In the academic library automation market, the 123 members of the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) represent the most prestigious and lucrative players. Institutions with complex, large-scale needs, research libraries push even the most competitive automation systems to their limits.
Recently, Innovative Interfaces won two additional ARL accounts, shoring up its position in this group of libraries. With the addition of the University of South Carolina in December 2004 and Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech) in February 2005, Innovative now automates thirty-seven research libraries. Endeavor ranks second with thirty-five.
In December 2004, with the migration of the Five Colleges, Inc., from INNOPAC to ALEPH 500 (which includes ARL member University of Massachusetts at Amherst), Ex Libris scored one at Innovative's expense. (Since its North American market entry in 1999, Ex Libris has accumulated twenty-one ARL accounts.)
But few additional sales from this group of libraries can be expected in the near future; only three remain with legacy or locally developed systems.