OCLC's Cookie Notice

Revised: 15 March 2019

This notice applies to OCLC's websites and services that display a link to this notice.  OCLC may post updates to this notice from time to time.

When OCLC uses the word "cookies" on our websites or services, we are referring to cookies, web beacons and other tracking technologies that store and access information on the device that you use to access our websites or services. Unless prohibited by laws that apply to you, your use of the website or service serves as your consent to the use of cookies.  Alternatively, your consent to the use of cookies may have been provided by your acknowledgement via a banner that displayed on our website or service.

What are cookies and web beacons?

A cookie is a text file which is downloaded to your device when you visit one of our websites. Cookies are read by the website on subsequent visits or by other websites that recognize the cookie. Cookies are useful because they help OCLC arrange the content and layout of our websites and recognize those computers that have been to our websites before. They allow us to remember users’ preference settings and play an important role in helping OCLC enhance the usability and performance of our websites and services, as well as your experience using them. Some cookies are also essential to enable you to move around our website and use its features. They also help us to identify which of our articles are the most popular and the types of journey visitors have to our websites.

Cookies are often categorized by their lifespan:

  • Session cookie is a cookie that is erased when the user closes the browser
  • Persistent cookie is a cookie that remains on the user’s computer/device for a pre-defined period of time after the browser session is closed

Cookies can also be “first-party” or “third-party”. First-party means that the cookie is set directly by OCLC and its affiliates and third-party means the cookie is set by someone else on our behalf (e.g. data analytics).

We may also track IP addresses. An IP Address is a number that can identify an Internet Service Provider and country location.

Cookies may include flash cookies. These are a type of cookie which are collected via Adobe Flash media player – a piece of software which you probably have on your computer to help you watch online videos and listen to podcasts.

Web beacons are usually tiny transparent images that help websites track the activity of users on certain web pages. They can also send the website owner information in cookies such as whether an email with a web beacon in it has been opened. We use web beacons together with cookies to help us understand how a site user interacts with our websites and the emails OCLC may send, to help us improve your browsing experience, to ensure that content is relevant to you, and to better manage our website and email content.

How to control the use of cookies

You are not obliged to accept cookies and may modify your browser so that it will not accept cookies. The browser you use to surf the web not only allows you to see the cookies that you have got but also allows you to control their use.

You can control them by allowing them, deleting them individually or deleting all of them. You can also set your browser to not accept cookies altogether. If this option is selected, you should be aware that many websites and online services will not function properly or at all. It may be possible to set your browser to not accept cookies and ask for your consent before each cookie is set on your device. This gives you control over what is set on your device, however has the drawback of slowing down your browsing experience.

California Do Not Track Disclosure

Some web browsers may give you the ability to enable a "do not track" feature that sends signals to the websites you visit, indicating that you do not want your online activities tracked. This is different than blocking or deleting cookies, as browsers with a "do not track" feature enabled may still accept cookies. We do not respond to "do not track" signals at this time.

What are the types of cookies used by OCLC?

OCLC classifies cookies into five categories: Strictly Necessary Cookies, Performance Cookies, Functional Cookies, Targeting Cookies, and Social Media Cookies. To see a list of the cookies we have classified for our websites, see the following:

The list above will be updated as additional scans and classifications are completed.

If you have any questions about the use of cookies on our websites, please email: privacy@oclc.org