Author Archive: Marshall Breeding

Library System Report

2022 Library Systems Report

May 2, 2022

The emergence of such a large business at the top of the industry has accelerated consolidation among mid-level players that aim to increase scale and efficiency to remain competitive. This was a banner year for consolidation of midsize competitors, with more acquisitions than any prior year. These deals raise concerns about weakened competition, but they … Continue reading 2022 Library Systems Report


Dispatches, by Marshall Breeding

A Model for Privacy?

March 1, 2022

In general, there are four approaches that libraries can take in relation to patron privacy. As library leaders consider implementing new tools for improving user outreach, they need to consider which model best suits their mission and strategic initiatives: Strict privacy. At one end of the spectrum, the library configures its integrated library system (ILS) … Continue reading A Model for Privacy?


Follett School Solutions Sold to Private Equity Firm

September 8, 2021

Follett School Solutions’ products include the Destiny Library Manager used by many US K–12 school libraries, the Aspen Student Information System, and the Titlewave ecommerce platform, which it uses to distribute print and digital content for educational institutions. The company was acquired from Follett Corporation, a family-owned business based in Westchester, Illinois. While divesting its … Continue reading Follett School Solutions Sold to Private Equity Firm


Clarivate to Acquire ProQuest

May 25, 2021

The acquisition means a change of ownership for ProQuest but will not substantially affect the products and services purchased by libraries since Clarivate’s products and services do not typically compete in the library market. As part of Clarivate, ProQuest and its technology businesses Ex Libris and Innovative Interfaces potentially gain access to resources that will … Continue reading Clarivate to Acquire ProQuest


2021 Library Systems Report (Illustration: Tom Deja)

2021 Library Systems Report

May 3, 2021

Only a few minor acquisitions took place in this deeply consolidated industry last year. Unlike in 2019, none of these transactions altered the overall balance of power among competitors. Vendors made extraordinary efforts to help customer libraries cope with changed services while they continued product development agendas looking beyond current circumstances. Responses to the crisis … Continue reading 2021 Library Systems Report


Photo illustration: © Dariusz Jarzabek/Adobe Stock (library); © nongkran_ch/Adobe Stock (circles)

2020 Library Systems Report

May 1, 2020

Technology for public library automation has been mired in stagnation. It takes a substantial level of development to both maintain existing products and build next-generation technologies for the emerging realities of a given library sector. Will Ex Libris opt to invent a new platform for public libraries, as it did for academics? How it responds may … Continue reading 2020 Library Systems Report


COVID-19 vendor resources

Vendor Responses to COVID-19

April 15, 2020

Library vendors, like the libraries they serve, have shifted their operations to a primarily work-from-home model. Almost all support services and software development continue in this way. Most were well prepared to make the change, because many of their employees are accustomed to working remotely. No major service interruptions or lapses in support have taken … Continue reading Vendor Responses to COVID-19


BiblioCommons logo

BiblioCommons Acquired by Constellation Software

February 14, 2020

The transaction marks a departure from its status as a founder-owned company. Though BiblioCommons will continue to operate independently, it now falls under the ownership of a large multinational technology firm managing a diverse portfolio of technology and software companies. But unlike general private equity firms, Constellation has never sold the companies it acquires. Long-term … Continue reading BiblioCommons Acquired by Constellation Software



Ex Libris and Innovative Interfaces logos

ProQuest to Acquire Innovative Interfaces

December 9, 2019

Since December 2015, Ex Libris has been owned by ProQuest. In addition to its role as a major content provider to libraries, ProQuest is now responsible for a growing portfolio of library technology products, including major systems for resource management, content discovery, materials acquisition, reading list integration, and research services. While ProQuest faces major competition … Continue reading ProQuest to Acquire Innovative Interfaces


Dispatches, by Marshall Breeding

Personalization vs. Privacy

November 1, 2019

Commercial websites aim to capture as much personal data as possible. This data powers a global advertising ecosystem designed to strengthen retail sales through finely targeted ad placement. To manage websites and internet technologies in ways that reflect their values, libraries invariably must make difficult choices and compromises. While they may not be able to … Continue reading Personalization vs. Privacy