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Rethinking the Library Services Platform

UKSG E-News [November 2015]


Copyright (c) 2015 UKSG

Abstract: The recent decision by ProQuest to acquire ExLibris has again focussed attention on the future of library systems and the relationship between discovery, delivery technologies and content. Assuming the acquisition gets through the necessary regulatory processes we will see a large library services company with a diverse range of sometimes overlapping product offerings. We often think of library system companies like ExLibris, SirsiDynix and Innovative as large companies. While they would not be characterised as small and medium sized enterprises (SME), which are commonly defined as having up to 250 employees, they are not behemoths either. Companies like ESBCO and ProQuest are much larger. ProQuest was acquired in 2007 by Cambridge Information Group and its 2014 annual revenue of around $500m is roughly the same as Marshall Breeding’s estimate for the entire US library system market. ProQuest is roughly five times larger than ExLibris which is one of the largest library system vendors. And of course compared to the largest library company of them all – Google - they are minnows. Some while ago a librarian asked me what I thought would happen if a software giant like Microsoft developed a library system. I countered, only a little tongue-incheek, that the most popular electronic resource management (ERM) system in UK university libraries was in fact already produced by Microsoft. It is Excel.

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Publication Year:2015
Type of Material:Article
Language English
Published in: UKSG E-News
Issue:November 2015
Notes:This is a preprint of the editorial from UKSG eNews of 27th November 2015. UKSG eNews (ISSN 2048-7746) is published every two weeks, exclusively for UKSG members. The newsletter provides up-to-the-minute news of current issues and developments within the global knowledge community. To subscribe to UKSG eNews contact UKSG
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Record Number:21185
Last Update:2015-11-28 11:34:01
Date Created:2015-11-28 11:32:00