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OCLC Online Computer Library Center

Broader Term: 

(usually OCLC), n. ~ A nonprofit cooperative of libraries, archives, and other cultural institutions that share information about their holdings in an online union catalog and that offers other services to member organizations.


Originally, OCLC stood for the Ohio College Library Center. The name was changed in 1981. See

(OCLC 2004) Founded in 1967, OCLC Online Computer Library Center is a nonprofit, membership, computer library service and research organization dedicated to the public purposes of furthering access to the world's information and reducing information costs. More than 45,000 libraries in 84 countries and territories around the world use OCLC services to locate, acquire, catalog, lend and preserve library materials. ¶ Researchers, students, faculty, scholars, professional librarians and other information seekers use OCLC services to obtain bibliographic, abstract and full-text information when and where they need it. ¶ OCLC and its member libraries cooperatively produce and maintain WorldCat – the OCLC Online Union Catalog.