Sustainability and financial reports
OCLC is a nonprofit cooperative, funded by the membership whose public purposes are to further access to the world's information and reduce library costs. In support of these purposes, OCLC strives to maintain a strong financial base in order to accommodate growth, upgrade technological platforms, conduct research and development and sustain worthwhile projects for the benefit of members' libraries and their users. OCLC follows a conservative, nonaggressive accounting and operating philosophy in maintaining its financial reporting and internal control systems.
Being a nonprofit does not mean that OCLC doesn't charge for services. It means that our financial goal, every year, is to retain a small amount (4 to 6%) of revenue (which includes cost sharing revenues, interest, dividends, gains/losses on investments) beyond what we spend to provide services, research, advocacy and standards work on behalf of our members. That extra 4 to 6%—which typically comes from the cooperative's investment portfolio—allows us to invest in the future of the cooperative, make major strategic improvements and freeze prices for member libraries when that is the right thing to do.
Because our cooperative is governed and sustained cooperatively by OCLC libraries, transparency in our finances is essential. Every year, we communicate economic information about the cooperative in a number of ways, including audited financial statements and annual reports.
OCLC members can take pride in being part of a cooperative that has grown—and thrived—for more than four decades. We do this by listening to our members, putting member needs and goals first, and adapting to changes in the environment. And, most importantly, by remembering that, with every transaction, it is our members' resources we're managing on their behalf.
Previous OCLC annual reports
2011/2012 OCLC Annual Report
(PDF, 6.2 MB)
2010/2011 OCLC Annual Report
(PDF, 6.4 MB)
2009/2010 OCLC Annual Report
(PDF, 5.4 MB)
2008/2009 OCLC Annual Report
(PDF, 4.9 MB)
2007/2008 OCLC Annual Report
(PDF, 4.2 MB)
Additional back issues are stored in the OCLC Digital Archive.