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III’s CEO, Jerry Kline, is launching SkyRiveron Friday.  SkyRiver is an alternative bibliographic utility, akin (and competition to) OCLC and LibLime’s ‡biblios.net.  From the Library Journal story today:

A new company called SkyRiver has launched a bibliographic utility, directly challenging long-dominant OCLC. Over the last 18 years, strategic acquisitions by OCLC have narrowed competition, but SkyRiver—founded by Jerry Kline, the owner and co-founder of Innovative Interfaces—aims to expand the market and offer an alternative bibliographic utility for cataloging that could save libraries up to 40 percent off their expenditures for bibliographic services.

The product is stated as being open, and offering bibliographic records without many of the restrictions that the other products have.  No information about pricing has been released.  Speculation abounds about OCLC’s reaction to SkyRiver.  So far we’ve had silence, but some anticipate a more vocal response after the launch date.

“III’s CEO launches SkyRiver, competition to OCLC records”

  1. Diedre Conkling Says:

    I know that we all want to cut costs wherever we can but this would have to be a resource that provided more than cataloging records for me to be interested.

    OCLC does provide much more than cataloging records. The interlibrary loan capabilities are going to continue to be better than the possibilities with other services unless one of them suddenly becomes a real draw for the majority of libraries around the world.

    There are many other services provided by OCLC, including digitalization resources, database subscriptions, Webcat, Webjunction and even WebDewey. Yes, some of these can be obtained from other companies but not another bibliographic utility company.

    I also look to OCLC as the place that is able to do real research in our field. Not many other places have the money to do the research we need.

    I think it is great that others are providing cataloging records but I don’t think OCLC should be very worried about it yet. They are going to be the giants in this area for some time to come.

  2. Sarah Says:

    Of course OCLC offers more than just bibliographic records. They offer many products. However, why can a library not obtain bibliographic records from another company, and then use those records along with other “purchased” OCLC products? There is no excuse anymore for OCLC not making their bibliographic records database open access. Proprietary records are a thing of the past. It’s just going to take a while for OCLC’s Board to realize that, I think. A day is soon coming, though, when OCLC will have to realize that the products they create are not meeting user needs (especially public, school, and small libraries), and that they either follow the open access and open source trends in our profession and the world at large, or they resign themselves to becoming an antiquated dinosaur of a “member-based” institution with no happy members left to speak of. I think they’ll make the right choice.

  3. anonymous Says:

    I’m suspicious of this. It sounds to me that the records they’re using are being pulled from the catalogs of libraries that use III as an ILS. I would assume that most of those records originated from the OCLC database. I don’t believe that they’re suggesting creating their own catalog records, and it did not sound to me like they’re using original cataloging just from SkyRiver customers only.

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