OCLC Services

For Participating Libraries

Consortium Information

When your library joins OCLC, you agree to several "Principles of Cooperation", which include your promise to:

  • Contribute to OCLC all current bibliographic and holdings information which represents cataloged items in your collections;
  • Create bibliographic records and related data at the fullest possible level, consistent with the standards and guidelines adopted by OCLC;
  • Support prompt contribution of bibliographic records and related data to promote shared use of records and library resources;
  • Cooperate with OCLC, regional networks and other partners, and participating libraries to identify and correct errors in contributed information and to avoid introducing duplicate records; and to
  • Limit use of OCLC records, systems and services to OCLC authorized users.

OCLC is a nonprofit membership organization serving more than 72,000 libraries in 170 countries and territories around the world. Its mission is to further access to the world's information and reduce library costs by offering services for libraries and their users. Membership in OCLC is a unique cooperative venture, giving libraries global access to OCLC's services and databases, including WorldCat. OCLC membership comprises the world's largest library consortium.

Cost Share Formula

The formula is based on the number of holding records the library has in OCLC, as reported by OCLC, and:

  • For academics: total student FTE
  • For publics: number of patron records in the library’s ILS
  • For schools: total student enrollment
  • For specials: number of patron records in the library’s ILS

This is a relational formula in which each library type has to collect, as a group, a portion of the total amount due, based on that library type’s collective percentage of the total holdings in OCLC for all libraries.

Standards and Specifications

Our statewide contract with OCLC allows an unlimited number of ILLs for your library, for an annual fixed fee. Your library has five options shaping how (and if) your users are able to request items online and how (and if) you want to manage ILL online. For all online managed options your library may chose to borrow materials only, supply materials only, or both borrow and supply ILL items. Here are your options:

  1. No Online ILLs
    Patrons cannot request items online, and your library does not manage ILL online using OCLC. Libraries choosing this option are using OCLC exclusively as a cataloging tool.
  2. E-mail ILL Requests Only
    Patrons can request items online, and their requests are e-mailed to your library. Your library manages ILL transactions using ALA forms, fax, OCLC's interlibrary loan system, or by some other means.
  3. ILL Management Only
    Patrons cannot request items online, but your library does manage ILL online using OCLC's FirstSearch. Your library creates and approves each ILL request before it gets sent to another library.
  4. ILL Requests and Mediated Management
    Patrons can request items online, and your library does manage ILL online using OCLC's FirstSearch. Your library approves (mediates) each ILL request before it gets sent to another library.
  5. Direct Request ILL and Unmediated Management

Patrons can request items online, and your library does manage ILL online using OCLC's FirstSearch. Your patrons may initiate unmediated requests directly from your library's ILL search interface or from MLNCAT. Your ILL librarians are, of course, able to create requests and control direct-request parameters.

Marketing Materials

Marketing materials for WorldCat are available at http://www.oclc.org/en-US/worldcat-org/resources.html