Bibliotheca, the consolidated global company specializing in RFID products for libraries, announced a change in executive management of its North American operations. Shai Robkin will step down as President, and Al Coalla, formerly North American Sales Director will step into this position on October 1, 2012. Coalla joined Biblioteca in November 2011 and previously served as Director of Sales at EnvisionWare.
Gary Potts, previously the Finance Director of Bibliotheca Group, has joined the North American division as its Chief Operating Officer. Potts came into Bibliotheca through his previous position as Director of Finance and Operations for Intellident.
Coalla advances to the position of President just under a year after joining Bibliotheca as its North American Sales Director in November 2011. He came to the company with extensive experience in the RFID and self-service industry through his tenure at EnvisionWare, a key competitor of Biblioteca, though with more of an emphasis on products related to scheduling public access computers and managing enduser printing. Prior to EnvisionWare, Coalla held positions at Card Meter Systems, now CMS Diginet, a company involved in print and copy solutions for libraries and academic campuses. Robkin has been involved with libraries since 1984, when he purchased Vernon Library supplies from its founder Anthony Vernon. In 2005 Robkin founded Integrated Technology Group to create and market products to exploit RFID technologies that facilitate library efficiencies. ITG developed a wide array of self-service circulation and related products and services.
Robkin sold ITG to One Equity Partners in April 2011, which also acquired Swiss-based Bibliotheca and UK-based Intellident to form the global corporation focused on RFID products for libraries now known as Bibliotheca. Following the consolidation of ITG into Bibliotheca, Robkin remained with the consolidated company and held a minority investment stake. He was named president of its North American division and participated in the executive management of the global company.
Robkin played a role in the integration of the antecedent companies into a unified global company operating under the Bibliotheca brand. Robkin will continue involvement with Bibliotheca as an investor and as an advisor to both the global Executive Board and to the management of its North American operations. Robkin also continues to own Vernon Library supplies, though he has not been involved in its day-to-day management for many years. Vernon Library Supplies has a self-sufficient management and operational team in place. Following his departure from full-time involvement with Bibliotheca, Robkin will pursue business interests outside library-related industries.
Bibliotheca's core business continues to be focused on library products related to RFID and self-service, though it launched an e-book initiative in June 2012. According to Robkin, progress on this initiative continues. The company continues to build the technology framework that will be the basis of its e-book offerings and to work with publishers and libraries to refine product development. The Bibliotheca e-book solution will be based on the model established by the Douglas County Library in Colorado.