Clearwater advise on secondary buy-out of Micro Librarian Systems

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Clearwater Advisor

Press Release

Clearwater International is pleased to announce the £8 million secondary management buy-out of Micro Librarian Systems Ltd (“MLS”), the leading provider of automated library management systems to the UK education sector, based in Marple, Stockport.

MLS (www.microlib.co.uk) was established in 1981 and now almost 9,000 schools use its two main packages, Junior Librarian and Eclipse. Junior Librarian is aimed at primary schools as a self-service system allowing children to manage the library on a day-to-day basis. Eclipse is a sophisticated, yet user-friendly system for secondary school libraries. It is its ease of use for library users and librarians which has made Eclipse so popular in the market and this is one of the main reasons why so many schools have converted to it from other systems. MLS’s products have received recognition from Ofsted for their ability to encourage pupils to visit the library and make good use of the facilities on offer. Furthermore, Eclipse and Junior Librarian have been registered and approved to be purchased by Electronic Learning Credits (eLC’s) – specific government funding for ICT that supports the National Curriculum.

The management systems have enabled teachers and school librarians to ignite children’s enthusiasm for using their school library, bringing books to life with additional features such as allowing children to watch video clips of authors talking about their books. Teachers are also able to employ the technology as a teaching tool and can utilise the stored data to identify, for example, which pupils need more encouragement to read.

Clearwater International originally advised the management team on their MBO in 2004, and completed the SBO after a very competitive auction process.

“The size of the UK market means there remains significant opportunity for growth. We are also at the leading edge of product development and, with Livingbridge on board, we will be continuing to invest in this area as well as looking carefully at new markets such as overseas”.

Andrew O'Brien, Managing Director, MLS