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Follett

This dashboard brings together data, trends, news, and other resources from Library Technology Guides describing the organization, its executive leadership, personnel employed, business history, as well as related features and news articles.

Connect to the Follett website

1391 Corporate Drive
McHenry, Illinois 60050-7041
United States
Phone: 815-344-8700
Web site: http://www.fsc.follett.com/
Email: info@fsc.follett.com

Resource Management Products (ILS or LSP)

Executive Leadership

photo of Pat  Connolly
Pat Connolly
President and Chief Executive Officer
photo of Clay Wahl
Clay Wahl
Chief Operating Officer
photo of Bill  Mickow
Bill Mickow
Chief Information Officer
photo of Mark  Sproat
Mark Sproat
Executive Vice President, General Counsel
photo of Britten  Follett
Britten Follett
Executive Vice President, Follett School Solutions
photo of Amandeep  Kochar
Amandeep Kochar
Executive Vice President, Baker & Taylor
photo of Roe J.  McFarlane
Roe J. McFarlane
President of Follett Higher Education
photo of Jennifer  Hatton
Jennifer Hatton
Executive Vice President of Retail Operations
photo of Rick  Ellspermann
Rick Ellspermann
Executive Vice President Human Resources

Company Ownership

Follett is owned by the family of Charles W. Follett

Mergers and Acquisitions

Mergers and Acquisitions for Follett

Personnel employed

[Data source: statistics supplied for the annual Library Systems Report]

CompanyYearDevopmentSupportSalesAdminOtherTotal
Follett 20191561993351410541758
Follett 20181561993351410541758
Follett 2017169210360117321482
Follett 2016115173385376971407
Follett 2015124137302727591394
Follett 2014134135347816621359
Follett 2013120164521015361
Follett 2012781518131341
Follett 2011871438649365
Follett 20108915510856408
Follett 2009591611082240390
Follett 20088115511254402
Follett 20075818111550404
Follett 2006691201014040370
Follett 2005457272947245
Follett 200250987543266

Documents or articles featuring Follett

Breeding, Marshall. Follett Corporation Acquires Baker & Taylor. June 2016. Smart Libraries Newsletter. Follett Corporation, one of the major companies providing products and services to schools and higher educational institutions, has taken its largest expansion step of with the acquisition of Baker & Taylor, one of the oldest and largest providers of content to libraries. This move not only further diversifies Follett's product and services portfolio, but it also extends its presence internationally. Previously almost all of Follett's business has been in the US With customers in more than 120 countries, Baker & Taylor has considerable international reach. This move means more involvement by Follett with public libraries, expanding beyond its previous focus on schools and academic campuses. According to the press announcement, this acquisition increases Follett's annual revenue from $2.6 billion to $3.6 billion.

Breeding, Marshall. Sagebrush sold to Follett Software Company. September 2006. Smart Libraries Newsletter. Sagebrush Corporation has sold its library-automation division to longtime rival Follett Corporation, a move that consolidates the two largest K–12 library-automation software suppliers. This acquisition creates an organization that holds a stronger position than has ever existed in the library-automation arena. Now combined, the vendors provide automation software to up to 60 percent of K–12 libraries. The two companies closed the transaction on July 25, 2006; the terms of the sale were not made public.

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News Announcements

May 8, 2020. Follett MyDestiny Named Winner at 2020 EdTech Awards. Follett MyDestiny, a powerful learning platform designed for today’s classroom, has been selected as the winner of the “Lesson Planning Solution” category in The 2020 EdTech Awards from EdTech Digest. The award is from “The EdTech Cool Tool Awards” portion of this year’s contest.


May 5, 2020. Follett deploys dey PreK-12 Solutions to Microsoft Azure. Follett announced it has deployed its market-leading Follett Destiny Library Manager and Resource Manager solutions as well as its Aspen Student Information System to Microsoft Azure. The Azure cloud platform now serves as the data center host for Follett-hosted Destiny and Aspen customers.


April 15, 2020. Follett, Baker and Taylor Team to Provide Free Access to PreK-12 Interactive Resources for Public Library Partners. As more states extend school closures through the remainder of the school year, Follett and Baker & Taylor today announced they are collaborating to provide its public library partners with free access through June 30 to Lightbox and AV2 World Languages, interactive resources that allow students to independently study and learn. Follett, in partnership with Weigl Publishers, made a free offer in late March to schools worldwide of Lightbox, a PreK-12 interactive ebook platform, and AV2 World Languages, a K-3 ebook program. More than 21,000 schools have signed up for the offer in the first 25 days.


March 23, 2020. New York High School captures 2020 Follett Challenge Grand Prize. Mineola High School of Garden City Park, NY was named the Grand Prize winner of the 2020 Follett Challenge. The Nassau County-based school, with an enrollment of 1,026 students, earns $30,000 in Follett products and services and a celebration at their school for its entry, “Empowered Students: Preparing Students for the 4th Industrial Revolution.”


March 21, 2020. With at-home learning increasing, Follett offers interactive ebook platform for free to schools. As the number of school closures mount due to the spread of COVID-19, Follett today announced it is partnering with Weigl Publishers, Inc. to offer Lightbox, a PreK-12 interactive ebook platform, and AV2 World Languages, a K-3 ebook program, free of charge to schools worldwide through June 30.


March 18, 2020. In Response to COVID-19 Impact on Education, Follett to Deliver Free At-Home Learning Content During Crisis. Follett is working with customers to ensure they can quickly and easily use the company’s wide range of eLearning solutions and access to content as more students shift to learning from home due to the COVID-19 outbreak.


March 12, 2020. Follett Launches API Partner Program. Follett has launched a partner program that will make it easy for its Destiny and Aspen customers to implement time- and cost-saving integrations and streamline data exchange with their existing vendors. The API Partner Program will allow Follett to help customers extend and enhance the capabilities of their Destiny and Aspen solutions and take full advantage of Follett’s open-APIs via the company’s growing partner portfolio.


February 26, 2020. Follett introduces key enhancements with Destiny 17.5 Release. Follett has released Destiny 17.5, a new version of the solution featuring important enhancements to Destiny Library Manager, Destiny Resource Manager, Destiny Discover, and Collections by Destiny. Used in more than 60 percent of U.S. public schools, Destiny is Follett’s market-leading platform for library management, digital content, and resource management.


December 11, 2019. Jennifer Hatton Promoted to Executive Vice President and Appointed to Follett’s Executive Committee. Follett Corporation announced the recent promotion of Jennifer Hatton to Executive Vice President of Retail Operations and Course Materials Solutions, and her appointment to the company’s Executive Committee. Reporting to Chief Operating Officer Clay Wahl, Hatton assumes expanded accountability for inventory management across the Follett enterprise as she continues to lead the company’s 1,200 college campus retail store operations.


December 5, 2019. 2020 Follett Challenge Entry Deadline is Thursday, Dec. 12. The deadline for PreK-12 districts and schools to submit their nominations for the 2020 Follett Challenge is noon CST Thursday, Dec. 12. The ninth annual contest formally launched in October with more ways to win a portion of $200,000 (USD) in Follett products and/or services that will be awarded.


View All Follett News Announcements

Corporate Chronology

Sep 04, 2019 Britten Follett to lead its PreK-12 Business
Britten Follett to lead Follett School Solutions, the company's PreK-12 business. A fifth-generation family member, Follett has been promoted to Executive Vice President of Follett School Solutions. Follett most recently served as Senior Vice President of Marketing Strategy and Classroom Initiatives for Follett School Solutions, the leading provider of integrated content and technology solutions to the PreK-12 education space.

Dec 13, 2018 Follett acquires NextTier Education
Follett announced it has acquired NextTier Education, a cloud-based software solution that provides counselors, students, and parents with guidance, information and insight to help students achieve their postsecondary goals and ensure every student has equal access to higher education.

Jan 02, 2018 Patrick E. Connolly named as President and CEO of Follett Corporation
Patrick E. Connolly to succeed Griffith as President and CEO, effective January 2, 2018

Nov 16, 2016 Follett acquires Valore Inc.
Follett Corporation announced it has acquired Valore Inc. and the ValoreBooks marketplace solution for students and bookstores to buy, sell and rent college textbooks online. Combining the convenience of the ValoreBooks marketplace with the scope and capabilities of Follett will provide campus stores and students greater access to more affordable course material options.

Apr 18, 2016 Follett acquires Baker and Taylor from Castle Harlan
Follett Corporation acquired Baker & Taylor, the leading distributor of books, video and music products to public libraries and institutions, and a major wholesaler to retailers worldwide. With combined sales of $3.6 billion, the two businesses will offer librarians, patrons, educators and students unprecedented access to the best curated physical and digital content wherever learning and reading take place in the community.

Apr 15, 2016 Follett acquires Bookmasters
Follett Corporation acquired Bookmasters, one of the largest providers of integrated publisher services in the United States. Bookmasters is a strategic partner of Baker & Taylor, LLC, also acquired by Follett.

Mar 30, 2016 Follett acquires Wobo
Follett Corporation acquired Wobo, Inc., formerly Woody's Books, Inc., a leading service for independent managed campus stores to find and purchase books online in volume. The acquisition includes Wobo, Inc. assets including the BookVolume tool, enabling Follett Wholesale to leverage new technology in transforming the Wholesale business.

Feb 23, 2016 Follett acquires ClassBook
Follett acquired ClassBook, one of the K-12 education industry's leaders in customized online bookstores that serve schools, teachers, parents, and students. Founded in 1992 and based near Albany, N.Y.,ClassBook provides private and parochial schools with 24/7 bookstores, streamlining and personalizing the ordering and fulfillment process for print and digital textbooks.

Oct 22, 2015 Nader Qaimari named to lead Follett School Solutions Business
Qaimari has been promoted to Executive Vice President, Follett Corporation, and General Manager, Follett School Solutions. He also has been named to Follett's Executive Committee.

May 04, 2015 Follett appoints Ray A. Griffith as President and CEO
Follett Corporation announced that its Board of Directors has appointed Ray A. Griffith as the Company's President and Chief Executive Officer, effective immediately. He succeeds Mary Lee Schneider, who has retired from Follett as both President and Chief Executive Officer and Director.

Apr 11, 2015 Follett acquires Nebraska Book Company's retail store division
Follett Corporation and Nebraska Book Company* today announced that Follett has purchased Neebo, Nebraska Book Company's retail store division. The agreement adds more than 200 complementary campus retail stores to Follett's portfolio, making Follett the operator of more than 1,150 local campus stores and 1,600 virtual stores across North America. For Nebraska Book Company, the agreement underscores its full commitment of resources to providing textbooks, strategic services and technology products to independent college retailers nationwide.

Feb 02, 2015 Follett acquires Advanced-Online
Follett acquired Advanced-Online, a leading ecommerce provider of branded merchandise store programs for education and corporate customers. Advanced-Online expands Follett’s portfolio of campus store services and solutions and complements the company’s extensive ecommerce capabilities.

Jan 27, 2014 Todd Litzsinger named chairman of the Board of Directors for Follett Corporation
Litzsinger joined Follett in 1992 and has served on the Board since 2003. He has held a series of increasingly responsible leadership positions with the Company, most recently President of Content Solutions and Services for Follett School Solutions, the Company's PreK-12 business. Litzsinger's career with Follett includes roles in the Company's PreK-12 school and library market, including President of Follett Library Resources, President of Follett Educational Services, President of BWI, and National Sales Director for Custom Academic Publishing Company (CAPCO), a joint venture with BMI Systems. Prior to Follett, he worked for Jostens, the school yearbook and ring company.

Sep 05, 2013 Follett sells BWI assetts to Baker & Taylor
Follett Corporation and Baker & Taylor announced the sale of certain assets of Book Wholesalers, Inc., to Baker & Taylor. BWI is a Follett Corporation company that specializes in providing children's and young adult books and audiovisual materials to public libraries. This transaction is the result of a strategic decision by the Follett School & Library Group to concentrate on the PreK-12 market. For Follett, Baker & Taylor's already powerful public library offerings made it the best choice to acquire these BWI assets.

Apr 08, 2013 Follett Corporation acquires BetterKnow
Follett Corporation acquired BetterKnow, Inc. a provider of tools and technology to the higher education marketplace. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed. BetterKnow's products, combined with Follett's footprint on more than 1,000 college and university campuses in North America, will provide instructors and students broader, more affordable access to course materials

Nov 2012 Mary Lee Schneider elected President and Chief Executive Officer of Follett Corporation
Schneider is an 11-year veteran on the Follett Board of Directors. She is widely recognized as a digital innovator and a visionary leader – a result of her extensive experience in digital publishing and leadership positions. Schneider comes to Follett from Chicago-based RR Donnelley, where she recently was President, Digital Solutions and Chief Technology Officer. [From company Web page]

Oct 04, 2010 Follett Software Company acquires X2 Development Corporation
Follett Software Company announced that it has acquired X2 Development Corporation, a leading Student Information System provider for K-12 school districts in the United States and abroad. The acquisition includes the Aspen Student Information System, a popular Web-based solution that simplifies school district data management through the integration of key K-12 applications. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Mar 24, 2008 Follett Corporation acquires Fourteen40 Inc, including social networking solution CafeScribe
Follett Corporation today announced the acquisition of technology firm Fourteen40 Inc., an innovator of Web 2.0 social networking for collaborative learning. The acquisition includes Fourteen40's social networking solution called CafeScribe (http://www.CafeScribe.com), an online site at which students can browse, purchase and download eBooks that they need for class. Once the eBook is downloaded, the students use a digital content reader called MyScribe to easily read and annotate the eBook, search the Internet and share notes with others as they study. The social networking tools within CafeScribe give students the option to invite others into the virtual equivalent of study groups.

Feb 25, 2008 Follett Corporation acquires Varsity Group Inc.
Varsity Group Inc. (NASDAQ: VSTY), a provider of online textbook sales and services to educational institutions nationwide, today announced that it has entered into a definitive merger agreement with a subsidiary of Follett Corporation, the nation's largest provider of library materials and library technology to K-12 schools, the leading operator of college bookstores and a major distributor of textbooks to institutions at all levels of education. Pursuant to the merger agreement, Follett will acquire all outstanding shares of Varsity Group for $0.20 per share in cash.

Aug 26, 2006 Follett acquires TetraData Corporation
Follett Software Company acquired TetraData Corporation. TetraData is the premier provider of data warehousing, analysis and reporting solutions for K-12 school districts. TetraData solutions, which are installed in more than 300 school districts nationwide, facilitate No Child Left Behind reporting as well as data driven decision making to help educators achieve high performance and improved student outcomes.

Jul 27, 2006 Follett Software Company acquires library automation division of Sagebrush Corporation
Follett Software Company purchased the automation division of Sagebrush Corporation, taking ownership of its line of products including InfoCentre, Winnebago Spectrum, Athena, and Accent. The sale does not include the former Sagebrush Corporations business activities related to book publishing, library services, and the Viewpoint product.

Jun 2006 Follett Corporation acquires Sagebrush Corporation
Follett Corporation acquires Sagebrush Corporation. The newly formed separate company was not part of the sale.

Aug 1999 Sagebrush Technologies acquires Winnebago Software Company
Sagebrush Technologies announces it will acquire Winnebago Software Company. Jeb Griffith exits. Sagebrush now employs 600 with $75 million revenue.

Sep 1998 Sagebrush acquires Nichols Advanced Technologies
Sagebrush acquires Nichols Advanced Technologies from Bruce Butler.

Jan 01, 1998 Thomas J. Schenck named president of Follett Software Company.
Thomas J. Schenck named president of Follett Software Company.

Jan 01, 1994 Sagebrush acquires Catalog Card Company
Sagebrush acquires 100% of Catalog Card Company from NCS for $2.35 million. Catalog Card Company operates under the name Library Services Company

1990 Follett acquires Book Wholesalers, Inc. (BWI) which distributes children's books to public libraries

Jan 01, 1984 Follett acquires Library Software Company
Follett acquires Library Software Company from Bob Skapura and Joe Ward

1918 Charles W. Follett becomes manager of J.W. Wilcox & Follett Company

1873 Predecessor of Follett Corporation founded in 1873 by Charles M. Barnes as a used book store in Wheaton, Illinois

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Annual Accomplishments Statements

[Data source: text supplied for the annual Library Systems Report]

2019 Follett Accomplishments Narrative

Summary

Follett School Solutions (FSS), Follett’s PreK-12 business, continued to grow and evolve during the course of 2019. One of the year’s most significant developments occurred when Britten Follett was appointed to lead FSS. A fifth-generation family member, Britten was promoted to Executive Vice President.

Britten, who initially joined the company in 2010, is responsible for marketing and sales in the United States and Canada, customer service, strategic alliances and publisher relations. Following the recent release of several classroom solutions – including Follett Classroom Libraries, MyDestiny, Follett Book Fairs, and Follett eFairs – Britten and her teams will accelerate the expansion of these strategic growth areas for the company.

Following is a closer look at some of Follett School Solutions’ key accomplishments for 2019:

ISTE Unveilings

Follett arrived in Philadelphia in June for ISTE 2019 Conference & Expo poised to make several key announcements:

  1. The company formally unveiled MyDestiny, a powerful new learning platform that combines an expansive library of ebooks and Open Educational Resources with built-in artificial intelligence (from Follett’s acquisition of Fishtree in 2018) to help teachers find quality, standards-aligned resources and to guide students on their learning path from discovery to mastery. MyDestiny meets students at their level in real time with access to more than 40,000 ebooks from a variety of publishers and over 750,000 high-quality OERs. MyDestiny leverages machine-learning capabilities to allow users to easily locate recommended content, all aligned to national and individual state standards. The platform will save teachers time by allowing them to quickly build highly engaging lessons in minutes.
  2. In the wake of four successful seasons with Follett Book Fairs, also announced it is launching Follett Book eFairs with available titles from thousands of publishers. The online book fairs re-imagine the classroom book ordering process – making it easier for teachers (no order forms or checks to process) plus providing new opportunities to promote reading and literacy in school and at home. Further, the eFairs are designed to secure schools, classrooms and libraries additional sources of funding, especially since they can be offered several times during the school year.
  3. With support from Follett and in collaboration with Future Ready Librarians, ISTE announced it will offer as many as 150 partial-tuition scholarships for K-12 librarians ready to take the next step in becoming a Future Ready Librarian and who are affiliated with schools that identify as high need.

With the financial support from Follett, a long-time advocate for the vital role of school librarians and early supporter of Future Ready Schools, the scholarships will cover 70 percent of the session cost for librarians who enroll in the course titled, “Exploring Future Ready Librarianship: Practices for the Emerging Leader.” Launched in September 2018, this empowering professional development course helps librarians at every level maximize student-centered learning opportunities and leverage technology as part of the Future Ready Schools initiative.

As part of his ISTE ’19 coverage for Ed Tech Digest, Mark Gura wrote that Follett is “expanding and enriching its ways of impacting learning.” He continued, “The school library—viewed as both a physical location and a series of literacy functions and ways of being literate—through continued refinements, like those I saw through Follett’s lens, represents profound change in the ways that essential learning is provided.”

Follett Challenge Winner First Outside U.S.

For the first time in its eight-year history, the grand prize winner of the Follett Challenge came from outside the United States. Regina Catholic School Division in Saskatchewan, Canada, was a winner for its “Tinker Tub Project.”

Kwame Alexander, a New York Times bestselling author and Newberry medalist, served as a Follett Challenge judge for the first time. Alexander is partnering with Follett on a literacy campaign — “All Books for All Kids” — with the goal of ensuring children have access to a wide range of books no matter their background.

Follett Challenge annually awards $200,000 in products and services to schools/districts that nominated their educational programs which teach innovative 21st century skills to students.

James Patterson Partners with Follett

James Patterson is the second big-name author to forge a partnership with Follett and its “All Books for All Kids” initiative. The partnership teams Follett with Patterson, the world’s best-selling author and global literacy advocate.

Authors from Patterson’s children’s imprint, JIMMY Patterson Books, also will appear at Follett Book Fairs throughout the year.

Follett Classroom Libraries Launched

Follett in March launched Follett Classroom Libraries, extending the company’s commitment to providing expert-curated collections of resources for teachers and students. Offering a wide selection of engaging K-12 titles from trusted publishers, Follett Classroom Libraries are designed to be easily integrated into elementary, middle school and high school curriculums, as well as support teacher instruction and foster healthy independent student reading habits.

Whether for whole- or small-group instruction, or independent reading, each bundled library has been carefully created by Follett’s expert team of K-12 master’s-level educators with high-interest nonfiction and fiction texts and age level-appropriate texts. All lesson plans include home-school connection activities, helping to promote reading outside of the classroom. Three types of “libraries” are available, including Social and Emotional Learning.

Follett Partners with HMH

Learning company Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) and Follett announced an expanded partnership to deliver HMH’s K-12 learning solutions including curriculum, professional development and services to students, teachers and schools throughout the United Arab Emirates. FSS will serve as the exclusive distributor for HMH in the UAE.

Building upon an existing partnership between HMH and FSS, this alliance will deepen access to HMH’s celebrated curriculum and resources for local learners and educators.

Collections by Destiny Continues to Grow

After introducing Collections by Destiny in June 2017, Follett is reporting a total of 2.5 million users, a dramatic 62 percent increase in usage of the educational tool that allows librarians, teachers and curriculum staff to share free or purchased resources across the district, schools or between users. It is now in use by more than 4,000 districts and nearly 17,000 schools.

Saving School Librarians Lobbying Efforts a Success

EveryLibrary’s “Save School Librarians” initiative, which receives financial support from Follett, continued to produce successful results around the country in 2019. EveryLibrary’s lobbying efforts helped saved school librarian positions in Texas, Iowa, Utah, Colorado, Washington and Georgia.

“It’s really important to show up personally for folks who are in trouble, and I am proud of our ability to do that; it’s a testimony to Follett’s commitment to the profession that it helps us make that happen for every school librarian,” John Chrastka, executive director of EveryLibrary, told Publishers Weekly. “I don’t have a forecast for where specific cuts will hit next school year (2019-20). I only know that school library stakeholders and state associations need to comprehensively engage their education funding and policy framework for the systems to change.”

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