Libraries as Community Catalysts

Libraries as Community Catalysts is an OCLC research and programming initiative that seeks to support libraries and cultural institutions as catalysts for positive change. This work understands libraries as crucial community hubs with dynamic spaces for learning, collaboration, and community engagement.  

OCLC Research partners with libraries and cultural institutions to offer the resources needed to meet changing community needs. This approach emphasizes the evolving and expanding role of libraries as essential contributors to a community's well-being and development.

Highlighted Libraries as Community Catalysts Projects, Publications, and Presentations

Reimagine descriptive workflows

Reimagine Descriptive Workflows

This project seeks to redefine and enhance how descriptive metadata and cataloging are approached in the digital age. The Reimagine Descriptive Workflows project convened a group of experts, practitioners, and community members to determine ways of improving descriptive practices, tools, infrastructure, and workflows in libraries and archives. The resulting agenda is constructed to instruct and chart a path toward reparative and inclusive description.


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Digital Collection Stewardship

Digital Collections Stewardship Courses

Digital collections offer an opportunity to preserve local history, culture, stories, and artifacts. Creating and curating digital collections can be a resource-intensive process, but your team doesn’t have to navigate it alone. 

Designed for staff at small public libraries and tribal archives, libraries, and museums (TALMs), these courses will strengthen skills in digital stewardship and community-centered curation of digital collections and guide you through the lifecycle of digital stewardship from planning and gathering to saving and sharing digital collections.

View the On-demand Courses Series

 You will be directed to:


WebJunction is the learning place for libraries.

WebJunction offers innovative, on-demand training and development resources to support library staff in the important work of delivering transformational services to their communities.

We bring new ideas and innovations to libraries through collaboration, applied research, and learning networks. This approach ensures that all libraries—regardless of size, type, or geographic location—can effectively use and share resources toward common goals.

WebJunction offers a variety of programs and services, covering both traditional and emergent library issues:

  • On-demand, self-paced courses
  • Live and recorded webinars
  • Articles on library trends and innovations

Check it out


THe REALM Project Playbook

Develop a plan for your institution to navigate and recover from a public health emergency with the Public Health Crisis Management Playbook for Archives, Libraries, and Museums. This free resource supports cultural heritage institutions in planning for a significant public health emergency.

REALM Playbook


Sustainable Development Goals Survey Results

Libraries model sustainability”: The results of an OCLC survey on library contributions to the Sustainable Development Goals presents findings from a global survey of libraries that investigated if and how libraries are incorporating the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals into strategic planning.

View the Study


Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

OCLC seeks to view all our work through a lens of equity and recognize the opportunities of intersectionality in our work. With that in mind, this page aggregates and connects OCLC's work as it pertains to issues of equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI).


Reimagine Descriptive Workflows

Through a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, OCLC convened a diverse group of experts, practitioners, and community members to determine ways to improve descriptive practices, tools, infrastructure and workflows in libraries and archives.  

Research Library Partnership equity, diversity, and inclusion survey

The OCLC Research Library Partnership (RLP) conducted a survey to explore if and how our 150 Partner institutions are modifying library and archival collections, practices, and services through the lens of equality, diversity, and inclusion (EDI). Our objective was to capture a snapshot of efforts across the Partnership to inform next steps, reveal possible directions to explore, and serve as a starting point for further discussions and action regarding EDI in the library field.

Equity, diversity, and inclusion initiatives

OCLC Research is convening community conversations around issues of equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) in the library field. EDI cuts across many areas of librarianship from staffing to collections and beyond. We hope to support libraries as they work through these issues and are working on a number of initiatives in that effort.

Hanging Together: the OCLC Research blog

IDEAs on Hanging Together

IDEAs is a twice-monthly blog series that shares resources and learning opportunities for library, archive, and museum staff on Advancing Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Accessibility (IDEAs).

Go to the IDEAs Series