the University of California Berkeley Library; Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey; Tulane University; the University of Chicago; the Sierra Club; the National Audubon Society; the National Women’s History Alliance; and the Karson Institute for Race, Peace, and Social Justice. Our list of books on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., published in conjunction with the 40th anniversary of Martin Luther King Day as a US federal holiday, was featured in a six-minute segment on PBS.

Illustration: WorldCat.org topic pages

Illustration: Google result for print book linking to libraries

More than 600,000 web searchers were sent directly to library collections through our program with Google, where records discovered through Google Search link directly to library catalogs using WorldCat data.

Advance librarianship with research

As library staff and leaders navigated unknown, fast-paced change during the past few years, OCLC Research synthesized emerging insights to produce research, resources, tools, and infrastructure to support libraries. In FY23, we published the following reports:

Report: Library Collaboration as a Strategic Choice

Library Collaboration as a Strategic Choice: Evaluating Options for Acquiring Capacity introduces practical tools, frameworks, and economic concepts to support academic libraries in making strategic decisions about cross-institutional collaboration opportunities to acquire capacity.

Report: Sustaining Art Research Collections: Using Data to Explore Collaboration

Sustaining Art Research Collections: Using Data to Explore Collaboration explores collaboration opportunities between art, academic, and independent research libraries. The report models how quantitative analysis of library collection and resource sharing data could be used as evidence to support decision-making about partnership opportunities.

Report: Sustaining Art Research Collections: Case Studies in Collaboration

Sustaining Art Research Collections: Case Studies in Collaboration offers recommendations for building strong collaborations based on real-life examples. These case studies document the practical experiences learned from collaborations involving art and academic libraries. The insights and lessons learned can inform any library collaboration.


Illustration: Public Health Crisis Management Playbook

The Public Health Crisis Management Playbook for Archives, Libraries, and Museums offers a set of guiding processes, resources, and tools to aid cultural heritage institutions when planning for, navigating through, and recovering from a significant public health emergency.

Illustration: National Finding Aid Project

As part of the Building a National Finding Aid Project (NAFAN), we published five reports that addressed a major gap in the scholarly communication infrastructure: the need for a persistent, comprehensive, national-level aggregation of descriptions of archival collections or “finding aids.” The findings indicate that there would be significant value from a national aggregation of archival descriptions but also significant challenges in building the community of participation required to support sustainability.

Engage public library staff in education and training

Illustration: 20th anniversary of WebJunction

OCLC WebJunction celebrated its 20th anniversary. Since we founded WebJunction, the learning place for libraries has helped more than 215,000 library staff build knowledge, skills, and confidence to deliver transformational services. In FY23, WebJunction’s Course Catalog continued to provide excellent free, continuing education opportunities for library staff to engage in professional development. Enrollment remained strong, continuing to outpace the pre-pandemic numbers, with more than 25,500 learners taking part in WebJunction courses. The catalog includes 60 on-demand courses on library topics and 394 webinar recordings.

Deepen member connections with Global Council

The opportunity to elect delegates who reflect local and regional views on the issues facing libraries today is a key benefit of OCLC membership. Member libraries from each region elect delegates to serve on the OCLC Global Council, which brings worldwide viewpoints together, informing and guiding us through their unique perspectives.

Logo: OCLC Global Council

2022–2023 Board of Trustees

As a nonprofit organization, OCLC is governed by a 15‐member Board of Trustees, more than half of whom are librarians. Six members of the Board are chosen by our 48‐member Global Council.

Photo: 2022–2023 OCLC Board of Trustees

Front row L–R: Shirley Chiu-wing Wong, University Librarian, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University; Sarah E. Thomas, Vice President for the Harvard Library (retired), Harvard University; Cindy Hilsheimer, Vice Chair, OCLC Board of Trustees and Managing Principal, BeecherHill; John F. Szabo, Chair, OCLC Board of Trustees and City Librarian, Los Angeles Public Library; Skip Prichard, President and Chief Executive Officer, OCLC; Janet Walls, President, Delta Blvd; Barbara Lison, Director, Bremen Public Library.

Back row L–R: Ginny Steel, Norman and Armena Powell University Librarian, University of California, Los Angeles; Debbie Schachter, Associate Vice President, Students, Langara College; Pilar Martinez, Chief Executive Officer, Edmonton Public Library; Anja Smit, Director of DANS, an institute of KNAW (Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences) and NWO (Dutch Research Council); Dwight Smith, President and CEO, Sophisticated Systems, Inc.; Bernadette Gray-Little, Chancellor Emerita, University of Kansas; Brady J. Deaton, Chancellor Emeritus, University of Missouri; Theresa S. Byrd, Dean of the University Library, University of San Diego.

Photo: John Szabo

A message from John Szabo, OCLC Board Chair
City Librarian, Los Angeles Public Library

It’s been my honor to serve as Board Chair since 2017, and I’ve never been prouder to represent OCLC than I have been in the past year. It’s been a year of innovations in technology, programs, and research—all driven by passionate people who care deeply about libraries. The Board is thankful for the unwavering commitment of OCLC staff to help libraries thrive. We’re grateful to Skip and the OCLC leadership team for another year of growth, learning, and advocacy. And we deeply appreciate the support of and engagement with libraries around the world for the unparalleled resource that is OCLC.

OCLC Global Council leadership

Following the 2022 elections for OCLC Global and Regional Council delegates, 20 individuals began three-year terms as delegates and new leadership for each of the Regional Councils began on November 1, 2022.

Member institutions have a voice through elected representatives and are encouraged to actively participate in elections and direct dialogue with their delegates. Regional Councils facilitate connections in three regions: Europe, the Middle East, and Africa; Asia Pacific; and the Americas. Member libraries from each region elect delegates to serve on the OCLC Global Council.

The Global Council Executive Committee for 2022–2023:

  • Evi Tramantza
    Director of Libraries and Archives, Anatolia College (Greece)
    Global Council Chair and EMEARC Chair
  • Matthijs van Otegem
    University Librarian, Utrecht University (Netherlands)
    Global Council Vice Chair and EMEARC Vice Chair/Chair-Elect
  • Hong Yao
    Technical Services Director, Queens Public Library (New York, USA)
    ARC Chair
  • Michael Levine-Clark
    Dean of Libraries, University of Denver (Colorado, USA)
    ARC Vice Chair/Chair-Elect
  • Muh-Chyun Tang
    Associate University Librarian, National Taiwan University (Taiwan R.O.C.)
    APRC Chair
  • Gaye Rowley
    Director of the Library; Professor in the Faculty of Law, Waseda University (Japan)
    APRC Vice Chair/Chair-Elect

Pilar Martinez, Chief Executive Officer, Edmonton Public Library, and Dwight Smith, President and CEO of Sophisticated Systems Inc., took their seats on the OCLC Board of Trustees during the Board’s regular November 2022 meeting. There are nine librarians from four countries serving on the 15-member OCLC Board of Trustees. Pilar was elected to the Board by OCLC Global Council in March 2022. Dwight was appointed by the Board in September 2022.

In March 2023, OCLC Global Council elected Theresa S. Byrd, Dean of the University Library, University of San Diego, to a second term on the OCLC Board of Trustees, which will begin in November 2023.

Thought leadership with a global view

Partnering with OCLC Research, Global Council selected “Redefining the library experience” as its focus area for 2022–2023. Through online discussion opportunities and a global survey, the Council brought together diverse perspectives from around the world to inform and inspire.

Two webinars discussed how libraries create innovative experiences that provide meaningful engagement and bring impactful change to our communities. More than 2,900 people registered and more than 1,300 attended the live sessions.

The global survey ran from 9 January through 20 March 2023. More than 1,600 people from 77 countries and territories responded. While the survey garnered data across a wide variety of questions, a handful of findings stand out:

  • Libraries will increasingly play the role of “space providers”
  • Demand for open access in academic libraries will intensify
  • Resource sharing through consortia will increase
  • Partnerships with nonprofit and government agencies will increase for public libraries
  • Academic librarians expect increased partnerships with consortia and other libraries
  • Library workers may see more flexible working options and access to mental health care
  • Additional need for data analytics is expected

Illustration: Global Council Area of Focus:  Redefining the library experience

Engaging libraries to deliver fulfilling experiences

Connect in person and online with the library community

We listen and learn from libraries every day. From attending conferences and hosting meetings, both virtual and in person, to conducting surveys and focus groups, we are working together to solve the challenges of 21st century libraries. In FY23:

Illustration: Hashtag EngagedLibraries social media campaign

We brought voices together with #EngagedLibraries, an ongoing social media campaign that invites library workers to share ideas, highlight impactful programs and partnerships, and celebrate breakthroughs and the people who make them happen. We featured nearly 50 libraries in FY23 with a total of 206 posts across all platforms. These posts were seen by users more than 190,000 times, earning more than 4,000 interactions by users, and driving nearly 900 visits to linked webpages. One of our most popular #EngagedLibraries posts featured how the Los Angeles Public library has changed with the times to meet community needs.

Due to enthusiasm around “open” initiatives in the library community, we explored the open-access ecosystem with an extensive blog series, including how we play a role.

As part of our Open Access Discovery project, research staff conducted group interviews with library staff at two Dutch library consortia—Universiteitbibliotheken en Nationale Bibliotheek (UKB) and Samenwerkingsverband Hogeschoolbibliotheken (SHB)—to discuss how open-access (OA) publications are being integrated into users’ discovery workflows. A survey of the users’ discovery experiences with OA publications at each participating institution followed. Analysis of the data from the seven group interviews and 460 survey respondents is currently underway.

Illustration: Dutch library consortia survey

Illustration: Advocacy and sustainability

Climate advocacy and sustainability is now an area of focus with an active staff working group that’s commencing internal reviews and initiatives as well as community learning efforts.

A survey conducted among OCLC’s US and Canada member libraries sought to learn about their efforts to address climate advocacy and sustainability. The highlights:

  • More than 90% say that sustainability is a priority.
  • More than 80% say their libraries have taken specific actions to address sustainability, with a third of those efforts starting more than five years ago.
  • Community responsibility is a top motivator for addressing sustainability.

We connected with more than 52,700 library leaders and staff at 90 conferences and 234 virtual and in-person events around the globe:

← Swipe for more →

The OCLC Research Library Partnership connected with more than 600 library leaders by expanding its virtual engagement strategy to include office hours, facilitated discussion sessions, webinars, and virtual workshops. In addition, the SHARES resource sharing consortium came together in 47 town halls, with nearly 900 people in attendance.

We reconnected with colleagues from around the world at the IFLA WLIC Congress in Dublin, Ireland. We had rewarding meetings and numerous OCLC presentations, including 125 in attendance at the OCLC Industry Symposium, “Working with a Metadata Mindset,” and more than 300 in attendance for an OCLC reception at the Guinness Storehouse.

We took part in the ACRL 2023 conference in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, US, hosting a reception, two poster sessions, booth presentations, three timely information sessions, and many smaller meetings with customers. We were very pleased to be able to have conversations with many of the 1,100 ACRL attendees this year.

We participated in the American Library Association (ALA) Annual Conference in Chicago, Illinois, US. We are grateful to have connected with nearly 1,100 attendees at our programs and events during ALA.

At the Bibliotheksleitungstag (BLT22), the largest digital library event across German-speaking countries in Europe, we had more than 1,200 individual registrations for our 10 sessions and 16 presentations.

We held the annual CBS Partner meeting in Rotterdam, the Netherlands with a theme of “Breaking the Boundaries of Metadata.” This was an opportunity for CBS users to share thoughts, experiences, and successes with our Syndeo products and for us to share our plans and new developments.

We planned, produced, and hosted the 2022 edition of OCLC Contactdag held at De Doelen in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. The event brought together 189 attendees, including eight Flemish attendees, for a day-long program on the theme of “Open.” The event included two plenary sessions and six breakout sessions; a master class on personal growth, diversity and inclusion, and work-life happiness; and an information market for attendees to speak with our experts about topics like linked data, privacy and security, and products like WorldCat.org and Wise.

We attended the Taiwan OCLC Governing Member (TOGM) Consortium 2022 Annual Meeting at National Taiwan University Library. It was the first in-person annual meeting of this consortium since 2019. Ninety library leaders and staff representing 45 institutions attended.

Participation in the OCLC Community Center continued to grow in FY23 to more than 42,000 accounts representing more than 9,100 institutions in 97 countries. These individuals participated in regular discussions, sharing best practices and perspectives. Community members also had the opportunity to attend more than 160 webinars to connect with peers and our experts. These webinars included regular Product Insights sessions; community presentations in virtual series like RSC23, WMS Connect, and DevConnect; and the biannual OCLC Cataloging Community Meeting.

Illustration: OCLC Community Center

Broaden access to open content

We continued to build on our 20-year history of partnering with the world’s leading content providers to represent high-quality open content in WorldCat and OCLC services. New open access collections from organizations, such as Europeana, Open Library of the Humanities, UCL Press, and Wolters Kluwer, were added to WorldCat. And open-access search filters in WorldCat Discovery and WorldCat.org make it easier to find open content from libraries around the world.

Illustration: New open access content providers in WorldCat and OCLC services

Transform resource sharing services

Logo: OCLC Express digital delivery program

Our Express digital delivery program, the fastest ILL service in the market, surpassed the 1 million mark for filled copy requests, including e-articles and other digital resources. While the Express program’s average turnaround time is 10 hours, some libraries are experiencing even more impressive times. For example, Eastern Kentucky University Libraries achieved some of the fastest borrowing times. During one six-month period, 30% of requests were filled in under one hour; 40% were filled in under two hours; and 10% of requests were filled in under two minutes. Participants save time while giving their users the fast experience they expect.

We launched OCLC Resource Sharing for Groups, a modern consortial borrowing solution that expedites delivery of digital and print items to library users. This new solution builds on our smart fulfillment functionality, the OCLC resource sharing network, and libraries’ current ILL service (WorldShare ILL, Tipasa®, or ILLiad). Group libraries have all the tools needed to easily lend and borrow resources from group members. And if a request can’t be filled within the group, it seamlessly scales to regional partners and OCLC’s global resource sharing network.

To advance development of our Resource Sharing for Groups service, we partnered with the Big Ten Academic Alliance (BTAA). Our vision for this solution is consistent with the BTAA’s goals for its BIG Collection resource sharing focusing on the unique needs of libraries that want to share in new ways to meet changing needs.

Illustration: OCLC Resource Sharing for Groups

New features for a growing WMS community

More than 200 enhancements were added to WorldShare Management Services (WMS)—more than 70% of which were based on community input. The more noteworthy enhancements include: the ability to limit hold requests on materials not available; the option for patrons to view their loan history in the user portal; the Digby mobile app shelf-reading and paperless pull lists; and title-level licenses with the ability to link licenses directly to knowledge base titles, which automates workflows, saves time, and improves the user experience.

Logo: WorldShare Management Services

More than 750 libraries in 27 countries have now selected WMS. New subscribers to WMS include:

The Americas
Sweet Briar College
University of the Ozarks
Wagner College
Caterpillar Inc.
Lee College
Shorter University
Brookdale Community College
Friends University
University of Tulsa
University of Northern British Columbia

Europe
Akkon Hochschule für Humanwissenschaften
Buckinghamshire New University
Constructor University (Jacobs University)
SOAS
Banca d’Italia

Asia Pacific region
Chaoyang University of Science and Technology
Hong Kong Palace Museum
Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (Central Bank of the Philippines)

Continue focus on OCLC Wise and CapiraMobile® for public libraries, our community engagement products

Illustration: Cultuurconnect

Implementation of the unified library system for Cultuurconnect in Belgium was finished in March 2023, resulting in 305 Dutch-speaking public libraries across Flanders and the Brussels-Capital Region transitioning to Wise.

Illustration: schoolWise

We completed work on a brand-new schoolWise® portal in the Netherlands. With more than 1,500 elementary schools using schoolWise, it’s an established market leader in this segment.

Photos: Biblioteka Públiko Boneiru in Bonaire

Wise was adopted by Biblioteka Públiko Boneiru, the public library on Bonaire, as its new library system, and schoolWise was chosen as a library system for elementary schools.

Illustration: Capira services receive awards from Modern Library Awards

CapiraMobile, LendingKey, and MuseumKey once again received platinum and gold awards in 2023 in LibraryWorks’ ninth annual Modern Library Awards. Additionally, we welcomed 88 new institutions to the Capira family in the US.

Broaden access to worldwide library collections

EZproxy® became FedRAMP-compliant. FedRAMP, a US federal government-wide compliance program, provides a standardized approach to security assessment, authorization, and continuous monitoring for cloud products and services. Receiving this certification gives libraries the confidence that they can deliver secure and reliable access to electronic resources.

Logos: FedRAMP and EZproxy

Logo: WorldCat Discovery

The WorldCat Discovery central index added 42 new content collections from 13 content providers, including five new providers. At the end of FY23, we now have agreements with 418 publishers and information providers to include metadata for 3,135 collections of books, e-books, journals, databases, and other materials from these global publishers to the central index, representing more than 4.7 billion records.

FY23 Financials

As a library services provider, OCLC is unique. We are a worldwide nonprofit organization that reinvests all our income into library research, programs, and product development. Our goal is to meet the technology needs and service requirements identified by our membership.

Ensuring the future

Revenues from library services increased $5.1 million in FY23 due to strong contract renewals and growth in WMS, Wise, and EZproxy subscriptions. Net contribution was $26.3 million compared to $(19.0) million in FY22. Operating results before portfolio activity was $1.4 million compared to $10.7 million in FY22. This decline was due to higher facility costs associated with returning to the office for a full year and the resumption of travel and conference activity post-pandemic as well as wage and other cost inflation.

Overall, revenue from library services and income from our investment portfolio provided a stable cash flow to fund operations, improve services, and make strategic capital investments during a time of economic challenge.

Summary of consolidated activities

Amount in $ millions

FY23 FY22
Operating activities Library services revenue $224.6 $219.5
Operating results before portfolio activity $1.4 $10.7
Investing activities Investment portfolio activity
Dividends and investment income $11.1 $9.6
Net gains/(losses) $2.5 $3.4
Net unrealized gain/(loss) on investments $11.3 ($42.7)
Net contribution $26.3 ($19.0)

The OCLC investment portfolio

Our investment portfolio was valued at $241.0 million at the end of FY23, an increase in value of $13.8 million, which is in line with the broader market performance this last year. The portfolio generates a stable flow of dividend and interest income that is withdrawn annually to fund cash needs.

At the end of FY23, OCLC’s outstanding debt was $42.7 million compared to $60.0 million in FY22.

Investment portfolio and debt

Amount in $ millions end of fiscal year

Graph: OCLC FY23 investment portfolio and debt

Research and development

We regularly engage with our membership through Regional and Global Council meetings as well as specific product groups, advisory committees, and research projects to identify trends that are shaping the library profession. Based on these conversations, we continue to invest in a variety of specific initiatives that our members have told us are critical to their success.

FY23 research and development investments

Total $41.7 million

Pie chart: OCLC FY23 research and development expenditures

Investment categories include:

Metadata services (12%)

OCLC Cataloging and Metadata Subscription, WorldShare® Metadata Services, CONTENTdm, Contract Cataloging, Dewey® Services, CBS Services

Delivery services (23%)

OCLC Resource Sharing for Groups, Tipasa, GreenGlass®, WorldShare Interlibrary Loan, WorldCat Discovery, WorldCat.org, PiCarta®

Management services (38%)

WorldShare Management Services, WorldShare® License Manager, WorldShare® Collection Evaluation, WorldShare® Report Designer, EZproxy, SISIS‐SunRise, LBS, Amlib®, BIBLIOTHECAplus, OCLC Wise

Data services (7%)

WorldCat, WorldCat knowledge base, WorldCat Discovery central index

WorldShare® Platform (6%)

The infrastructure that supports cloud services

OCLC Research (14%)

Research initiatives

For additional information, please view the following resources:

The Audit Committee, consisting entirely of independent trustees, assists the Board of Trustees in its oversight of our financial reporting process and is responsible for, among other things, reviewing with BDO USA, P.C., independent auditors, the scope and results of its audit engagement.

Thank you for your ongoing commitment to the OCLC community. Together, we will continue to use the power of collaboration and innovation for the benefit of all libraries.