OCLC's Cookie Policy

Cookies and tracking technologies

When OCLC speaks about cookies on our websites or services, we may mean cookies and web beacons.

What is a cookie?

A cookie is a text file containing a small amount of data which is downloaded to your computer when you visit one of our websites or see one of our adverts elsewhere on the internet. The vast majority of websites use cookies and tracking technologies. 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.

What is a Flash cookie?

This is a type of cookie which is 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. OCLC does not use Flash cookies at the moment.

What is a web beacon?

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.

Below is a short description of generally recognized categories of cookies, though you should note that OCLC does NOT use all four (4) of the categories.

1. Essential Cookies

  • Description: These cookies are essential for the running of our websites. Without the use of these cookies parts of our websites or services would not function.
  • OCLC’s Use of Essential Cookies: 
    • See table below.

2. Analytical Performance Cookies

  • Description: These types of cookies are used to monitor a website’s performance and how users may use it. These cookies provide information that helps the cite owner provide better products to their users and also to identify any areas that may need maintenance.
  • OCLC’s Use of Performance Cookies:
    • See table below.

3. Functional Cookies

  • Description: Functional cookies are used to remember your preferences on our websites. This can be anything from remembering your city in a weather forecast or saving your username.
  • OCLC’s Use of Functional cookies: 
    • See table below.

4. Behavioral Advertising Cookies

  • Description: Use of cookies for online behavioral advertising is a way of providing advertisements on the websites you visit and making them more relevant to your interests. This is done by grouping together shared interests based upon previous web browsing activity. Advertising is then displayed to you when you visit a website which matches these interests. Behavioral advertising is based upon your web browsing activity over a period of time - so it's different to advertising you may see when you're looking for something online using a search engine (e.g. Google) or on the website you may be visiting at a particular time.
  • OCLC’s Use of Behavioral Advertising Cookies: 
    • NONE

We may also track IP addresses. An IP Address is a number that can identify an Internet Service Provider and country location. It cannot provide other personal information.

Below is a current list of the cookies OCLC uses on its main sites and services, a short description of the cookie and the period of time the cookie will remain on your device if you take no actions to block or remove the cookie.

Cookie Name


Persistence if no actions taken


This strictly necessary cookie is used by the system to validate and redirect returning users.

10 minutes

owcLocRedirectSession, owcLocRedirectPersistent

These strictly necessary cookies are used to temporarily retain redirect information.


_nr.local, _nr.selected, no_inst

These strictly necessary cookie are used to prevent redirecting a user to another site


_r_sc,  _r_pc,  _r_id,  _r_al,  _r_ct,  _r_dp,  _r_hs,  _r_db

These performance cookies are used by OCLC for testing purposes, such as to ensure the site allows case sensitive replies.

Session (Only used on occasion when OCLC is testing its services)

LAC-Alert-Empty-Profile, LAC-User-Query, LAC-User-FacetedQuery

These functional cookies are used to retain previous queries on the site during the session or prevent repeated notifications to user.


LAC-User-Location, LAC-User-Lang, LAC-Preferred-Country, oclc_website

These functional cookies are used to record country/site and language that the user is accessing. 

1 Year

OWC-Lib-Symbol               OWC-Lib-Name

These functional cookies are used to record a users location and library to display appropriate bibliographic records.

1 Year

LAC-User-LoginName         LAC-User-RememberMe

These functional cookies are used to remember the user that logged in and, if clicked, to also remember that user.

30 Days

LAC-Debug-Flag                     LAC-User-Databases        LAC-SR-Url                         LAC-User-FedState            LAC-User-Scope-Holding-*

These functional cookies are used to help debug the cite and temporarily store user preferences.



This functional cookie is used to identify the user's state for display of library holdings information.


dblist                                            srUrl

These functional cookies are used to store a list of database identifiers and URLS of from within the service.



This functional cookie is used to store the value of the certain federated databases searched.


_atuvc, uid, ssh, sshs, uit, di, dt, uid

These functional cookies are from Add This, which provides the social networking widget found in many of our pages. This widget gives you the tools to bookmark our sites, share, tweet and e-mail content from OCLC to a friend or colleague.

Up to 2 years

_utma, _utmz, _utmc

These functional cookies from Google Analytics are used to better understand how our users navigate to and through our websites, how long users spend on pages and track site effectiveness

Up to 2 years

s_sq, s_cc, s_vi

These functional cookies from Omniture provides OCLC with our web analytics data or detailed information on the performance of our websites, such as how many total users have visited

Up to 2 years

CASTGC, sitebar, 8t634XE8zcNA

These strictly necessary cookies are used to authenticate users to our sites and provide access



These functional cookies are used to provide additional site use information to OCLC

Session or 24 hours

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.

There are different levels of control too. You are able to prevent just third party cookies being deployed, effectively opting out of behavioral advertising, and some even allow you to block specific companies you do not wish to deploy a cookie, instead of selecting all companies.

In order to manage your cookies, please select your browser from the list below and follow the instructions:

Mobile devices:

Useful information about Cookies

Further information about cookies can be found on the following websites:

All About Cookies
Your Online Choices
Information Commissioners Office
Direct Marketing Association
Microsoft Cookies Guide

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

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