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From=20your 1998-99 OCLC Users' Council Delegates:
   Arlene Luster                   Marcia Talley
   [log in to unmask]          [log in to unmask]
   ph: 808-449-2209                ph:  410-293-6905


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
                                FOR MORE INFORMATION:
                                Nita Dean +1-614-761-5002
                                [log in to unmask]

OCLC and pica begin discussions on collaboration
DUBLIN, Ohio, April 12, 1999-OCLC and Pica Foundation have announced the
signing of a letter of intent that could lead to the establishment of a
jointly owned organization to better serve the European library community.
Pica Foundation will establish a new not-for-profit Dutch limited liability
company (Pica B.V.) to which all present activities will be transferred.
OCLC will participate in the new Pica company through a graduated
acquisition of part of the stock.
Pica B.V. will continue development and support of its current products and
services, including the further development and support of Pica's local
library systems, the central library system for cataloging, interlibrary
loan and end-user services.  Pica will also continue its associated
cooperation with European partners:  the Gemeinsamer Bibliotheksverbund in
G=F6ttingen, the Hessisischer Bibliotheksverbund in Frankfurt, Die Deutsche
Bibliothek in Frankfurt (all in Germany) and the Agence Bibliographique de
l'Enseignement Sup=E9rieur in Montpellier, France.
Pica Foundation, a cooperative, not-for-profit organization based in Leiden=
,
the Netherlands, provides cataloging, interlibrary loan, local and end-user
services to hundreds of libraries in the Netherlands, France and Germany.
OCLC is a nonprofit corporation based in Dublin, Ohio, which serves over
34,000 libraries in 67 countries.
Subject to satisfactory negotiations, approvals by both boards of trustees,
and the conclusion of the due-diligence process, the parties hope to
conclude an agreement and complete the transaction by late 1999.
"Both OCLC and Pica were founded in the late 1960s with similar missions an=
d
commitments," said Look Costers, director, Pica.  "Today, information flows
are global, and the collaboration of the two organizations would expand and
enhance the emerging global library network."
"Together, Pica and OCLC will be better able to serve the international
library community than if we continue to work separately," said Jay Jordan,
OCLC president and chief executive officer.  "We believe the alignment of
OCLC and Pica would provide libraries both in Europe and around the world
with improved services as well as enhanced opportunities for cooperation."
Founded in 1969 as a joint initiative of the Royal national Library and a
number of university libraries, Pica Foundation, also known as the
Netherlands Centre for Library Automation and Online Services, is a
cooperative, nonprofit organization for libraries and other
information-providing institutions.  Pica's central, online database was
established in 1978 to reduce library cataloging costs.  Since then, Pica
has extended its services with interlibrary loan, local library systems,
reference and end-user services.  Pica's facilities are used by hundreds of
academic, public and other libraries throughout Europe.  More information i=
s
available at <http://www.pica.nl/>.  An English version is at
<http://www.pica.nl/en/>.
Headquartered in Dublin, Ohio, OCLC Online Computer Library Center is a
nonprofit, membership, computer library service and research organization
whose computer network and services link more than 34,000 libraries in 67
countries and territories.  OCLC is dedicated to the public purposes of
furthering access to the world's information and reducing information costs=
=2E
In the United States, more information is available via telephone
(+1-614-764-6000 or 1-800-848-5878) or via e-mail ([log in to unmask]).  In
Europe, the Middle East and Africa, contact the OCLC office in Birmingham,
United Kingdom (+44 121 456 4656).  In Asia and the Pacific region, contact
the OCLC Asia Pacific office in Dublin, Ohio (phone:  +1-614-764-6189 or
fax:  +1-614-764-4331).  In Canada, contact the OCLC Canada office in
Montreal, Quebec (+1-450-658-6583 or 1-888-658-6583).  In Latin America and
the Caribbean, contact the OCLC Latin America and the Caribbean office in
Dublin, Ohio (phone:  +1-614-761-5196 or fax:  +1-614-718-1026).
More information about OCLC, its affiliated U.S. regional networks,
international divisions and distributors is available on the OCLC Web site
<http://www.oclc.org/>. (ND/RJM)
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