Partnership means that the division of responsibility is agreed from the outset. Many library groups that OCLC works with are independent organizations that are solely responsible for the services they provide to their libraries. They decide for themselves to what extent they involve OCLC in service delivery. Some partners, such as the Gemeinsamer Bibliotheksverbund (GBV), work completely autonomously. They license the infrastructure software and metadata capabilities from OCLC but manage the service delivery to libraries themselves.
The GBV system is the largest implementation of OCLC’s bibliographic infrastructure technology worldwide. The GBV is formed by the seven German federal states of Bremen, Hamburg, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Lower Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt, Schleswig-Holstein, Thuringia and the Foundation of Prussian Cultural Heritage. It comprises more than 770 libraries, including all state, local, university and technical college libraries in the participating member states as well as the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin and the UB Potsdam.
VZG hosts and maintains GBV’s regional system and provides the services. VZG’s staff provide first- and second-line support and perform their own conversions, imports and exports as well as their own system configuration.