Genealogy librarians and many others will be interested in the latest announcement from OCLC and RLG (Research Libraries Group).
RLG is an international, not-for-profit membership organization of over 150 research libraries, archives, museums and other cultural memory institutions. RLG was founded and incorporated in 1975 by the New York Public Library and Columbia, Harvard and Yale universities.
Founded in 1967, OCLC Online Computer Library Center is a nonprofit, membership, computer library service and research organization dedicated to the public purposes of furthering access to the world's information and reducing information costs.
Here is the announcement:
RLG member institutions have approved a proposal to combine operations with OCLC, clearing the way for two of the world's largest membership-based information organizations to become one beginning July 1.
RLG's online products and services are being integrated with OCLC's, and RLG's program initiatives are being continued as RLG-Programs, a membership-based organization that operates as a new division of OCLC Programs and Research to support architecture, standards development and best practices.
"With the addition of RLG, we have gained a wealth of knowledge, experience and talent," said Jay Jordan, OCLC President and CEO. "Our combined organization leverages our individual program strengths, services and innovative research initiatives to deliver more value to a greater number of libraries, museums, archives and other research organizations worldwide."
"We intend to combine the practices of RLG and OCLC in a very powerful way—by putting together the traditions of RLG and OCLC we'll create a robust new venue for research institutions and new capacity that will provide unique and beneficial outcomes to the whole community," said James Michalko, former RLG President and now Vice President, RLG-Programs Development.
The RLG Board of Directors and the OCLC Board of Trustees announced the proposal to combine organizations May 3. The agreement was approved by the required two-thirds of voting RLG member institutions. Voting concluded this week.
Staff from both organizations have been meeting since the proposal was announced in May to begin planning for the integration of systems, products and services. RLG's online products and services will be integrated with OCLC's as appropriate. For example, RLIN, the RLG Union Catalog, will be integrated into WorldCat, delivering economies of scale and reach that will benefit members of both RLG and OCLC.
An FAQ that includes information on the combined organization as well as updates on some specific products and services is at http://www.oclc.org/news/releases/oclcrlgfaq.htm. The FAQ is updated as information becomes available.
Founded in 1967 and headquartered in Dublin, Ohio, OCLC Online Computer Library Center is a nonprofit organization that has provided computer-based cataloging, reference, resource sharing, eContent and preservation services to 54,000 libraries in 109 countries and territories. OCLC and its member libraries worldwide have created and maintain WorldCat, the world's richest online resource for finding library materials. For more information, visit www.oclc.org