On behalf of OCLC...
To the OCLC Membership:
I want you to know that OCLC will again hold the line on pricing for the fiscal year commencing July 1, 2011. This will be the third consecutive year that OCLC has held prices flat.
This action was supported by the Board of Trustees during its meeting earlier this month. Both the Board and the management team agree that this decision reflects the values of a cooperative, acting in the best interests of its members and participants during a time of economic stress. It is equally clear that on behalf of its members OCLC must pursue its public purposes vigorously. We must continue to promote innovation and invest in developing services to control costs for libraries. In particular, as OCLC delivers Web-scale services, libraries will be able to optimize workflows and take full advantage of the technologies that the Web and cloud computing offer. The scale of the investments to launch these solutions rivals any development effort that the cooperative has undertaken in its 44 year history.
Investments in research and advocacy programs will also remain central to our plans. Already this year, significant studies have been released by OCLC Research, including, Cloud-sourcing Research Collections: Managing Print in the Mass-digitized Library Environment, which examines the feasibility of outsourcing management of low-use print books held in academic libraries to shared service providers. The latest OCLC membership report, Perceptions of Libraries, 2010: Context and Community, was released last month and offers new insights into information consumers and their online information seeking behaviors. OCLC's investments in research on behalf of its members will continue in 2012 and beyond to support and advance libraries and their work.
Frankly, I must temper the good news by noting that in the future OCLC will not be able to absorb inflation year after year without passing through some of those costs to participating institutions. While our balance sheet and cash flows are sound, we must manage costs very strictly to maintain good financial health and advance the cooperative into the next generation.
OCLC members have been through many up and down economic cycles during the past four decades, but the members always have chosen to sustain the cooperative to advance OCLC's public purpose. In that spirit, the promise of Web-scale Management Services bodes well for OCLC's capacity long into the future to deliver information to people across the world when and where they need it. Toward that end, we will continue to do everything we can to control costs and add value. We look forward to working with you to achieve the vision set out by Fred Kilgour almost 50 years ago.
- Jay Jordan
OCLC President and CEO