Syracuse, N.Y. – Jan. 15, 2010 – Polaris Library Systems, a leading provider of library automation technology based in Liverpool, N.Y., announced Friday an agreement that transitions the company to employee ownership. The agreement was made between the senior leadership team at Polaris and Croydon Co. with the assistance of a $1 million New York state incentive loan through Empire State Development. Croydon Co. is the privately held investment firm that has owned the company since its inception in 1974.
"Thanks to the assistance of Dennis Mullen from Empire State Development (ESD), Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney and Robert Simpson, president and CEO of the Metropolitan Development Association (MDA), the new ownership agreement was made possible, which means business will continue as usual for Polaris in Central New York," said William Schickling, president and CEO of Polaris Library Systems.
The company has 65 employees at its Commerce Boulevard location in Liverpool and 15 remote employees.
"New York State is proud to have played a part in keeping Polaris Library Systems in Central New York and protecting the jobs of hard working New Yorkers," said Governor David A. Paterson. "Not only has the software provider been helping libraries grow and evolve for more than 30 years, but by ensuring the success of businesses like Polaris, we will strengthen our state's economy and workforce. Polaris offers a stable product to more than 1,000 libraries and it does so with superb customer service and an exemplary use of technology."
Under the terms of the agreement, the senior leadership team remains at the helm as key stakeholders in the company. The company will remain focused on the development and support of the Polaris Integrated Library System (ILS) and complementary ILS products and services.
In addition to the current leadership, Polaris welcomes Jim Carrick to the management team as a senior business advisor. Schickling and Carrick worked closely with Onondaga County, the MDA and ESD to secure the loan. Prior to joining Polaris, Carrick owned Strategic Computer Solutions (SCS), a Syracuse-based reseller of IBM hardware and software.
"As a result of ESD’s $1 million loan, Polaris will have the opportunity to thrive here in the Greater Syracuse area," said Empire State Development Chairman and CEO designate Dennis M. Mullen. "This deal will protect 65 existing jobs in Liverpool and I am very pleased that ESD could be part of such an important investment for Polaris’ President William Schickling, the company and Central New York. Governor Paterson has made it clear that New York State remains committed to promoting job growth and investment."
ESD said Polaris was awarded the loan based on its solid financial history and future projections regarding job retention and growth. The company is required to repay the loan over a period of six years and must add at least nine jobs by 2013.
Polaris ILS is the official service provider for the Onondaga County Public Library System, Finger Lakes Library System, Mohawk Valley Library System and Southern Adirondack Library System. The Polaris ILS software is used by more than 1,000 libraries in the United States and Canada.
About Empire State Development
Empire State Development is New York’s chief economic development agency. ESD also oversees the marketing of "I LOVE NY," the State’s iconic tourism brand. For more information, visit www.nylovesbiz.com.
About Polaris Library Systems
For 30 years, Polaris Library Systems has served libraries with time-saving technology, from its first circulation system in the mid-1970s through its third-generation Polaris Integrated Library System. In addition to its library automation systems, Polaris Library Systems offers workflow analysis, database enhancement, wireless access, and network services to libraries. For more information about Polaris Library Systems, visit www.polarislibrary.com.