EBSCO Information Services has bought YBP Library Services from Baker & Taylor.
Ahead of a public announcement, EBSCO - headquartered in Ipswich, Massachussetts - revealed the buy to customers, saying: "This acquisition ensures YBP's continuing role as the primary book supplier to academic libraries in the years to come.
"As we all know, the marketplace has been experiencing tectonic shifts as new technology has emerged, and with it a host of new content suppliers and models. EBSCO is uniquely qualified to ensure that YBP Library Services evolves apace with technology and continues to occupy a central role in supporting the academic library community."
Later confirming the deal publicly, EBSCO announced that the buy was a "significant investment in the library workflow", saying it would bring together the components of an integrated solution that would "help change the course of library automation."
EBSCO president Tim Collins said the company planned to let YBP be YBP. “YBP is recognized in the market as the leader at what they do. We want them to keep doing it," he said. "We are in a position to help their progress and expedite their vision, and we are looking to continue their operations and partnerships with publisher and aggregator platforms. The people and philosophies are a match, and we are excited to welcome YBP to the EBSCO family.”
EBSCO is a significant player in the supply of digital material to academic and professional libraries, a fast-moving market also occupied by Proquest and Ingram. New Hampshire-based YBP has close relationships with academic publishers and provides an expert recommendation service to libraries. It runs the GOBI (Global Online Bibliographic Information) system, which provides access to 10 million titles, including digital titles from leading aggregators, and which it describes as "the most intuitive online interface relied upon worldwide by academic, research and special libraries."
Baker & Taylor, which focuses on book supply to public libraries, will continue to provide distribution and buying services for print books recommended through YBP.
Meanwhile ProQuest, which competes with EBSCO, has said it will continue its longstanding relationship with YBP, enabling libraries to purchase its 730,000-plus e-books through the GOBI platform, despite the change in YBP's ownership. Customer contracts with ProQuest will be "unaffected" by the change, the company said.
“Like all of our many partnerships, our participation in GOBI is based on our commitment to unbiased access to information, and to collaborations that make workflows seamless,” said Kurt Sanford, ProQuest CEO. “We are continuing our relationship with YBP without disruption to support these commitments. This is driven by what’s best for our customers and the patrons they serve.”