January 19, 2022

K. Wayne Smith, Former President and CEO of OCLC, Dies at 82

From OCLC:

Dr. K. Wayne Smith, former President and CEO of OCLC, has died at the age of 82.

Smith led OCLC from 1989–1998, a period of enormous growth. He came to OCLC after a distinguished career in government, education, and business.

Smith taught in higher education, worked in national security at the highest levels of the U.S. federal government, and was a successful leader in the business world. He served as CEO at World Book Encyclopedia before coming to OCLC.


“Wayne led OCLC into the internet age,” said Skip Prichard, OCLC President and CEO. “He deserves a great deal of credit for putting OCLC on firm financial footing at a critical time in the organization’s history. His contributions have had a profound influence on the course of OCLC, and on libraries around the world.”

Smith led OCLC’s move from largely a back-office computer service for library professionals doing cataloging and interlibrary loan work, to the reference desk, where libraries were using new OCLC core services designed for the patron, such as online reference and electronic publishing.

During his tenure, OCLC introduced a variety of innovative services, including the EPIC and FirstSearch online reference services, Electronic Dewey, Electronic Journals Online, PromptCat, ILL Fee Management, OCLC Authority Control, and CatCD for Windows, to name a few. He also opened offices in Canada, Latin America and the Caribbean.

Learn More, Read the Complete Post

See Also: The Wit and Wisdom of Dr. K. Wayne Smith

A compilation [68 pages; PDF] of observations, comments, and sayings taken from the remarks of K. Wayne Smith during his tenure as president and chief executive officer, OCLC Online Computer Library Center, Inc., January 23, 1989 to May 8, 1998

See Also: ATG Interviews: K. Wayne Smith
Source: Against the Grain (Vol 10 No 1;  February 1998)

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.