Thursday, October 8, 2015

this is how it all ends up

This week the library marketplace heard about the second large merger of the year.  Earlier this year, EBSCO purchased YBP, and now ProQuest has purchased Ex Libris. There has been a lot of talk about a lot of related issues and I want to say a quick piece.

We asked for it. We've been asking for it.

It's not just that we say things that lead to press releases titled "ProQuest and Ex Libris Join to Accelerate Innovation for Libraries Worldwide" or "EBSCO Shows Major Commitment to Library Workflows: EBSCO Acquires YBP Library Services and its GOBI platform from Baker & Taylor, Inc." And let's be really honest, we say things that would lead to press releases titled similarly nearly constantly. We'll leave that for another time because today I want to talk about the other ways in which we've been asking for large mergers and acquisitions.

It's how the market works. We complain about it but we live in it and we act like we have no volition. But our actions personally and professional inform the market whether or not we say anything and often in spite of the things we say. What we do makes the difference, and each decision has an impact on future offerings.

By our actions, libraries have been demanding services that are easily provided through increased integration. Therefore, service providers seek increased integration through M&A. It isn't surprising. If it isn't what we want, why are we acting like it is. If we don't want the market to meet our needs, who do we expect to?

That's really all what I've got to say. I remain unsurprised by the market demanding capitalist actions by sellers and buyers. It's the whole point of it. If you want to do something about it, two steps from my point of view: 1) understand what is going on, & 2) figure out what you're do about it.

Let's Talk About Capitalism,

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