OCLC: Soup to Nuts?

Posted On Aug 16 2006 by

OCLC has announced another important acquisition in a long series of wins that have kept libraries, members, and industry pundits busy guessing what’s next.

Following a distribution partnership that dates back to 2002, OCLC has acquired DiMeMa (Digital Media Management), the creator of CONTENTdm digital management software. Greg Zick, the former University of Washington professor who founded the company in 2001, will become vice president of OCLC Digital Services. DiMeMa staff (11 employees) will remain in Seattle.

A busy year at OCLC:
2006-Aug: OCLC acquires DiMeMa / CONTENTdm
2006-Aug: OCLC launches Worldcat.org
2006-Jun: RLG membership approves merger with OCLC
2006-Apr: FD and Sisis change names to OCLC PICA
2006-Jan: OCLC acquires Openly Informatics
2005-Nov: OCLC PICA acquires Fretwell-Downing (FD)
2005-Jun: OCLC PICA acquires Sisis (a Germnan ILS)

Other acquisitions, mergers, and distribution deals (1999-2004) include 24/7 Reference, netLibrary, Atlas’s ILLiad, PICA, and WLN.

OCLC has been looking for avenues to leverage its cooperative power in the world of digital content, and the acquisition of CONTENTdm is an important part of this strategy that also includes Digital Archive, the Content Cooperative pilot project, and participation in LOCKSS (lots of copies keeps stuff safe) and its new “controlled” counterpart, CLOCKSS.

“OCLC is to libraries as Google is to the Internet.”
–Karen Schneider, director, Librarians Index to the Internet

So, OCLC has a digital asset management system, a couple of ILS companies, some virtual reference, a couple of link resolvers, a metasearch engine, a very cool new interface to the biggest union catalog on the planet, and some of the brightest folks in the business doing lots of interesting research and product development.

With the strength of a conglomerate and the muscle of a cooperative, what’s next?


[This post originally appeared as part of American Libraries’ Hectic Pace Blog and is archived here.]

Last Updated on: January 19th, 2024 at 12:22 am, by Andrew K. Pace

Written by Andrew K. Pace

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