This chapter discusses the historical background and philosophy of Online Computer Library Center (OCLC). OCLC is committed by its charter to furthering the ease of access to and use of the ever-expanding body of worldwide scientific, literary, and educational information. This has been accomplished to date primarily by facilitating technical processing, thus, ensuring that the materials within a library are accessible quickly and economically to its users. In the process, OCLC has promoted the sharing of resources and, with its members, built a collected body of bibliographic information in electronic form that has no peer. This body of bibliographic information has added increasing value, not only to the technical services of the library, but also to the reference needs of library patrons and the entire scholarly and research community. OCLC is moving judiciously to meet research needs by furnishing a range of reference services, which will be available in a variety of system environments. Information will be available through remote, centralized reference facilities, from campus-based services, and directly at users' workstations.