Public Purpose

Furthering access to the world's information and reducing the rate of rise of per-unit costs

OCLC is a worldwide library cooperative, owned, governed and sustained by members since 1967. Our public purpose is a statement of commitment to each other—that we will work together to improve access to the information held in libraries around the globe, and find ways to reduce costs for libraries through collaboration.

Our public purpose is to establish, maintain and operate a computerized library network and to promote the evolution of library use, of libraries themselves and of librarianship, and to provide processes and products for the benefit of library users and libraries, including such objectives as increasing availability of library resources to individual library patrons and reducing the rate-of-rise of library per-unit costs, all for the fundamental public purpose of furthering ease of access to and use of the ever-expanding body of worldwide scientific, literary and educational knowledge and information.

[From the Amended Articles of Incorporation of OCLC Online Computer Library Center, Incorporated]

Canada activities

OCLC Canada supports the mission and vision with these activities:

  • Providing libraries in Canada with easy access to OCLC's rich information resources
  • Promoting the mutual sharing of resources and information between Canada and other countries
  • Providing libraries in Canada with access to a wide range of services; from cataloging and interlibrary loan to databases and online delivery of full-text information
  • Undertaking cooperative programs to further the development of information science and research