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Midyear review: building on established industry developments

Library Technology Newsletter [July 2022]

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The library technology industry continues to digest the major changes previously announced. Business transitions such as the acquisition of ProQuest by Clarivate and Follett School Solutions breaking away from Follett Corporation to become a portfolio company of Francisco Partners are the beginning of a longer process of business integration and settling into longer-term leadership structures and product strategies. SAGE Publications launch of its Technology from SAGE division is an important initiative that continues to develop. The launch of the open source FOLIO project stands to alter the competitive arena for academic libraries. This issue of Library Technology Newsletter covers incremental changes that have transpired in recent weeks related to these major industry events.

Two of the largest business in the industry saw changes in executive leadership. Clarivate announced that Jonathan Gear will take the reins of the company as CEO when Jerre Stead retires in September 2022. Follett School Solutions has appointed Chris Porter as its new CEO, replacing Paul Ilse who has led the company, along with Britten Follett, since its acquisition by Francisco Partners in September 2021.

Clarivate, through its ownership of ProQuest, Ex Libris, and Innovative holds a dominant position as a technology provider for academic libraries, in addition to its offerings related to content, analytics and workflows applications. Follett School Solutions is an educational technology company that likewise dominates the K-12 school library market in the US.

Neither executive appointment signals substantial change. Both incoming leaders come with extensive experience and backgrounds not especially different from the executives they replace. Stead and Ilse will both step away from hand-on leadership positions, though continuing oversight as chairs of their respective boards of directors.

On the mergers and acquisitions front SAGE Publications acquired Sciwheel, an advanced citation management application. Sciwheel complements Lean Library, a suite of tools already part of its Technology from SAGE portfolio. This acquisition fits into the pattern of businesses involved in scholarly publications to expand into additional areas such as researcher workflows and analytics. Though at a smaller scale, SAGE Publications follows a pattern also seen in larger players including Clarivate, Elsevier, and Digital Science.

This issue also includes an update on the open source FOLIO library services platform. First announced in 2016, this project has successfully progressed from concept, to development, early implementations, and now into a full sales and migration phase. EBSCO FOLIO, along with OCLC WorldShare Management Services, provides important competition to Ex Libris Alma, which has a dominant position in the research and academic library sector. For libraries concerned about narrow options, FOLIO can now be seen as a viable alternative.

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View Citation
Publication Year:2022
Type of Material:Article
Language English
Published in: Library Technology Newsletter
Publication Info:Volume 1 Number 07
Issue:July 2022
Publisher:Library Technology Guides
Series: Guidpost
Place of Publication:Nashville, TN
Record Number:27597
Last Update:2022-11-27 16:19:51
Date Created:2022-07-22 13:31:37