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Market overview

Market share

Market share
Vendor Number of library authorities
SirsiDynix 74
Civica 51
ESS (was Capita) 31
Axiell 25
Axiell (Infor) 8
PTFS-Europe 13
ISOxford 1



Axiell announces agreement to acquire Infor Library & Information Solutions business and expand global presence.

Axiell Pres Release January 4, 2022

Lund, Sweden 4 January, 2022 – Axiell, the world’s leading software and services provider for the cultural sector, today announced an agreement to acquire Infor Library & Information Solutions, a business within Infor, the industry cloud company. The acquisition is expected to close in February.

The Infor Library & Information Solutions business delivers solutions and services to the library sector and serves more than 180 customers in Australia, Belgium, Canada, France, Greece, the Netherlands, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States. The acquisition is driven by Axiell’s expansion strategy, focusing and strengthening its offer in the public library and education industry. The acquisition also advances Axiell’s global reach and establishes a local presence and industry-specific competence in countries where staff are located. The acquisition accelerates the availability of cloud technology to libraries and schools enabling them to, at their pace, join the community of customers, which work with Axiell’s sustainable and digital-first cloud-based library services platform, Quria®.

Capita disposse of education software business** [This includes the Capita library businesses]

Capita plc announced (14th December 2020) that it has agreed to sell its Education Software Solutions (‘ESS’) business (inc its library systems businesses) to Tiger UK Bidco Limited, a newly formed company established by funds advised by Montagu Private Equity (‘Montagu’), in a deal that values ESS at up to £400m.

ProQuest/Innovative Interfaces makes the Polaris library system available for UK public libraries

See Marshall Breeding's Library Technology Guide for more on Polaris

Press Release: “EMERYVILLE, Calif. May 14, 2020 – Innovative, a ProQuest company and leading global provider of library software, today announced that the Polaris integrated library system (ILS), which is the leading solution for public libraries in North America, is now available in Ireland, the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand. Polaris currently serves over 600 public libraries and consortia of all sizes in the United States and Canada”.

Polaris is complemented by the innovative new BIBFRAME-based Vega platform, which provides a modern, responsive and accessible public interface, and next-generation public engagement tools. At the same time, library staff can work anywhere, any time, and on any device, using Polaris Leap and the Innovative mobile app for public library users completes the picture for users who prefer apps.

Market overviews

Trends in the library technology market – A UK perspectiveKen Chad. CILIP Buyers Guide. February 2021. Ken Chad analyses the underlying issues and trends that are shaping library technology with a focus on public libraries and libraries in higher education (HE). It concludes that libraries need new approaches to technology to support changed needs. It addresses themes such as community engagement for public libraries and new solutions for research and teaching and learning in HE. Many current library systems vendors are mired in supporting legacy LMSs that hamper them in delivering the transformative approach needed. Only those that can deliver new higher value solutions will thrive in the longer term

2022 Library Systems Report. An industry disrupted
By Marshall Breeding 2 May 2022

Events of the last year have reshaped the library technology industry. Previous rounds of acquisitions pale in comparison to the acquisition of ProQuest by Clarivate, which has propelled the leading library technology provider into the broader commercial sector of scholarly communications. This deal signals that the gap in size among vendors is widening, as ProQuest businesses Ex Libris and Innovative Interfaces also join Clarivate.

The emergence of such a large business at the top of the industry has accelerated consolidation among mid-level players that aim to increase scale and efficiency to remain competitive. This was a banner year for consolidation of midsize competitors, with more acquisitions than any prior year.

These deals raise concerns about weakened competition, but they may also enable new industry dynamics that will spark innovation and synergy within the broader research and education landscape. Small companies with visions for innovation often lack the resources to deliver, which larger companies can provide. Increased investor and stockholder involvement, however, translates into pressure to maximize profits and growth. The way these competing dynamics play out has important implications for libraries.

Some disruptions happen more gradually. Library management systems based on open source software show steady growth. Koha, especially when supported by ByWater Solutions, continues to make inroads among US public and academic libraries.

The high-stakes changes in academic libraries contrast sharply with the public library technology sector, where products offer only slight differentiation. Integrated library system (ILS) products serving public libraries tend to evolve rather than transform, with institutions layering on additional products to modernize customer interfaces and build channels for enhanced patron engagement.

2021 Library Systems Report. Advancing library technologies in challenging times.
By Marshall Breeding 3 May 2021

From the report: “Solidifying a consolidated industry
Business acquisitions spanning multiple decades have consolidated the library technology industry into one dominated by a handful of large companies. Organizations such as EBSCO Information Services, Follett, OCLC, and ProQuest have assembled diverse portfolios of products, some of which complement other content offerings and services not covered in this report. These organizations are massive: EBSCO Information Services employs 2,852 globally. Across its businesses, ProQuest has a workforce of 2,740—including 1,461 employed at the parent company and the rest via subsidiaries including Bowker, Ex Libris, and Innovative. Follett, with $3 billion in revenue in 2020, employs 1,758 (including its subsidiaries). OCLC reports 1,238 total personnel. The remaining organizations that participated in this report employ a combined total of 1,316 people, reflecting the economic clout of the top tier.”

2020 Library Systems Report Fresh opportunities amid consolidation
By Marshall Breeding American Libraries 1st May 2020

“The library technology industry took some significant turns in 2019. Ex Libris, a ProQuest company, acquired Innovative Interfaces and shifted the balance of power, strengthening Ex Libris’s position in technology for academic libraries and propelling it as a major player in public libraries. This move narrows the slate of competitors in an industry already offering few viable options for many libraries”.

See also Marshall Breeding's Library Technology Guides dashboardwhich brings together data, trends, news, and other resources

Library system vendors for UK public libraries

Axiell UK (acquired Infor in Jan 2022)

Education Software Solutions (ESS) -was Capita


Innovative Interfaces


PTFS Europe


Value of the market (in 2013)

From the article: “We estimate the 2013 library technology economy, including the total domestic and international revenues of all the companies with a significant presence in the US and Canada, at around $790 million, an increase of just more than 2% relative to last year’s estimate of $770 million. US revenues of these companies total around $485 million. We continue to estimate the global library technology industry aggregate revenues at around $1.8 billion, which would also include RFID and other self-service products in addition to the technologies related to library management and resource discovery. Within these broad industry figures, each experienced a varying range of increases or losses in revenue”.

market_overview.txt · Last modified: 2022/07/05 16:59 by