BibLibre was founded in Oct. 2007 and, with 3 founders, grew pretty quickly: the company went from 3 to 11 people, had a turnover of a little under 500.000€ in 2009, and we managed to make Koha a reality in French libraries, both in Academic and Public libraries, some of them fairly large, and we also managed to help implement Koha in several other European countries.
But BibLibre now has other needs: the first, so called “start-up” phase of the life of this company is coming to an end. The libraries which did and will select BibLibre certainly need us to maintain our enthusiasm, but they also need us to become a stronger company, perfectly and smoothly run and organized, led by people whose job it is to be a CEO. That’s the role Philippe Chabanon will fill: he joins BibLibre as a new partner, replacing Nicolas Morin.
Nicolas was the first librarian within BibLibre: known for his enthusiasm for IT and Open Source software in libraries, he greatly contributed to the realization of that initial plan: to create a company to help libraries take advantage of the opportunities Open Source software represent. He was and remains a librarian, first and foremost, and with this initial phase of BibLibre’s life coming to a close, he chose to get back to libraries. He will stay with BibLibre for a transition period until August.
Philippe brings new skills to BibLibre, and a lot of experience: he spent the last 12 years as part of the managing team with EverTeam, one of the leading vendors on the French library market, and also worked for Bull IT prior to that.
His skills as a manager and his knowledge of the library market will be of immense value to BibLibre, at a time when the company needs to change gear and move on to the next stage of it’s life.
Our project doesn’t change: to be a company focused on services to libraries, making and using Open Source software. Paul and Henri-Damien, the other two partners, stay on board and continue in their effort to make this project into a great company: with Philippe’s arrival, what changes is our capacity to execute that vision.