OCLC’s Research accelerates and scales learning, innovation, and collaboration to advance libraries and librarianship. Since 1978, we have carried out research and made technological advances that enhance the value of library services and improve the productivity of librarians and library users. We are also the bridge between libraries and OCLC’s product teams to ensure the company is responding to the library community’s ever-evolving needs.
What We Do
- is a community resource for the research-driven advancement of libraries and archives,
- provides advanced development and consultation for the teams that create and maintain OCLC’s products, and
- enhances OCLC's member and partner engagement to mobilize the community around shared concerns.
OCLC Research cares about the issues that are important to the library community. We structure our research agenda around topics that empower libraries to advance strategically in a technologically driven world. Our current areas of focus include:
- Research Collections and Support
- Understanding the System-wide Library
- Data Science
- User Behavior Studies & Synthesis
- Libraries as Community Catalysts
Advanced Development and Consultation
Our team of researchers offer expertise, development, and consultation as OCLC develops products to help libraries meet the ever-evolving needs of their users, institutions, and communities. We led the launch of the Linked Data Wikibase Prototype, alongside OCLC’s global Product Management and Global Technologies, and we are OCLC’s primary experts on archives.
Member and Partner Engagement
We connect with library and archival institutions and organizations to better represent their interests internally at OCLC, and we bring our research and technical experts to the library community.
OCLC Research Library Partnership (RLP)
The RLP provides a unique transnational collaborative network of peers to address common issues as well as the opportunity to engage directly with OCLC Research.
RLP Research Areas: Research Data Management and Research Information Management and addressing the challenges of managing digitization, born digital curation, and discoverability. Learn more about the RLP Research and Learning Agenda.
Resource sharing: SHARES provides access to libraries’ strong, rich, diverse, and unique collections. SHARES also supports active collaboration to innovate and support best practices for resource sharing.
OCLC Membership provides library users around the globe access to information and resources created by and for members. Members elect Global and Regional Council delegates to work within and across geographic regions to reflect their views of members and expedite the flow of information between members and the cooperative.
WebJunction: The Learning Place for Libraries
WebJunction provides free continuing education resources for library staff who power strong libraries at the heart of their communities. A program of OCLC Research, WebJunction is for all libraries, regardless of their size, type, or location.
Since launching in 2003, WebJunction has helped more than 140,000 learners build the knowledge, skills, and confidence they need to provide transformational spaces, programming, and services for their communities. Our Improving Access to Civil Legal Justice resources help library staff identify and support information seeking on civil legal issues, and our research on Public Libraries and the Opioid Crisis provides examples of how libraries can work with local partners to respond to the opioid epidemic in their communities.
OCLC Research People
Learn more about the talented people who make up OCLC Research, the OCLC Research Library Partnership, and WebJunction.
Comments or Questions?
We welcome comments and questions; use the button below to send us a message via the OCLC Research feedback form.
Looking for information about OCLC as a whole? Check out the OCLC About Us page.