OCLC Reviews

Updated March 11, 2015
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3.9
53 Reviews
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OCLC President and Chief Executive Officer David "Skip" Prichard
David "Skip" Prichard
7 Ratings

Pros
  • Excellent physical working environment and equipment (in 5 reviews)

  • Matrix organization with flexibility to work from home (in 3 reviews)

Cons
  • Top heavy, arrogant mostly home grown disconnected senior management team (in 5 reviews)

  • Too traditional in senior management (in 4 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

Employee Reviews

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  1. Great place to work

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Dublin, OH
    Current Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Dublin, OH

    I have been working at OCLC full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Relaxed atmosphere, can be cutting edge, library science is fascinating.

    Cons

    Some uncertainty about the roles of libraries in the future.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep at it!

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
  2. One of the best places to work in IT in Columbus, but could improve to retain top talent

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Dublin, OH
    Former Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Dublin, OH

    I worked at OCLC full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    * Work-life balance is extremely good. I can probably count on 1 hand how many times I was asked to stay late in my 5 years there.
    * Very relaxed atmosphere. People wear jeans, and as long as they put in their 8 hours and don't miss meetings, they can come and go as they please. If something comes up at home, they don't mind the occasional work from home. Some more senior engineers work from home 1 day a week regularly.
    * They offer a pension savings plan in addition to the thrift matching 403b plan.
    * Layoffs in engineering (excluding management) are exceedingly rare. Many people there have been there for 15 years or more.
    * Because they're a non-profit, they have documented salary ranges for each pay grade and guidelines for merit increases and promotions. The ranges are very broad, but at least you have some insight.
    * As of 2012ish, all teams are Scrum and not waterfall. It's been a push that had been going on for at least 3 years before that.
    * For a company of this size and age, they have a surprising amount of new technology (Groovy, Grails, Gradle, Hadoop/HBase, Mule).
    * They have a cafeteria with discounted food (sold at cost, OCLC pays for profit margin), and a wellness center (besides a gym, they offer classes, coaching, etc).
    * A significant amount of training is offered when you onboard (especially for new grads).
    * They don't send everybody every year, but you'll regularly be offered the opportunity to attend professional conferences.
    * Most employees believe in OCLC's mission, and that they are doing good in the world. For some, this makes the downsides easier to overlook.
    * They regularly have a 3rd party administer surveys of employee satisfaction. These don't result in sweeping changes, but they aren't ignored either.
    * They host a fair amount of company events. They've done something for Christmas off and on, every year they do a 4th of July event with a musician and children's activities earlier in the day, employees watch Dublin fireworks from the lawn. Every year, the OSU alumni band visits before the rivalry game. Oh, and they have bring your dog to work day, and bring your son/daughter to work day every year too.
    * Currently, COJUG meets at the OCLC office, which is very convenient.

    Cons

    * Pay is somewhat low (but probably not unusual for a non-profit).
    * While initial training is significant, it seems to drop off later (except when absolutely critical).
    * Things like TDD, pair programming, allowing time to work in open source are hit or miss depending on your team. The vast majority of the company are what I call 9 to 5 engineers just putting their time in without much passion (though this is slowly improving). But there are some truly exceptional engineers there (and not all of them are the younger ones). If you're on the right team, you can find the work very fulfilling.
    * You don't really get a say in what project you work on next or the technical direction you'd like to pursue. It's difficult (though not impossible) to move across divisions. These kinds of decisions are rather top-down and bureaucratic. The PDPs you work on with your manager during annual reviews often have little correlation to your professional goals, and are often worded as project goals which usually are changed between reviews anyway.
    * Because of the culture (which might be in part because it's an older demographic) and size of the organization (over 1000), there can be a lot of red tape in getting things done (this seemed to be particularly the case when you needed something done by another group).
    * They've struggled for years to knock down information and communication silos between divisions. It's improving, but they aren't there yet. This again isn't unusual for a company of this size.
    * Some of the engineering practices and technology adoption have been slow to change (varying greatly depending on your team). Upper management has been supportive of people pushing for these changes, but they probably need to more proactive to make those changes.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Accelerate the change in culture to retain the talented engineers. Be more proactive, and allow more flexibility in meeting employee's professional goals.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3. Doesn't get much better than this.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Dublin, OH
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Dublin, OH

    I have been working at OCLC full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Job flexibiliity: Able to move around and do different things. Work from home, flexible hours. Onsite gym, picturesque campus. Relatively up to date development environments.

    Cons

    Pace is slower than most technical companies, if that is a concern to you. If it's not, I think you are in the wrong line of work. Unclear direction during transition to new management. It will get better, just may take some time.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep on keeping on.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5. Worthy mission and great staff, though a bit staid

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at OCLC full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    Great people overall, many with very long-term commitments to the company. Many are there out of a sense of mission and commitment to supporting the library field, and public libraries/librarians in particular. Good place if you'd like to put down roots, support or connect with library sciences field, doing some interesting work with cloud services and advanced metadata. Decent benefits.

    Cons

    It's the primary tech infrastructure for what feels like a whole field struggling to hold on, and it services organizations that often are extremely budget constrained. It's nominally a tech company, but it doesn't feel like or attract talent like you might expect a larger tech company to.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    None in particular. Good spot to work, tough industry and market.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6. 1 person found this helpful

    Great organization, great mission, great people

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at OCLC full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Work/Life balance is excellent. As a non-profit in the library sector, many of the people at OCLC either come from a library background or have some connection to libraries, and all are in support of OCLC's mission which is to help libraries do what they do. Helping libraries is the bottom line.

    Cons

    OCLC has been around since the late 60's and was very innovative at the time, but was quite late in getting into the web. They are doing their best to make up for lost time but still struggle with legacy systems and dependencies. Over the years it's apparently been difficult to say "No" to all the requests.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Just got new CEO and CIO so have opportunity to make some major changes to set OCLC's future vision and strategy. You have many good people who have been with OCLC a long time and have good ideas so take advantage of their experience.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7. A great place to work.

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at OCLC

    Pros

    OCLC is a company that cares about its employees. They have many great benefits and a great working environment.

    Cons

    Process can be crippling at times.

  8. 1 person found this helpful

    Fun, relaxed environment.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Intern - Intern in Columbus, OH
    Current Intern - Intern in Columbus, OH

    I have been working at OCLC as an intern (less than a year)

    Pros

    A lot of passionate people working towards a great goal.

    Cons

    Can be a little slow at times, politics can get in the way especially between the old and new guard.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Decide whether OCLC is a technology or library company.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9. 1 person found this helpful

    Great workplace, great staff and interesting projects for a not-for-profit.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior Project Manager in Dublin, OH
    Current Employee - Senior Project Manager in Dublin, OH

    I have been working at OCLC full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Flexible work environment, Company that is interested in keeping up with latest technology. Not-for-profit atmosphere.

    Cons

    Lower pay than what a similar position could bring in a for-profit. Slow and not as agile as might be possible.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Focus on a fewer products and lead the teams to greatness.

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  10. 2 people found this helpful

    6.5 years as an Art Director

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Art Director in Dublin, OH
    Former Employee - Art Director in Dublin, OH

    I worked at OCLC full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Great location, working environment, professional staff, room for advancement, great benefits

    Cons

    In my experience, the cons were minimal. I worked with an excellent team of individuals.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Not everyone that worked at OCLC had the same experience (per different managers, etc.)...however, the reason I rate my experience so high is that my coworkers truly cared about my life beyond what I could do in the office.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11. 1 person found this helpful

    A place to grow professionally and intellectually

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Product Manager in Dublin, OH
    Current Employee - Product Manager in Dublin, OH

    I have been working at OCLC full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    Most people are smart and interested in new ideas. Many people will help you if you ask. OCLC is ahead of most companies in methodologies.

    Cons

    Still some deficiencies in leadership - decisions are too democratic.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get everyone aligned to some very simple and tangible goals and take the fast track to those goals.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

OCLC Photos

Kilgour Building, named after the founder of OCLC, Fred Kilgour.
Kilgour Building Foyer

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