Friday, May 20, 2022

Marshall Breeding's 2022 Library Systems Report

 Since 2002, Marshall Breeding has released an annual Library Systems Report, a "state of the nation" report on the library technologies market. Thanks to his efforts, the history of this industry over the last 20 years is well documented. The recently released 2022 Library Systems Report documents the impact the pandemic continues to have on the library systems marketplace. In short, it's a sudden acceleration of trends that have been growing for years, especially the trend of consolidation. 

While much of the Library Systems Report is geared toward libraries of other types, this year's report does contain significant information for law libraries, particularly academic law libraries. Most notable is an examination of the May, 2021 acquisition of ProQuest by Clarivate. As Breeding puts it, this acquisition, "brings one of the largest library-facing companies into the broader industry of scholarly communications and research." 

Implications for scholarly communication aside, with two of the largest library services platform vendors, Ex Libris and Innovative, now also under the Clarivate umbrella, libraries seeking to migrate could end up with fewer choices. For the time being, Innovative and Ex Libris operate independently from one another but as Breeding's report shows, the executive structures of all the companies involved have already been streamlined.  

The 2022 Library Systems report also contains a few brief updates on companies that market to law firm and other special libraries. There is an update on Lucidea and its acquisition of smaller companies and a quick blurb about developments at CyberTools. 

Always remarkable for its thoroughness, the Library Systems Report is especially important this year. As consolidations move beyond competing, similar-sized companies with similar products to much larger corporations acquiring companies with product portfolios encompassing every area of knowledge and resource management, there are bound to be ramifications for all types of libraries.  

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