Over the course of the last calendar year the digital library industry has been consolidating. The largest company operating in this sector is Overdrive and they were purchased by Rakuten last March and the 3M Cloud Library was acquired by Bibliotheca in October. The last man standing was Baker & Taylor and today Follett has just announced they have just purchased them.
“Acquiring Baker & Taylor marks a major milestone for Follett that expands the possibilities of our two businesses,” said Todd A. Litzsinger, Chairman of Follett. “Through our support of schools, public libraries, colleges, local bookstores and retailers, our teams are uniquely positioned to help communities everywhere strengthen literacy and learning. On behalf of the Follett family, I’m excited and proud to welcome the Baker & Taylor team to Follett.”
“The capabilities, expertise, and technologies of Follett and Baker & Taylor are very complementary, making this a natural partnership of two trusted industry leaders,” said Ray A. Griffith, President and Chief Executive Officer of Follett. “Our unique insights, curated content and innovative services will help librarians and educators more effectively meet the evolving learning needs of their communities.”
George F. Coe, Baker & Taylor’s President and Chief Executive Officer, will continue to lead the business as Follett Group President, Baker & Taylor and Follett School Solutions, reporting directly to Griffith. “George brings decades of industry leadership and relationships to Follett that will benefit our own school library and PreK-12 business as well,” added Griffith.
If you are a public library that sources physical books or digital e-books from Baker & Taylor nothing is going to change. The company will continue to support their Axis 360 platform and it’s basically business as usual. Eventually, the two companies will leverage each others technologies in order to drive innovation and expand their capabilities.
Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and Verge.