public libraries

Public libraries perform unique and critical roles in their communities. These roles evolve and change with the needs of the people they serve, and they often include economic development, adult and early childhood literacy, support for government programs and more. In response to local funding pressures and the changing needs of their users, public libraries work with OCLC to automate back-office activities, improve services for users and increase the impact of public libraries as a whole.

Community engagement

OCLC has a new hub for community engagement ideas, lessons, and tips. Stop by today to get inspired and learn how to share your community success stories using #EngagedLibraries and connect with your peers.

The site includes community engagement solutions from library leaders, links to training and educational content, upcoming webinar opportunities, related research materials, and quick-hit ideas that you can take action on right now.

You have the power.

Wise is the first community engagement system for US public libraries. Uniquely holistic in its design, Wise combines the power of customer relationship management, marketing, and analytics with ILS functions.

Read the full report

Learn about public library marketing and communications efforts

A new OCLC report provides an overview of how US public libraries communicate with their users and the broader community.

Read the full report

Woman studying in the library

Build the knowledge, skills, and confidence of your library's staff

WebJunction, a program of OCLC Research, is the learning place for libraries. We provide free webinars, courses, and resources for all staff who want support to make their libraries relevant and vibrant voices in their communities. Our live and recorded webinars and our self-paced online courses cover topics such as community outreach, planning and assessment, space design, social media, and so much more.

Learn more about WebJunction

Zentralbibliothek Zürich

Deliver information efficiently and securely all over the world

The Zentralbibliothek Zürich, one of the largest Swiss libraries, supplies resources to libraries worldwide through interlibrary loan. Through new automated processes, fulfilling these international requests has become easier and quicker than ever.

Read Zentralbibliothek Zürich's story

Honey Grove Library

Optimize small library spaces

Honey Grove Library & Learning Center’s space was crowded by large furniture that was not conducive to programming. The staff sought out community insight to drive library change. The feedback resulted in renovations, redesigns, and increased community engagement.

Read Honey Grove's story

Rotterdam Public Library

Build stronger community engagement

With millions of visits and thousands of events each year, staff at Rotterdam Public Library must ensure their services meet user needs. By maintaining an active role in the ongoing development of their library management platform, they get the functionality they need to stay connected to the community.

Read Rotterdam Public Library's story

Exterior of Seaside Public Library

Empower communities to learn from and share reliable information

As the internet has become the first stop for information, public libraries have faced new challenges in guiding the public to authoritative, reliable information. When library staff know how to assess and improve Wikipedia articles using references to independent library resources, the articles become more informative, the library’s profile raises, and community members engage with information in new ways.

Read the member story

Blake Graham and Shaun Boyd in the Douglas County History Research Center

Involve your community in local history

The Douglas County History Research Center developed relationships with local organizations and the public to collect historical documents and information to build local history archives. Then, they made that information available to the world through a visual and interactive website that’s easy for archival staff to maintain.

Read Douglas County's story