Meeting the needs of libraries and their users in a rapidly changing information landscape

Information seekers today demand more resources and faster access from every channel. To meet users' demands while managing costs, libraries need reliable access to cutting-edge technology. As a leader in data technology and an innovator in library cloud services, OCLC is uniquely positioned to partner with member libraries in this complex technology environment.

As a library cooperative, we are close to the needs of our members, working together to invent and improve library technology.

More than 450 IT professionals work at OCLC across a variety of programming environments, systems responsibilities and product portfolios. We have staff members with 30+ years of technology expertise alongside new professionals, all focused on delivering excellence.

OCLC operates data and engineering centers in Australia, Canada, the Netherlands and the United States. 30,000 member libraries in 100+ countries use OCLC services to save time and money while better connecting their users to the information they need.

Fast-paced, agile application development

Developing software and APIs used by thousands of libraries around the world

Photos showing application development at OCLC
Photos showing application development at OCLC
Photos showing application development at OCLC

The right tools

Our shared, cloud-based infrastructure provides for the fast, distributed processing of multiple applications and large data sets across clusters of servers.

Our developers use the latest technologies to build large-scale, high-availability Web applications. We use Hadoop/Hbase to manage our collection of library-related databases. And our Web applications and APIs are served across global data centers using an extensive service-oriented architecture.

Many OCLC applications are powered by data from WorldCat , the world's largest bibliographic database. With information about more than 3.3 billion library items, WorldCat® is a unique resource—both for libraries and developers—providing the chance to advance "big data" applications integral to library operations.

The best results

Our approach to technology results in new efficiencies in library workflows. Because libraries use OCLC services for such a wide variety of solutions, our application developers manage a truly diverse portfolio of software products. WorldShare Management Services , our cloud-based library management suite, is used by 600+ institutions to power many back-office library operations. We also provide WorldCat Discovery , a user-facing library search environment, as well as a variety of other library- and user-facing services .

It's an exciting time to be working in technology in any field. Working with libraries provides opportunities to fuel important new research, educational opportunities and breakthroughs in ways that few other sectors can offer.

1.6+ petabytes of data under Hadoop management

Keeping library data secure

We constantly monitor and improve applications, systems and processes to meet the growing challenges and demands of security threats.


Keeping data available…and safe

The confidentiality, integrity and availability of information is of paramount importance as we protect the security and privacy of libraries and their users. We have dedicated security staff with backgrounds in libraries and higher education, as well as highly security-conscious industries such as financial services, government and defense. Our Global Security Services Team members hold a variety of industry-recognized, professional certifications, such as ISC2 Certified Information System Security Professional (CISSP), ISACA Certified Information Security Auditor, IAPP Certified Privacy Professional, and others.

OCLC maintains an information security program that is certified to the ISO/IEC 27001 standard, an international benchmark. Other frameworks—such as US National Institute of Standards and Technology Security and Privacy Controls for Federal Information Systems and Organizations , European Network and Information Security Agency Guidelines , and the Cloud Security Alliance, Cloud Controls Matrix —enable us to address concerns for both security and privacy.

Addressing all security perspectives

We classify information to know what needs significant protection and what doesn't. This means that public information can be made widely available while personal data receives much more security.

To protect key information, we use a multilayered approach that provides a combination of preventative and detective controls at various levels of data access, storage and transfer. Our information security program is based on ISO/IEC 27001:2013.

Our commitment to secure library services incorporates risk management; physical, environmental, logical access and operational security controls; maintenance; business continuity and disaster recovery; and incident response, notification and remediation.

We actively monitor the security landscape and continuously evolve our approach and procedures in order to protect our members' data and our shared systems.

40+ million search requests processed per day by OCLC

Innovation… at the speed of our users

Innovation is a core OCLC competency. Libraries are at the forefront of technological change, and our members rely on us to keep up with—and stay ahead of—the curve.


More than just new ideas

From the Semantic Web and knowledge graphs to UI/UX research, we strive to stay ahead of all emerging technology that advances libraries. OCLC has led the industry in the ongoing and constant development of library technology systems for more than 50 years.

In 2011, OCLC launched the first cloud-based library management services platform. Since then, more OCLC services have migrated to this platform. Our cloud architecture has led to greater integration and reuse of library data while allowing tasks to be performed on any Web-capable device, including mobile and tablet computers.

OCLC is a pioneer in the creation and adoption of library linked data technology . Our efforts make library information available in formats that are native to the Web, improving its discoverability through popular sites and services.

Partners in discovery

OCLC developers also work with library technologists around the world on new uses for OCLC data and services. Our API and Web Services Gallery provides examples of projects that incorporate our APIs into a wide range of environments and solutions. We sponsor a variety of live "mashup" events that bring developers together from around the world to work and learn in fast-paced, hands-on sessions.

Our technology teams also work closely with OCLC Research , one of the world's leading centers devoted exclusively to the challenges facing libraries and archives. Insight and evidence from research leads to action and is seen in new technologies and services, such as our collection evaluation tool and our initiatives in shared print management .

Libraries are incubators of education, knowledge, research and advancement—and OCLC aligns with that spirit.

13,000+ peak concurrent user sessions

Our winning team

More than 450 IT professionals around the world, dedicated to advancing library technology

Software Developer

“The culture here at OCLC aligns well with my personal values.”

Robert Steele

“OCLC being named one of the top companies to work for in Columbus was one of the factors that attracted me initially. During the interviewing process, I felt very welcomed by my soon to be teammates. In addition, the ability to learn from great leaders in the area of Big Data and utilize technologies like Spark, Kafka and HDFS really excites me. I love how much OCLC is committed to investing in their employees overall well-being.”

Robert Steele

Senior Business Systems Analyst

“I love coming in knowing the work I do has a global impact.”

Shannon Ferritti

“I love my job and I love working for OCLC. Every day, my efforts make information more available to more people across the world. Knowledge is power and shared knowledge accelerates the breakthroughs that change our world.”

Shannon Ferritti

Lead Software Engineer

“I work with an amazing group of people that are always willing to help and collaborate.”

Jack Matthews

“There is always a new or interesting project dealing with everything from cloud computing to Big Data, all with the goal to help share what is known. While many companies may tout opportunities to work with cutting-edge technologies, the people working at OCLC really set it apart.”

Jack Matthews

Experience Strategist

“OCLC as a company is supportive, provides excellent work-life balance, and is full of open-minded people.”

Kunal Bodke

“Being a designer here, I get to make an impact by designing software for libraries around the world.”

Kunal Bodke

Senior Test Engineer

“We get a chance to learn, work and explore new, cutting-edge technologies every day.”

Shravan Gaddam

“To me, testing is a combination of art and science. At OCLC, we are allowed to use our imagination within the boundaries of software testing procedures to improve the quality of the product.”

Shravan Gaddam

Partnership opportunities

OCLC offers many opportunities for partners to connect with libraries and use library data to improve their products and enhance library services. Publishers and aggregators make metadata about their content available through our databases and applications. Select service providers work with us to integrate data in ways that enable greater choice and simplified workflows for libraries. Search engines, consumer web services and learning management systems make OCLC data available to users, leading them back to libraries and their resources. These are just some of the examples of how OCLC partnerships provide value to libraries and their patrons.

Learn about partnership opportunities »

Developer opportunities

OCLC offers APIs that are queried 3 million times each day by libraries and partners to access information, enhance and customize services, manage libraries and aid in classification and sharing of library resources. The APIs and the API explorer, which allows you to try an API, are available through the OCLC Developer Network. WorldCat Search, VIAF and Classify are just a few of the useful APIs found on the Developer Network.

Visit the OCLC Developer Network to learn more »