January 17, 2022

Researcher Workflow: SAGE Publishing Announces Acquisition of Netherlands-Based Lean Library

From SAGE:

2018-09-11_20-58-51SAGE Publishing has acquired technology start-up Lean Library and its associated products to promote the value of the academic library to patrons and bring library services directly into the patron’s workflow via their web browser.

The Lean Library browser extension provides seamless, one-click access to all licensed library resources, both on and off campus, and offers up legal routes to discover open access full text. At the same time, the service enables libraries to promote their services exactly when and where they are needed by delivering targeted, customizable messages directly into users’ workflows.

Founded by Johan Tilstra and Jan Thij Bakker in late 2016, the award-winning library technology company delivers a new class of library services, building upon first-hand experiences of working within university libraries. In just over 18 months, almost fifty institutions around the globe have signed up to Lean Library’s services to promote services to their patrons and improve their research experience.


Currently Lean Library offers three products:

  • Library Access: The company’s flagship product providing a browser extension that allows users to search the internet as normal and seamlessly access library content
  • Library Assist: Enables the library to send tailored messages to their users, in context, on the platform
  • Library Alternatives: Presents the reader with alternative routes to full text, should an article not be accessible at the website the user currently is visiting

Since launch, the solution has built a strong reputation with almost 50 established partnerships with libraries at universities in Australia, the United States, United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and beyond.


The Lean Library team will continue to operate from their head offices in Delft, The Netherlands. Lean Library will become a part of the SAGE Group.

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.