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Members of the OCLC Board of Trustees guide the activities and strategic direction of the OCLC Cooperative. Service on the OCLC Board of Trustees requires a significant amount of time, both in preparation for and participation in board and committee meetings. In 1977, following an independent study of OCLC governance, it was recommended that members of the OCLC Board of Trustees should be compensated. That practice has been in place for more than 30 years. Compensation of individual trustees varies, based upon assignments and workloads. Compensation is determined by an independently reviewed policy. The most current review of board compensation was completed in 2010.

Compensation for board members and OCLC executives is reported on the IRS Form 990 tax return for nonprofit corporations. These forms are published and publicly accessible on the Web. Additional Information about board compensation and OCLC executive compensation is also available on the OCLC Web site.