The December 2009 issue of Smart Libraries Newsletter covered the launch of SkyRiver, a new company providing bibliographic services in competition with OCLC. Michigan State University, as noted in the article, partnered with the company as its first customer, and switched its production cataloging operations in November of 2009.
One premise of SkyRiver involves the option to continue to use OCLC or other resource sharing and interlibrary loan services even as a library adopts SkyRiver as its primary cataloging utility. Bibliographic records created through SkyRiver could be batch loaded into OCLC with holdings codes updated to maintain an up-to-date representation of the library's collection needed to fully participate as an interlibrary loan lender. MSU was prepared to maintain its annual ILL subscription fees and pay a reasonable amount for the batch loading records with holdings, referencing a published fee of $0.23 per record. OCLC, however, saw the process as a more complex service, requiring a new kind of subscription fee that resulted in a net charge as much as $2.85 per record, cancelling out any savings in pursuing alternative cataloging services. This controversy continues to simmer pending any possible compromise.
In the meantime, SkyRiver continues to attract some new customers. In March 2010 Scottsdale Public Library announced that it has switched its cataloging operations to SkyRiver. West Bloomfield Public Library shifted to SkyRiver in January 2010. Two large library networks, Greater Western Library Alliance and Midwest Collaborative for Library Services now partner with SkyRiver to make the service available to their members, though no specific sales have yet been announced as a result.