SYRACUSE, N.Y. – Following 30 years of service in the library industry as a developer, entrepreneur, and public library advocate, Bill Schickling, Innovative EVP of Business Development, has announced he will retire effective December 31, 2017.
Bill started his career as a software developer for Gaylord Bros. in 1987. Together with a small team of developers, he created a set of products that many small to medium public libraries would adopt as their first automation solution. After the success of SuperCAT, GALAXY, and Gaylord's first Web-based OPAC, Bill led a talented group of librarians and developers to replace the GALAXY system with the Polaris Integrated Library System. During this time, Bill transitioned from software developer and team leader to entrepreneur, president, and CEO of the newly formed standalone company, Polaris Library Systems.
The Polaris philosophy of "Helping Libraries Serve Their Communities" became a mantra that would position Polaris as the number one company and product for medium and large public libraries, as ranked by Marshall Breeding's Library Technology Reports, published by the American Library Association's ALA TechSource.
"I owe all of Polaris' success to the hard-working individuals and teams headquartered in Syracuse, NY," said Schickling. "We focused on our customers and that fueled our growth."
That growth and success caught the attention of competitors and, in 2014, Polaris was acquired by Innovative Interfaces, where the Polaris product and the high-touch customer support Schickling and his team originated continues today.
"I am happy to see how Innovative maintained our commitment to customer success throughout our transition, both as a product and a company," said Schickling. "Innovative is poised for a fantastic future with new product offerings coming out for public, academic, and national libraries."
"Bill has been a tremendous thought leader for the public library market having led Polaris to the highest customer satisfaction rating of any product in the marketplace," said Jim Tallman, Innovative CEO. "We wish Bill all the best and we thank him for his outstanding contribution to the company and industry."