Press release

AFI and BibLibre announce their merger to establish of the first European center dedicated to open source software for libraries and documentation centers.

AFI ("Agence Française Informatique", literally French IT Agency) and BibLibre are two major players in the development of open source software in the world of libraries and documentation centers. Offering a complete range of software and a fleet of more than 600 customers, the division created is immediately the #1 European player in its sector.
Historically installed in France, the division is already present in many European countries, either directly or through local partners: Belgium, Netherlands, Norway, Switzerland, Italy, Greece, etc ... It will grow rapidly on this axis, and in new countries.

It is a strategic alliance between two companies that remain independent. The merger between AFI and BibLibre is effected by the introduction of crossed investments in capital. Both companies will remain separated, shareholders and managers remain in place, all teams and resources are pooled in the operational framework of the cluster thus formed.

The main objective of this alliance is to create a cluster fully and resolutely turned towards open source software. Offers currently carried by the two companies are enriched with new components and products that will be further announced. Communities related to each open source software will be strengthened and internationalized.
The second objective is the ability to innovate. On a rapidly changing market (digital offering , semantic web, changing formats and offers), the division thus formed is able to make the necessary investments to provide an innovative and sustainable supply.
The third objective is to achieve a critical size to offer to our customers even more safe and fast services. By consolidating best practices of project management, agile development, and support, we have powerful assets to complete all projects and commitments that we take.

About AFI

Present in several functional areas, AFI made ​​a spectacular breakthrough in the world of library software with AFI OPAC 2.0 and AFI-Nanook. Founded in 1981, AFI performs a global turnover of 4 million Euros in 2012 (including 1.5 million Euros in the library sector) with 60 people.

Provider of software for libraries since 1989, AFI develops open source software since 2004. For AFI the transition to open source license is a philosophical choice. We are as committed to the free dissemination of knowledge and access to knowledge as to software opening. AFI is at the origin of the initiative of the data recovery charter from the FULBI that guaranteed each library the ability to export data from management software when it wishes.

About BibLibre

Well known for its business around the open source software Koha, both in university and public reading libraries BibLibre now devotes a significant portion of its energy to promote other programs: Piwik for statistics and Omeka for managing digital resources.

BibLibre offer also and in particular a complete range of services and customized to help you to better control software library management and allow you to focus your efforts on your core business. We take care of hosting, support migration, staff training, and the maintenance and development of the software we distribute.

About Open Source software in libraries

Since 5 to 10 years, more and more libraries are adopting the Open Source software model in France and Europe, enjoying many benefits, despite the persistence of many misconceptions which the main are recalled below

Everything is free? The software is, by definition, without limitation. However, services and support implementation might imply to purchase some services from software services providers. But the medium and long term " cost of ownership " of Open Source software is much lower.

Do I need a computer specialist? No, absolutely not. Companies like AFI and BibLibre (among others) are here to make exactly the same services as the old conventional publishers. By choosing our hosting solutions, libraries can even get rid of any computer-related task.

It is safe and sustainable? Yes, it is perfectly safe and more sustainable. In particular, your working tool does not depend on the strategy or the health of a provider (you can change it by keeping your software), and you take advantage of all the developments. Gone are the days where you had to constantly find re-computerization budget because your publisher has decided not to maintain any particular product, or because he tells you, for example, to implement a portal in which you will have to pay a very expensive license to use its web services. Furthermore data can be extracted at any time, for free, in standard formats.

You will gain peace of mind...