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Supporting librarians

Librarians Supporting librarians as they learn and lead is a major focus of OCLC's community initiatives. From events and publications to online discussion spaces, OCLC provides a variety of resources for member librarians and nonmembers alike.

Services and resources

Global library statistics

OCLC maintains and publishes statistics about the global library community, including (when available) data about the total number of libraries, librarians, volumes, expenditures and users for every country and territory in the world.

The OCLC Library and Information Science Education Program

This instructional and support program provides LIS schools worldwide with reduced or no-cost, hands-on use of OCLC reference, resource sharing and cataloging services, and more. In Canada, the program has also been extended to technical schools.


Online since 2003, WebJunction is an online learning community working together to ensure that all public library staff have the resources they need to meet local community needs. Also launched with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, WebJunction helps staff build job skills by partnering with state libraries to deliver cost-effective resources and training programs for the library staff in their regions. Last year, library staff participated in more than 20,000 free courses or programs sponsored through WebJunction.

The OCLC Training Portal

OCLC works with a network of Training Partners to provide educational opportunities and training on OCLC products and services, as well as topics important to the profession. Many courses are offered at no cost.


Distinguished Seminar Series OCLC Research's Distinguished Seminar Series

Begun in 1978 to encourage the exchange of ideas across the barriers of time, space and disciplines. Since then, more than 100 speakers have discussed recently completed or early-stage research, other types of professional activity, and areas of interest to the library and information science community.

The OCLC/Library Journal "Innovation Symposium"

A semiannual, online webinar begun in May 2010, the "Innovation Symposium" features topics and speakers related to building the future of libraries and librarianship. The first two topics covered were mobile technology and the ethics of innovation.

OCLC symposia OCLC symposia

Presented twice a year at the ALA Annual Conference and ALA Midwinter Meeting. OCLC brings together high-level speakers from the library sphere and outside industries to discuss issues relevant to the profession. Past keynote speakers have included David Weinberger (author of Everything is Miscellaneous and The Cluetrain Manifesto ), Joseph A. Michelli, PhD (author of The Starbucks Experience ), Chris Anderson (editor-in-chief of Wired magazine), danah boyd, Howard Rheingold and Siva Vaidhyanathan, as well as dozens of library directors and practitioners.



NextSpaceAvailable free-of-charge, the print magazine NextSpace is published three times a year and distributed to over 40,000 subscribers worldwide. Each issue features a lead story that focuses on a topic related to the future of information services. Interviews with a wide range of librarians, authors, technology leaders and industry experts combine to provide unique perspectives on important issues.

OCLC Abstracts

A free, weekly e-mail newsletter to more than 10,000 subscribers with information on both OCLC-related topics and industry issues.

Regional eNews

Two regional e-mail newsletters (one for the Americas Region, one for Europe, the Middle East and Africa) provide updates on member activities, stories and OCLC news.


The WebJunction newsletter is a monthly e-mail publication that features educational articles as well as updates on events and issues important to WebJunction subscribers.

Above the Fold

A weekly electronic newsletter that seeks to bring attention to items of interest from beyond the normal library reading sphere. This serial publication serves a broad international readership from libraries, archives and museums.

Social media

OCLC supports more than 10 blogs that provide a variety of information and insight on events, activities and trends in the library and information field. OCLC's bloggers continually scan the library landscape and beyond from a variety of viewpoints, looking for news, ideas and other information of potential interest to the library community. OCLC also supports an active mix of official and unofficial staff presence on major social media outlets including Facebook and Twitter (including @worldcat and @oclc).

Scholarships and awards

The LITA/OCLC Minority Scholarship in Library and Information Technology

Established in 1991, the annual scholarship is awarded jointly by OCLC and the Library and Information Technology Association, a division of the American Library Association, in the amount of $3,000 USD. The scholarship encourages the entry of qualified minority applicants to the library and automation field.

Jay Jordan IFLA/OCLC Early Career Development Fellowship Program

Jointly sponsored by the American Theological Association (ATLA), the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) and OCLC, this program provides early career development and continuing education for library and information science professionals from countries with developing economies.

OCLC/Frederick G. Kilgour Lecture in Information and Library Science

Funded through a special endowment from OCLC to honor Dr. Frederick G. Kilgour, the fund supports an annual lecture at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, bringing together scholars and leaders from around the world to share innovative ideas and cutting-edge research.

CTCL Innovation Achievement award

OCLC sponsors this award for the Canadian Library Association to recognize innovation in college libraries that contributes to college librarianship and library development.

CACUL Award for Innovation Achievement

OCLC sponsors this award for the Canadian Library Association to recognize academic libraries which, through innovation in ongoing programs/services or in a special event/project, have contributed to the advancement of academic librarianship and library development.

OCLC Diversity Fellowship Program

This program provides a unique opportunity for aspiring library and information technology professionals from historically underrepresented groups. OCLC Diversity Fellows spend time in an assigned host unit, working on content-specific projects. In addition, the Diversity Fellows spend time in the Global and Regional Councils division, with an orientation to OCLC and the OCLC member community; participate in OCLC member meetings; and enjoy opportunities for shared learning.

The American Library Association's Melvil Dewey Medal

This honor recognizes achievement for recent creative leadership of high order, particularly in those fields in which Melvil Dewey was actively interested: library management, library training, cataloging and classification, and the tools and techniques of librarianship.

John Ames Humphry/OCLC Forest Press Award for International Librarianship

A prize of $1,000 USD and a certificate—presented at the International Relations Round Table Reception at the ALA Annual Conference—are given to a librarian or person who has made significant contributions to international librarianship.

OLITA Award for Technical Innovation

OCLC sponsors this award for the Ontario Library Association, recognizing the best example of technological innovation that benefits library users, library operations, library partnerships or leadership.

Virginia Boucher Distinguished ILL Librarian Award

This annual award consists of $2,000 USD and a citation. It recognizes a librarian for outstanding professional achievement, leadership and contributions to interlibrary loan and document delivery through publication, during the previous two years, of significant professional literature, participation in professional associations, and/or innovative approaches to practice in individual libraries.

The Margaret Mann Citation

A $2,000 USD scholarship to the U.S. or Canadian library school of the winner's choice, for outstanding professional achievement in cataloging or classification either through publication of significant professional literature, participation in professional cataloging associations, or valuable contributions to practice in individual libraries.

The Gary R. Houk Scholarship Fund

Established in memory of former OCLC Vice President, Gary R. Houk, this $5,000 USD scholarship is awarded to a Dublin (Ohio) City School District student who will be pursuing an Information Technology degree from The Ohio State University

The Frederick G. Kilgour Award

OCLC Online Computer Library Center, Incorporated and the Library and Information Technology Association (LITA), a division of the American Library Association, sponsor this annual award to highlight research relevant to the development of information technologies, especially work that shows promise of having a positive and substantive impact on any aspect of the publication, storage, retrieval, and dissemination of information, or the processes by which information and data are manipulated and managed.