GOBI Library Solutions: Evolution of a Library Services Company

Librarianship | September 28, 2017

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See how Yankee Book Peddler became GOBI® Library Solutions from EBSCO.

Ever wonder how GOBI Library Solutions from EBSCO got to where it is today? For nearly 50 years, the company has partnered with academic, research and special libraries around the world to provide the high-quality collection development and acquisitions support. Read on to see how Yankee Book Peddler became GOBI Library Solutions from EBSCO.

It started with a love for books.

YBP began in 1971 as Yankee Book Peddler, when founder John Secor, a New England-based entrepreneur and former Prentice Hall sales manager applied his lifelong love of books and libraries to a new venture. Yankee Book Peddler was born from humble beginnings in the basement of a church in his hometown of Contoocook, NH, when Secor began selling university press books to public libraries out of the trunk of his car. In 1974, Yankee Book Peddler began selling directly to colleges and universities and made its first “approval plan” sale to an academic institution: Boston College. John passed away on July 24th, 2017, but true to his vision, the company has continued to evolve and adapt to changes in technology, libraries, the publishing industry and other factors to continue to provide the best service to librarians.  

Going Global

Quickly building a name for itself as a premier provider of English-language content domestically, in 1986, Yankee Book Peddler fulfilled an order from its first international customers, University of Hong Kong and York University in Canada. In 1997, as the organization was growing globally, the company changed its name to YBP Library Services (YBP) due to its growing role as not just a book supplier, but also an important provider of end-to-end library workflow solutions including cataloging, metadata and physical book processing. Since then, the company has continued to bring its content and workflow solutions to libraries around the world, and it now works with libraries in more than 90 countries.

What remains unchanged is the company’s commitment to providing the highest quality content and customer-focused support to academic and special libraries worldwide.  

Print to E

Recognizing the growing role of technology in library workflows, in 1996, YBP became the first vendor to launch a web-based acquisition and collection development interface: Global Online Bibliographic Interface, better known to libraries worldwide as GOBI. Considered a forward-thinking tool enabling customers to place orders for their print books online, GOBI soon expanded beyond print and began transacting e-book sales beginning in 2005. By 2014, GOBI offered 23 e-book platform ordering options, and that number has continued to grow today with the additions of Taylor and Francis eBooks, R2 Digital Library and Digitalia Hispánica. In addition to its industry-leading choice of DRM-free, pub-direct platforms, GOBI now offers nearly 5,000 library customers with access to more than 15 million print books and more than 1.8 million e-books in one central place.  

New Beginnings 

In 2015, YBP was acquired by EBSCO Information Services. YBP then transitioned in 2016 to a new brand, now known as GOBI® Library Solutions from EBSCO. This new brand highlights the importance of the GOBI brand name to librarians while acknowledging the new opportunities and innovations available through EBSCO. Since the acquisition, updates have been made to the GOBI system and internal workflows and new eSupplier partnerships have been added to libraries’ many options. What remains unchanged is the company’s commitment to providing the highest quality content and customer-focused support to academic and special libraries worldwide. 

 “GOBI Library Solutions' core mission is, and always has been, to serve as a leader in meeting the collection development, technical and workflow needs of higher education libraries. Our services are designed to support collection development and acquisition at the consortia, library staff and patron levels. With over four decades of experience behind us, our own future in finding new ways to creatively serve the needs of libraries and their patrons will be the direct result of our previous work and history coupled with our ability to listen, and act, on your evolving and future needs.” - Mark Kendall, Senior Vice President & Chief Revenue Officer, GOBI Library Solutions.

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