January 19, 2022

American Libraries Publishes “2021 Library Systems Report” by Marshall Breeding

From American Libraries:

From American Libraries:

Source: American Libraries

The 2021 Library Systems Report documents ongoing investments of libraries in strategic technology products in 2020. It covers for-profit and nonprofit organizations that offer strategic resource management products—especially integrated library systems and library services platforms—and comprehensive discovery products.

The vendors included have responded to a survey requesting details about their organization, sales performance, and narrative explanations of accomplishments.

Additional sources consulted include press releases, news articles, and other publicly available information. Most of the organizations provided lists of libraries represented in the statistics reported, allowing for more detailed analysis and validation.


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.

Events of the last year furthered the industry’s consolidation. The acquisition of Innovative Interfaces by ProQuest at the beginning of 2020 triggered a review by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the key US governmental regulator that challenges anticompetitive mergers and acquisitions. The FTC initiated its review in February and concluded it in November without imposing any restrictions.

Learn More, Read the Complete Report by Marshall Breeding



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.