OCLC Reviews | Glassdoor

OCLC Reviews

Updated February 16, 2017
88 reviews

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3.6
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OCLC President and Chief Executive Officer David "Skip" Prichard
David "Skip" Prichard
24 Ratings

88 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Decent work-life balance (*depending on who you work for) (in 12 reviews)

  • Great benefits to offset medium level salaries (in 11 reviews)

Cons
  • Senior management is not connected to staff; rarely see CEO or vice president walking around their departments (in 8 reviews)

  • Pay is somewhat low (but probably not unusual for a non-profit) (in 6 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Visionary and Modern"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Dublin, OH
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Dublin, OH
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at OCLC full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Necessary shifts and visionary change really taking hold. Compelling history and mission combined with bright technologists, committed leaders and a modern workplace

    Cons

    Many priorities. Have to say no in order to say yes. It comes from a desire to serve the customer.

    Advice to Management

    Keep to the path of change. It will pay off.


  2. Helpful (1)

    "Tremendous opportunity to innovate, some IT management stabilization required."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    You don't get to be called one of the top 100 places to work in IT for 10 years in a row unless you do something right. OCLC happens to be the place where the stars align to offer the world's libraries the complex solutions they need. Long before AOL sent billions of CDs to customers offering dial up internet, or the word SaaS became prevalent, OCLC had the foresight to execute a comprehensive IT strategy that helped customers access the WorldCat database using dial up (in the 90s) and SaaS (in 2010+). I have spent more than 20 years in the IT industry and am absolutely certain that the people I worked with were the most dedicated and smartest individuals who shared a passion for their work.

    They have an excellent campus with a great gym (free fitness coaching!). Free donuts on Fridays, extensive support for IT user groups and professional networking opportunities.

    Cons

    There are 2 areas where improvements can be made:
    1. Is OCLC an IT company or a Library information services company? Depending on who you talk to, and on what day, the answer changes. This means there is no clear strategy from the top as to what type of company they want to build out.

    2. The IT development area needs very strong, assertive leadership. It is unfortunate that a few individuals who have been there for a long time tend to do whatever they want, which means there is no commitment to standards and a lot of duplication of tools, effort, process redundancy etc. Jeff Jacobs (CIO) has made a lot of good changes, and continues to tweak the management structure, but this upheaval is causing some discomfort in the IT dev teams. If you are not in an IT management role, then this does not affect you, but if you are in a Management role in IT, there is some frustration to deal with.

    Advice to Management

    Communicating a clear IT strategy and making sure that IT Management sticks to the strategic plan will keep morale up. A lot of employees in IT have spent their entire career at OCLC and need more than just a reassurance that their efforts are still considered to be valuable.


  3. Helpful (3)

    "Big changes"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Dublin, OH
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Dublin, OH
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at OCLC full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Great Benefits, Nice location and beautiful campus.

    Cons

    Changes in Management have made OCLC a lot less enjoyable to work for.

    Advice to Management

    Remember you are a not for profit co-operative and not a for profit corporation!


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  5. "Overall a good place to work!"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at OCLC full-time

    Pros

    OCLC is a good solid place to work where you can feel safe and secure. The mission of supporting libraries is one you can always feel good about.

    Cons

    Technical leadership was a little thin with very little understanding of the difference between management and leadership.

    Advice to Management

    You need to inspire and energize not just measure and evaluate.


  6. Helpful (2)

    "Great mission, absent vision in upper management"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at OCLC full-time

    Pros

    Great mission --- OCLC is an inspiring place to work to help drive innovation in the library space. Fellow employees take their work seriously and are often motivated by the right thing instead of the get it out the door thing.

    Cons

    Senior management had trouble recognizing emerging trends in information distrobution and had a hard time pivoting the huge legacy software enterprise to adjust to the new reality.

    Senior management often a bit back-stabby and short-sighted. After I left they laid off a whole dev team just weeks before they were to release a large software update, thereby leaving many customers hanging.

    Advice to Management

    Love your customers. Clear the deadwood. When it is obvious that there is bickering between technical groups, rip off the bandaid and fix the core issue instead of letting it fester.


  7. Helpful (5)

    "Not the best, not the worst"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Manager in Dublin, OH
    Former Employee - Manager in Dublin, OH
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Healthcare Benefits: the benefits package is generous to say the least. My out of pocket is a fraction of what it used to be. One employee was unfortunately diagnosed with cancer and all of his bills were covered minus a few co-pays.

    Other benefits: a free on-site fitness center, a relaxation room, almost weekly celebrations/functions, CSA delivery in the summer months, communal gardens out back, walking paths, etc

    The hours: come in between 7-9 and leave between 4-6. Work from home options are available for most people.

    Work/Life Balance: I never worked late or had to pull long hours my entire time there.

    Compensation: the pay is fair. I think if you're a developer it might not be as good as other places, but the trade off are the work hours.

    Cons

    The mission: the senior management invested lots of time and money into articulating a new mission statement, but its vague and nobody seems to know what to do with it.

    Organizational structure: there are too many people in upper management, too many avenues for approval needed. We had a very small project we were working on and it needed approved by 5 managers and 17 people were on the team. It felt like a complete waste of productivity.

    Culture: the company is striving to shift the culture, but it is a very slow, resistant change. The average employee has been there 15 years, but there are countless 20, 30, 40 + year employees there. This leads to antiquated thinking and lots of resting on laurels. If you come up with a new idea, be prepared to use a ridiculous amount of time and energy defending it, and don't be surprised if it doesn't happen.

    Pace: if you're used to working and being busy, the pace here can be mind-numbing. The work/life balance comes at a bit of a price when it comes to this. Yes, you leave on time every day but it's mainly because there isn't much to do.

    Diversity: The executive management team is made up of mostly older white men (with the exception of a few token women, also white) and while the company talks about diversity, I don't think they understand how to address it. Showing movies doesn't solve the problem.

    Hierarchy: it's understandable that a company of this size has to have people in charge, but god forbid if they take the time to learn people's names or understand some of the ground-level issues with the employees.

    Trust: this is a huge issue with the organization. Trust is hard-earned and not given. Be prepared to prove yourself over and over again before being given any type of reasonable responsibility. And the tasks you will be doing to prove yourself are menial at best. My first few months there, I was doing work that I would typically delegate to an intern.

    Advice to Management

    Offer early retirement packages to people who have been there for a long time. This will allow you to infuse the company with newer people and diverse perspectives. Embrace change and take risks. Trust your employees. Invest in creating a professional development program for employees who crave growth opportunities.


  8. "Lead Metadata Specialist"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Lead Metadata Specialist in Columbus, OH
    Current Employee - Lead Metadata Specialist in Columbus, OH
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Great company for learning and professional growing. Very diverse, motivating and innovative

    Cons

    Some process are too slow, mainly on sales and customer services


  9. "Great place to work"

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

    I have been working at OCLC full-time

    Pros

    Great place all around to work. Committed to mission.

    Cons

    None at this time. Great place to work.


  10. "senior software engineer"

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

    I have been working at OCLC full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Amazing work environment
    great work life balance
    on par with industry for compensation

    Cons

    no compliants at the time

    Advice to Management

    none as of yet


  11. Helpful (12)

    "Lost in translation"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Great people committed to a solid mission. Genuine commitment to the library community. Outstanding benefits. HR staff and leadership in most areas is forward thinking and genuinely wants to improve the organization.

    Cons

    IT leadership rules with fear and intimidation. Definitely not a good work environment. Too many vanity projects and very little delivery of value to the customers. Staff are afraid to bring bad news, so hide or sugar coat to avoid being the target of ridicule. Can't find find the IT leaders half the time. The IT leadership despise Europeans and downsized almost all of the European IT staff.

    Advice to Management

    Real improvement is delivering value to the customers, not a pretty pictures of servers and misstatements about project success. Money is made by software and services that improve customers not the JP Morgan way.



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