Highsmith Purchased by W. W. Grainger

Highsmith Purchased by W. W. Grainger

Library supply company Highsmith, headquartered in Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin, has been purchased by Lab Safety Supply, a direct-marketing subsidiary of Chicago-based facilities maintenance supplier W. W. Grainger. Terms of the acquisition, announced in the business press July 10, were not disclosed. Highsmith’s operations, with anticipated sales for 2008 in the range of $20–$30 million, will be integrated with LSS by the end of the year.

”We are pleased to be adding Highsmith to our specialty catalog group,” said LSS President Larry Loizzo. “They have built a solid brand position in the library and school supplies market over the past 50 years; we intend to build upon it.”

Founded in 1956, Highsmith is a distributor of equipment, supplies, and furniture to public, academic, and school libraries. The company is an American Library Association Library Champion and funds two ALA awards, the Public Library Association’s Highsmith Library Innovation Award, and the American Association of School Librarians’ Highsmith Research Grant. It also supports state library association initiatives, including the Campaign for Wisconsin Libraries, an initiative of the Wisconsin Library Association Foundation.

In 2006, Highsmith cosponsored the interior renovation of the historic Children’s Resource Center branch of the New Orleans Public Library, which suffered damage from Hurricane Katrina.

Posted on July 11, 2008. Discuss.