Until fairly recently it has been all quiet on the shared cataloguing front. Cataloguing departments taking records from the Library of Congress, other National libraries, or one of many other libraries that share their Z39.50 connections. Many libraries also being members of an organisation to share the cataloguing load, such as OCLC, or Talis Base in the UK.
About a year ago dust started to stir on the surface of this stable landscape, when OCLC caused a curfuffle with their move to redefine their record reuse policy. Then in January, open source library system vendor announced ‡Biblios.net, a free cataloguing service in which you can share with other libraries. In the last few weeks we have had SkyRiver arrive on the scene. Not much visible on their site yet, but according to press releases they hope to deliver quality at a lower costs - so things are a changing.
Unfortunately nobody was available from OCLC, ‡Biblios, or SkyRiver, to help talk through what these moves might mean. Nevertheless Gang members Marshall Breeding and Frances Haugen were on hand to explore the ramifications of these moves and what a more competitive landscape might mean for the players in this market.