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Jay Jordan to retire as OCLC President and CEO

DUBLIN, Ohio, USA, 27 June 2011—Jay Jordan will retire as President and CEO of OCLC Online Computer Library Center on June 30, 2012. The announcement was made today  by OCLC Board Chair Larry Alford at the OCLC President's Luncheon during the Annual Conference of the American Library Association in New Orleans, Louisiana.

"Jay Jordan has informed the OCLC Board of Trustees of his desire to retire as President and CEO in June 2012," said Mr. Alford. "Jay wanted to give us sufficient advance notice to provide time for a thorough search and a smooth transition for his successor. The Board is forming a search committee and is preparing to launch an international search for the fifth President and CEO of OCLC."

"Jay Jordan has presided over a period of remarkable growth and innovation during his 13 years at OCLC," said Mr. Alford. "Under his transformative leadership, OCLC has moved in new and exciting directions to fulfill its public purpose of furthering  access to the world's information and reducing the rate of rise of library costs."

"Today is not a farewell," said Mr. Alford. "We will recognize and celebrate Jay’s contributions to the cooperative in the coming year. In the meantime, it will be business as usual, and with Jay Jordan, that means full speed ahead."

In his remarks at the OCLC President’s Luncheon, Mr. Jordan stated: "It has been an honor to serve the OCLC cooperative. OCLC is an exceptional organization with an active and committed membership and a dedicated staff. OCLC’s Founder Fred Kilgour was fond of saying that OCLC was like the first flight of the Wright Brothers—12 seconds off the ground. That was 40 years ago. Today, our new WMS services are just getting off the ground, and I look forward to handing off to my successor a strong organization with an exciting set of opportunities."

According to Mr. Alford, the composition of the Search Committee will be announced in the near future.

OCLC has had four presidents since its founding in 1967:

Frederick G. Kilgour (1967-1980)
Rowland C. W. Brown (1980-1989)
K. Wayne Smith (1989-1998)
Jay Jordan (1998-)

Mr. Jordan, 68, became OCLC's fourth President and CEO on May 8, 1998. Since then, the number of libraries participating in the OCLC cooperative has grown from 30,000 to more than 72,000. The number of participating institutions outside the U.S. has increased from 3,200 in 64 countries to 16,215 in 170 countries. At the same time, the OCLC cooperative has become global in its governance, with regional councils in the Americas, Asia Pacific and Europe, the Middle East and Africa sending delegates to a new Global Council.

Since 1998, the WorldCat bibliographic database has grown from 38 million records to more than 240 million, and the number of location listings attached to those records has increased from 668 million to more than 1.7 billion. In 2006, WorldCat became available to people everywhere on the Internet.

Under Mr. Jordan's leadership, OCLC built a new technological platform, introduced new Web-scale services and created a library advocacy program. Here are highlights of OCLC’s accomplishments since 1998:

  • OCLC Connexion cataloging service launched on new technological platform (2002)
  • QuestionPoint virtual reference service (created with Library of Congress) launched (2002)
  • OCLC began distributing CONTENTdm  digital collection management software (2002)
  • WebJunction online community for public libraries launched Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (2003)
  • OCLC launched advocacy program, published  OCLC Environmental Scan: Pattern Recognition (2003)
  • Bibliothèque nationale de France, Die Deutsche Bibliothek, Library of Congress and OCLC started development of Virtual International Authorities File that in 2011 will become an OCLC service (2003)
  • OCLC Research made available at no charge an algorithm to convert bibliographic databases to the Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records (FRBR) model (2003)
  • OCLC Online Service Center launched (2005)
  • Worthington (Ohio) Libraries contributed 1 billionth holding to WorldCat (2005)
  • WorldCat database becomes available to people everywhere on the Internet  via WorldCat.org (2006)
  • WorldCat Collection Analysis, Terminologies service, WorldCat Registry introduced (2006)
  • WorldCat Local, which  provides a single interface to a library’s collection, is introduced (2008)
  • OCLC Developer Network created (2008)
  • WorldCat became available on mobile devices (2009)
  • WorldCat Digital Collection Gateway launched (2009)
  • OCLC Web-scale Management Services began operation (2010)

Since 1998, OCLC has expanded its offerings through mergers and acquisitions and focused operations through divestitures:

  • WLN merged with OCLC; the WLN union catalog merged with WorldCat; about 550 libraries in the Pacific Northwest and Canada became OCLC members (1999)
  • In 1999, OCLC acquired Public Affairs Information Service (PAIS) and divested it in 2004.
  • RLG merged with OCLC; Research Library Partnership created (2006)
  • OCLC acquired Openly Informatics (2006)
  • OCLC Europe, the Middle East and Africa created through merger of PICA B.V. (The Netherlands) and the former OCLC office based in Birmingham, U.K. The new organization provides library management systems as well as OCLC services.(2002)
  • OCLC acquired DiMeMa, Inc., developer of CONTENTdm digital collection management software (2006)
  • OCLC acquired these library management systems: SISIS (2005); Fretwell-Downing Informatics (2005); Amlib (2008); BOND (2011)
  • OCLC acquired EZproxy authentication and access software (2008)
  • OCLC acquired NetLibrary e-book platform in 2002 and divested it in 2010
  • In 2009, OCLC divested Preservation Service Center, which was acquired in 1990.

OCLC has also fostered strategic alliances with a number of organizations to make libraries and their collections more visible on the Internet, including HathiTrust, Google, Microsoft, OAIster and Yahoo!

About OCLC

Founded in 1967, OCLC is a nonprofit, membership, computer library service and research organization dedicated to the public purposes of furthering access to the world’s information and reducing library costs. More than 72,000 libraries in 170 countries have used OCLC services to locate, acquire, catalog, lend, preserve and manage library materials. Researchers, students, faculty, scholars, professional librarians and other information seekers use OCLC services to obtain bibliographic, abstract and full-text information when and where they need it. OCLC and its member libraries cooperatively produce and maintain WorldCat, the world’s largest online database for discovery of library resources. Search WorldCat on the Web at www.worldcat.org. For more information, visit www.oclc.org.

OCLC, WorldCat and WorldCat.org are trademarks/service marks of OCLC Online Computer Library Center, Inc. Third-party product, service and business names are trademarks/service marks of their respective owners.


  • Bob Murphy

    Bob Murphy

    Manager, Media Relations

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