From your 1998-99 OCLC Users' Council Delegates:
Arlene Luster Marcia Talley
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ph: 808-449-2209 ph: 410-293-6905
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Nita Dean, OCLC
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Sharon West, WLN
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OCLC and WLN Begin Negotiations to Merge
DUBLIN, Ohio, Oct. 21, 1998-OCLC and WLN announced today the signing of a
letter of intent that could lead, following negotiations, to the merger of
WLN and OCLC.
WLN, a nonprofit corporation, serves 550 libraries in the Pacific Northwest
region of the U.S. and Canada from its office in Lacey, Washington. OCLC is
a nonprofit corporation based in Dublin, Ohio, which serves over 30,000
libraries in 65 countries.
The letter of intent results from extended discussions, started in April,
between board chairs and senior management of each organization. According
to the letter of intent, subject to satisfactory negotiations and approvals
by both boards of trustees, the merger would result in the following:
* WLN users would migrate to OCLC cataloging and resource sharing
services, and the WLN union catalog would be merged with WorldCat (the OCLC
Online Union Catalog).
* WLN full member libraries would become OCLC general members, with
the opportunity to participate in OCLC's governance through the OCLC Users
* WLN would continue with its MARS Authority Control, Collection
Analysis and bibliographic services.
* The WLN office would continue to be based in Lacey and would become
an OCLC/WLN Service Center, providing support and training to libraries in
Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington and British Columbia.
* WLN's Information Technology Research and Development staff would
remain at the OCLC/WLN Service Center where they would supplement OCLC's
extensive research and development efforts and continue to develop authority
control and collection analysis services. OCLC would make these services
available to libraries worldwide through OCLC's sales offices, U.S. regional
networks and international distributors.
The parties hope to conclude an agreement and complete the transaction by
"The move toward a merger developed because of a growing realization by both
WLN and OCLC that an increasing number of libraries were using the services
of both organizations and that a carefully thought-out merger might best
serve the needs of all of our libraries," said Paul McCarthy, president and
CEO of WLN. "A merger can ensure the delivery of a greater number of
products and services to each of our memberships on a much more
cost-effective basis. We are excited at the prospect of the synergy between
the staffs of the two companies. We think this synergy, especially in our IT
efforts, will allow us together to more effectively meet a wide range of
information needs for libraries now and in the future."
"We at OCLC believe that libraries and their users have much to gain from a
combined WLN/OCLC," said Jay Jordan, OCLC president and CEO. "WLN libraries
will join OCLC's digital, global community for cataloging, resource sharing
and reference services. And, OCLC member libraries will benefit from the
inclusion of important libraries in the Pacific Northwest in the OCLC
network. Working together, WLN and OCLC will eliminate duplicate services,
introduce new integrated services, and lower costs for member libraries."
WLN is a nonprofit corporation devoted to the provision of innovative and
high-quality information products and services, including an online
bibliographic database, Internet services, CD-ROM catalogs, database
preparation/authority control services, and collection assessment services
OCLC Online Computer Library Center is a nonprofit, membership, computer
library service and research organization whose computer network and
services link more than 30,000 libraries in 65 countries and territories