Current Subscription Program

From Jeff Siemon:
Weren't subscriptions based on previous transaction usage?

Response: Yes, when the cataloging and resource sharing subscription prices were set in FY06/FY07, the subscription prices were based on the previous year’s transaction-based pricing. Under the current subscription pricing model, libraries can use the cataloging and resource sharing services as much as needed without an increase in cost based on increased usage.

From Keri Cascio:
Current subscription pricing is not adjusted automatically for activity. If activity slows down, our subscription stays the same. Could that be adjusted? I know we can request adjustment as needed, but the library must research and request on their own.

Response: The current subscriptions are unlimited subscriptions, so volume will increase and decrease over time. The value of the subscription pricing is that libraries may use the services as much as needed without risk of increasing their costs. Overall use of the services by members has grown every year since the subscriptions were set in FY06/07. If a library is experiencing significant reduction in its use of the services, it may request an appeal by e-mailing The library’s activity will be reviewed, and OCLC staff will get back to the library.

From Keri Cascio:
It seems that the overall cost savings would only be for larger libraries with more staff; does that idea that we're saving money with subscriptions scale to smaller libraries?

Response: The current program provides credits, or financial reductions, for all participating members, larger and smaller libraries. Overall activity in qualifying Credits Program activities, original cataloging, resource sharing loans, etc., will determine the overall credits earned.

From Mary Aycock:
Do vendors have any incentives to improve records they submit that we all are required to enhance?

Response: Loading of cataloging records from vendors is managed and governed by separate agreements with each vendor. These agreements do not follow the same cost-sharing or incentive models that apply to member libraries.

From Keri Cascio:
How many libraries chose to get a reduction in their subscription by adding in their average credits? I have never heard of this option.

Response: A limited number of libraries (less than 200 individual libraries and several library groups) opted for this subscription approach when their subscriptions were set in FY06/07.

From Anita Clary:
Out of the libraries that are eligible to participate in the credits program, but do not, how many of these libraries have the staff to be able to enhance and contribute original records?

Response: OCLC does not have comprehensive information about the staffing or workflow options of the overall membership to provide an estimate.

From Michael Cohen:
How are subscription costs determined, and currently do credits from the present year drive up your subscription costs in the next?

Response: In FY06/07, OCLC moved from transaction-based pricing to subscription pricing. At that point, the subscriptions were set based on the transaction pricing for the previous calendar year. OCLC transitioned to subscription pricing model to allow libraries to have predictable annual pricing and to allow libraries to use the OCLC cataloging and resource sharing services as much as needed without concern of increased cost based on activity. Since the FY06/07 timeframe, subscriptions have increased only by the amount of annual price increases. (Note: OCLC did not have price increases at all in FY10, FY11 and FY12.) So, credits from the previous year do not increase subscription costs in the following year.

From Keri Cascio:
We are outliers in that we are net lenders and sometimes net catalogers. We need holdings in OCLC to support our huge document delivery activities, so it would be difficult to give up our cataloging subscription as well. If we did go to a competitor, we'd still have to batchload holdings. Have the costs of batchloading for non-OCLC members come down?

Response: In order to batchload holdings to WorldCat, a library needs either an OCLC Cataloging subscription or a Holdings Registration Service subscription.