Global library cooperative Online Computer Library Center, Inc. (OCLC), US, has adopted a new governance structure designed to extend participation in the cooperative to an increasing number of libraries and cultural heritage institutions around the world. On May 20, the OCLC Members Council approved changes to the Articles of Incorporation and Code of Regulations that had been recommended by the Board of Trustees. The changes will transform the current Members Council into a Global Council that connects with Regional Councils worldwide.
Members Council also elected two delegates - Tony Ferguson, University Librarian, University of Hong Kong Libraries, and Sandy Yee, Dean of Libraries, Wayne State University, to six-year terms on the OCLC Board of Trustees. The new Global Council will replace the Members Council in a transition that is expected to take 12-18 months and will be coordinated between representatives of the 2008-2009 Members Council and the Board of Trustees.
Members Council passed a resolution recommending that Council, as a body, vote on the new recommended structure; that the Regional Councils should be set up based on agreed upon principles, and that they are funded properly. The resolution also stated that a methodology should be designed for broad representation of all types and sizes of institutions represented on Regional Councils.
At the conclusion of the meeting, Ms. Yee, outgoing OCLC Members Council President, handed the gavel to incoming Members Council President Loretta Parham, Library Director/CEO, The Atlanta University Center. The Council also elected Jan Ison, Executive Director, Lincoln Trail Libraries System as Vice President/President Elect for 2008/2009.
The OCLC governance structure was established in 1977 and was last reviewed and revised in 2000. That process led to changes such as adding more delegates from outside the United States. During that process, it was recommended that OCLC review its governance structure within a 10-year period.
The new governance structure comprises: Members, Regional Councils, Global Council and Board of Trustees. OCLC Members are those entities that meet a minimum threshold of engagement with OCLC as defined in the Membership and Governance Protocols. The purpose of the Regional Councils is to strengthen the cooperative throughout the world and make it easier to participate in its governance. Members will convene at one or more Regional Council meetings on a regular basis to keep current on issues of vital and immediate interest to the OCLC cooperative. The Global Council will be comprised of member delegates elected by the Regional Councils. The Global Council's principal responsibilities are to elect six members of the Board of Trustees and ratify amendments to the articles of incorporation and code of regulations of OCLC.
Under the new structure, the Board will normally have 15 trustees elected to a four-year term, but can vary in size from 13 to 17 trustees from time to time as determined by the trustees. The Global Council will elect six trustees, and the Board will elect the remaining trustees. The President and CEO will continue to hold a voting seat on the Board. The Board of Trustees performs all of the traditional fiduciary and constituency duties related to such governing bodies.