Becoming an OCLC Research Library Partner

The OCLC Research Library Partnership (RLP) is a transnational network of research libraries, supported by a combination of partnership dues and co-investment from OCLC. We welcome your interest in joining.

Why joining matters

Partner dues directly support our work to assist libraries as they evolve to meet 21st century challenges. Dues give our staff the resources we need to convene conversations and support projects that lead to prototyping, reports, white papers, webinars, and other outputs. 

Partner benefits

Our work focuses on addressing the pressing needs of research libraries in the 21st century and that work is shaped and influenced by our partners. We offer multiple opportunities and formats for staff at your institution to learn, engage, and partner. 

  • Online learning: The Works in Progress Webinars are live, participatory online learning opportunities focused on leading edge work done at OCLC and our partner institutions. Our webinars provide a cost-effective way for members to stay up-to-date on emerging practices.
  • Discussion: We frequently host small group discussion on topics related to our programmatic foci.
  • Collaborative research: We engage members in research collaboratively through ad hoc working groups.
  • Information sharing: RLP email and discussions lists facilitate sharing and allow subscribers to receive updates about webinars, events, research projects, and more.
  • Consultations: RLP staff consult directly with partner institutions, sharing their expertise on resource sharing, metadata, distinctive collections, linked data, research support services, and more.
  • In-person learning: We host participatory in-person learning events, such as the annual RLP Research Retreat.

What is a “research library”?

RLP institutions represent a cross section of not-for-profit memory institutions with an educational, cultural, or research mission. The RLP includes libraries that support universities and colleges, museum libraries, independent research libraries, and national libraries. Our membership spans four continents. If your interests intersect with ours, and you have the capacity to participate in our programs, you are welcome to join. 

What does it cost?

Annual partnership dues, which are based on the size of your organization, allow the RLP to support this collaborative work. Our pricing is transparent and we invite you to consult our dues schedule to determine the dues rate for your institution.

Partner Representatives

We ask that each RLP partner institution designate a Partner Representative, usually someone in a leadership role at their institution. In addition to serving as our primary point of contact, the Partner Representative:

  • Fosters institutional awareness of RLP initiatives and benefits.
  • Receives notification of opportunities for staff to serve on committees or working groups to further the RLP's collaborative objectives. Please use the Partner Representative Designation Form to change your Partner Representative or to provide updated information about your current Representative.

Making the most of the partnership

We encourage broad participation in RLP initiatives from people within your library—and even from other units across your institution. We have a weekly “Announcement to Partners” email list, and this is the #1 way to stay apprised of our events, research, interest groups, webinars, and more.  We see a direct correlation between the number of subscribers from an institution and the amount of engagement; if people don’t know about things, there’s no way they can participate! Any staff member affiliated with a partner institution may subscribe at

We also encourage subscription to our other specialized discussion groups .

Join us!

  1. If your institution would like to join the OCLC Research Library Partnership, please fill out our Partnership Agreement Form. We will invoice you upon receipt.
  2. We will follow up with an orientation for members of your leadership team (this may be virtual, or if it is mutually advantageous, in person). 
  3. We will ensure that team members are signed up to appropriate lists, so they can be alerted to relevant activities and opportunities.
  4. You will be invited to join our Metadata Managers Focus Group.
  5. We will arrange for your resource sharing team to learn about SHARES.

If you have any questions about the OCLC Research Library Partnership, please contact Merrilee Proffitt, Senior Manager, RLP, at 

Hanging Together

Read our OCLC Research blog — Hanging Together, for more context and behind-the-scenes information on these areas of research

Hanging Together

Stay connected

A number of subscription e-mail and discussion lists have been developed for staff at OCLC Research Library Partnership institutions to support continuing conversations about our work, share updates and solicit volunteers for new activities.

View our e-mail and discussion lists

RLP Abstract

RLP Abstract Cover

Everything you want to know about the Research Library Partnership (RLP) in one easy to read and share document.

Download the Abstract