SWITCH Library Consortium

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SWITCH Library Consortium

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What is SWITCH?


Address: 6801 North Yates Road, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53217 (within the Cardinal Stritch University library)
Phone: 414-351-2423

SWITCH, which stands for the Southeastern Wisconsin Information Technology Exchange, Inc. is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization set up in the late 1980’s by participating private colleges in the Milwaukee area. Its purpose is to help advance the effective implementation of information technology at its member libraries and institutions and to facilitate cooperative ventures between its member institutions:

These private colleges serve a diverse student body from traditional age, on-campus students to adult non-traditional students spanning a number of states and countries. Read more about our member institutions.

View our current SWITCH pamphlet (PDF)

Current Undertakings

  • An integrated library automation system with a unified database and a shared online catalog (TOPCAT) using software from Innovative Interfaces, Inc.
  • Access to the following modules: Acquisitions, Cataloging, Circulation, Community Information, Materials/Equipment Booking, Reserves, and Serials
  • An inter-institutional delivery system that runs Monday-Friday
  • Access to remote online databases
  • Shared system technical assistance
  • Shared staff training and professional development

Since implementing the automation system in 1991, SWITCH has maintained its relationship with the vendor Innovative Interfaces, which now has over 25 years of experience and has become the industry leader with its suite of Web and JavaTM-based Millennium products.

The organization has evolved over the years -- from one which supplies internet access, computer hardware, and “dumb” terminals with four members, to one that provides effective customer service, training, and cutting edge technology to eight member libraries. With the growth of campus IT departments, many of SWITCH’s earlier Internet services were no longer needed. In 2002, SWITCH underwent a reorganization with a new mandate to concentrate solely on provide service and support to the member libraries and their staff. New positions were created for SWITCH employees and further expansion of the consortium was de-emphasized.

SWITCH works to support and highlight the library services and collections of its member libraries and institutions. This new mission is to be achieved by:

  • Working to better support the facilitation of library services at the SWITCH libraries.
  • Working to identify improved techniques and staff training opportunities.
  • Working to increase and improve access to each other’s library collections.
  • Working to identify ways to showcase the materials owned by the SWITCH libraries.

Strategic Plan for SWITCH

20 Years and Going

As of 2008, the Southeastern Wisconsin Information Technology Exchange (SWITCH) has been in existence twenty years.

Click to view our up-to-date organizational history.

In 2008, SWITCH was the featured institution on Innovative Interface's web page dedicated to consortia.

The 2011-2012 academic year marks the 20th anniversary of TOPCAT, our shared online catalog. (Timeline of TOPCAT's 20 Years)


  • Bill Topritzhofer: Coordinator & Technical Support Specialist - Bill is the contact for all technical and administrative issues
  • Jenny Schmidt: Support Staff Librarian - Jenny is the contact for staff training, Web Opac and professional development issues
  • Judy Jankowski, Database Consultant - Judy is the consortium contact for continued maintenance of database records and authority control.

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Contact Us | ©2008-2010 by Southeastern Wisconsin Information Technology Exchange (SWITCH), Inc. All rights reserved.
Last Updated: 6/18/12