March 23, 2017

Cataloging at the Crossroads: Challenging the Only Show in Town


EVENT DATE AND TIME:Wednesday, June 13, 2012, 1:00 PM ET/10:00 AM PT

SPONSORED BY: SkyRiver Technology Solutions and Library Journal

The archive is no longer available.

With the acquisition of its last remaining competitor in 2006, OCLC became the only full service bibliographic utility in the U.S. The idea for a new, low-cost, highly functional alternative to OCLC for cataloging arose from a series of conversations with librarians who were interested in having a choice in library cataloging services, removing restrictions on the use of data, and finding a way to reduce costs during tough economic times.

SkyRiver Technology Solutions, launched in 2009, is increasingly seen as a viable alternative to OCLC. Our panel will examine the future for competition in the library cataloging marketplace in light of changing assumptions about library service, new technologies, and unprecedented economic challenges.

During the webcast, moderator Marshall Breeding, noted library automation expert, creator of Library Technology Guides, and formerly the Director for Innovative Technologies and Research for Vanderbilt University Libraries,will review the competitive landscape for bibliographic services today. Cliff Haka, Director of the Michigan State University Libraries, will talk about the need for creative solutions to issues facing academic libraries and describe the path to choosing SkyRiver at Michigan State.  Rivkah Sass, Director of Sacramento Public Library and LJ’s Librarian of the Year in 2006, will discuss the challenges facing public library systems in this era of draconian funding cutbacks and how her library has been able to cut costs, while improving staff efficiency and maintaining quality, by moving to SkyRiver. SkyRiver’s Leslie Straus will provide a brief overview of the company’s history and plans.

In the two and a half years since its introduction, use of SkyRiver has grown to some 70 installations serving several hundred libraries. SkyRiver’s bibliographic database, with its associated open data policy, has doubled in size since the utility’s launch date.

Learn what’s possible when you put old assumptions and cataloging routines aside and take a fresh look at available options.


Marshall Breeding serves is a speaker, writer, and consultant. He is the creator and editor of Library Technology Guides and the lib-web-cats online directory of libraries on the Web. He regularly teaches workshops and gives presentations at library conferences on a wide range of topics. Breeding was the 2010 recipient of the LITA LITA/Library Hi Tech Award for Outstanding Communication for Continuing Education in Library and Information Science. From 1985-2012 he held a variety of technology-oriented positions for the Vanderbilt University Library.




Born and raised in Chicago, Cliff Haka received his undergraduate degree from Western Illinois University, masters degrees in history and library science from the University of Illinois and MBA from the University of Kansas. Prior to coming to MSU, he held positions at the Illinois State Historical Library and the University of Kansas. He joined the staff of the MSU Libraries in 1982 and was appointed director of libraries in 1997. During his time as director, MSU Library endowments have grown from $400,000 to beyond six million dollars.


Rivkah K. Sass is Director of Sacramento, California’s Public Library system.  In 2006 she was named national Librarian of the Year by Library Journal for her work at the Omaha, Nebraska Public Library.  The LJ article called her “Risk taker, change agent, library true believer.” As deputy state librarian for the State of Maryland, she created the first public access network for libraries.  Rivkah received her library degree from the University of Washington in 1978.



After graduating with a library science degree from the University of Toronto, Leslie Straus started her library career as a cataloger at York University Libraries in Toronto.  In 2006 she retired from Innovative as VP of Worldwide Sales after 21 years with the company, mostly in the areas of sales, marketing and product management.   In 2009, she was invited to lead SkyRiver through its infancy to full production mode.



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  1. Barbara Brownell says:

    Hopefully I’ll be able to see this later. Right now, I have no sound, no picture, and no buttons will work to help me.

  2. I made this as my article and I felt very glad and I shared this to my fellow student librarians and teachers. Keep it up and more power.

    Relyn :)