SkyRiver vs. OCLC antitrust lawsuit

“In a move that could have far-reaching implications for competition in the library software and technology services industry, SkyRiver Technology Solutions, LLC has filed suit in federal court in San Francisco against OCLC Online Computer Library Center, Inc. The suit alleges that OCLC, a purported non-profit with a membership of 72,000 libraries worldwide, is unlawfully monopolizing the markets for cataloging services, interlibrary lending, and bibliographic data, and attempting to monopolize the market for integrated library systems, by anticompetitive and exclusionary practices. ” Karen Coyle has a great series of posts explaining what is really going on

The article quotes Karen Coyle as saying

As the representative of a major ILS company explained to me a few years ago, the library market is a zero-sum game: every time one vendor wins, others must lose, because the number of customers is not growing. The library market is a pie that can be divided into any number of slices, but the pie remains the same. This makes the rise of any one company a threat to all. In the commercial marketplace, the vendors compete over functionality and price. With its non-profit status OCLC has a distinct advantage: it doesn’t pay federal income tax on the revenues it brings in. That said, given its size and depth of its involvement in day-to-day library operations, it is plausible that even without its non-profit status OCLC would be a formidable competitor for ILS vendors.

Interesting times indeed. Follow the conversation on Twitter by looking for the skyoclc tag or read posts to the autocat mailing list that mention SkyRiver and OCLC. [via openlibrary]

job opening: data munger needed for Open Library project

I rarely post links to job here because it seems to me that most postings for library jobs are more or less the same. This one is different. The Open Library project, which I linked to here before, is looking for some new folks. You’d be working with a fun team of geniuses, most notably Karen Coyle who is the chief librarian of the project. Telecommuting an option. Interested? Read the job description, then email Aaron and tell him you heard about it here.

Tasks include: working with our chief librarian, Karen Coyle, to implement algorithms to do data merging and other processing tasks; writing scrapers and crawlers to grab various data sources; writing importers to parse this data into something that can be imported into our database; and managing all the people who want to help us with these tasks.

Google’s contract with UC and UM libraries for digitizing project reviewed

Now that Google’s digitizing contracts with two libraries have been made public, they can be compared and contrasted. Techie librarian Karen Coyle compares and comments. “[A]ccess is to be restricted to “those persons having a need to access such materials” which is about the vaguest access condition that I can imagine.” [experimenting with digg today]