(3 May 2021) In a year complicated by a global pandemic, the community of vendors providing technologies to libraries made important strides to meet pressing needs and make ongoing progress in their longer-term initiatives. Though the pandemic disrupted library services—as well as funding—in 2020, concerted efforts were made to fulfill the demands of users to the extent possible. Almost all vendors made sharp turns to expand access to digital collections and services in order to compensate for diminished access to physical materials.
Only a few minor acquisitions took place in this deeply consolidated industry last year. Unlike in 2019, none of these transactions altered the overall balance of power among competitors. Vendors made extraordinary efforts to help customer libraries cope with changed services while they continued product development agendas looking beyond current circumstances.
About the report
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.
The report in full can be found here.