Magazine article Information Today

The Library Corporation Acquires CARL Corp

Magazine article Information Today

The Library Corporation Acquires CARL Corp

Article excerpt

The consolidation of the library automation marketplace continues with the acquisition of CARL Corp. by The Library Corporation (TLC). In this development, TLC expands its presence from small and medium-sized libraries to the very largest libraries and library consortia. CARL Corp. will be wholly owned by TLC, though its name will continue to be used in the combined company. The marketing, sales, support, and development of CARL's products and services will continue largely unchanged from its Denver facilities.

TLC, in business for over 25 years, has enjoyed great success with its Library Solution library automation system. Since its release in 1997 it has won over 300 contracts representing over 1,000 libraries. Library Solution has sold well to small and medium-sized libraries of various types, including public libraries, 4-year colleges, and community colleges. Its BiblioFile product, released in 1986, was a widely used CD-ROM-based cataloging utility. Some of its other products included The Intelligent Catalog, a CD-ROM-based OPAC, and later the ITS Workstation for Windows, a graphical cataloging environment.

CARL Corp. specializes in large-scale library automation systems. The CARL system is used by some of the largest municipal libraries and academic library systems in the U.S., including the Los Angeles Public Library, the Atlanta/Fulton County Public Library, the Denver Public Library, the Chicago Public Library, the Broward County Public Library in Florida, and the multi-campus University of Maryland system. Originally developed as a mainframe-based system using large-scale Tandem computers, the CARL system has evolved into a client/server architecture. CARL offers a Web-based OPAC, as well as graphical interfaces for most of its staff modules. CARL's Kids' Catalog and Everybody's Catalog are graphical OPACs that have been very well received.

Annette Harwood-Bakthiar, mc's chairman, CEO, and president, indicated several reasons why she believes this acquisition can be viewed as a positive change: The combined company will take advantage of some previously existing relationships between the companies, will give CARL Corp. a stable business environment, and will not reduce competition in the marketplace.

Prior to TLC's acquisition of CARL, there had been a long-standing relationship between the two companies. CARL had integrated TLC's ITS Workstation for Windows as its graphical cataloging client for the CARL system. …

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