Celebrating excellence: How being the “Best Place to Work in IT” elevates library services

I’m delighted to share that OCLC has once more earned the top spot on Computerworld’s “Best Place to Work in IT” among midsize global organizations. Such distinction matters. This isn’t just an accolade for our team—it’s an affirmation of the vibrant culture, innovative spirit, and unwavering dedication we share with the library community.

You may be pondering, “What does this mean for me?” Let’s unpack the myriad ways this workplace recognition directly enriches your library’s experience.

Our success drives yours

For a member-focused organization like OCLC, we very much understand the connection between our workplace and yours. It’s important that our top-rate technologists understand how their work impacts the work you do. Let’s take inventory of why our culture matters to libraries:

  1. A hotbed for talent. We’ve become a magnet for the brightest in IT, attracting diverse individuals who are not just tech-savvy, but who are passionate about driving change in library services through advanced technology. Our talent fuels the many services we provide that power your library.
  2. Institutional wisdom. Our stability means we’ve held onto our experts, those who understand the nuanced, very complex workflows and library data needs of libraries and can weave this knowledge seamlessly into technological innovation.
  3. Deep connections. Our years of collaboration with libraries have resulted in invaluable breakthroughs that have transformed how libraries work. We grow and evolve through shared trials, feedback, and research, cementing trust and understanding. This includes not just the libraries and library groups we work with, but technology partners, content providers and publishers, and partners within governing bodies and standards organizations.
  4. A commitment to cutting-edge skills. We’re devoted to continuous learning, keeping our team at the leading edge of IT developments, ensuring that your library benefits from the latest advancements in technology. This includes a variety of on-the-job training, upskilling, and educational opportunities.
  5. Pioneering library tech innovation. Our talented professionals aren’t just keeping up—they’re looking forward, anticipating the future of library technology. From IT to research to our product teams, there’s a relentless pursuit to not just respond to trends but create them across areas ranging from data visualization to AI. We’re crafting future-ready library technology that addresses the needs of tomorrow’s library users today.
  6. Stability. This is crucial in a tech partner. This stability gives you the assurance that we’re here for the long haul, providing reliable and consistent service you can count on not only this year but for many years to come. It means we can see long-term changes coming down the pike and pivot to meet them while minimizing risk and interference for libraries.
  7. Values. We share your values—which also helped OCLC earn the #1 ranking in diversity strategies. From our diversity to our commitment to collaboration, we know that many of our staff want to work somewhere that has a mission beyond profit—and the success of libraries provides us all with that sense of purpose.

Our ability to drive library success ensures the sustainability and continued evolution of vital infrastructure, including WorldCat and the services it supports.

The proof is in the performance

In FY23, we celebrated a wide range of accomplishments, all of which owe their success to being an extraordinary place to work. For example:

  • We grew WorldCat and continued to improve its record quality. OCLC staff and processes merged and enriched 63.2 million bibliographic records, and our member libraries improved 16.4 million more. We also worked with 300+ library staff to enhance the machine-learning models that allow us to improve metadata quality management at a scale that humans alone can’t match. This is a key factor in our success, as the scope and quality of WorldCat data are what drive so much of the utility of our connected library technologies.
  • We introduced Choreo Insights, a service that enables libraries to better analyze and address collection diversity issues. Dr. Liladhar R. Pendse, Librarian for East European and Latin American Studies, and a DEI collection thought leader, participated in its testing and development and strongly recommends it as an essential tool for building complementary and interdependent DEI collections.
  • We continue to add linked data entities and entity types to continue our move toward the future of library metadata. In addition, we developed the capability to ingest BIBFRAME 2.x-formatted data and convert it to MARC for inclusion in WorldCat. This ecosystem will facilitate data creation, editing, and curation; management of authoritative data; and integration of data across disparate workflows.

Our recognition from Computerworld is more than an honor—it’s a sign of our commitment to you, our member libraries. It signifies our resolve to provide you with innovative solutions, nurtured by the best talent and driven by foresight and a deep understanding of the library sector.

Here’s to the future we’re building together—filled with promise, innovation, and the unwavering dedication to excel in serving libraries around the globe.