Nonprofit library technology cooperative OCLC—the company behind WorldCat, the world’s largest global catalog of library collections—has acquired CloudLibrary, a digital lending service platform offering patrons access to a wide variety of digital content through libraries, from library e-book vendor Bibliotheca. The acquisition, OCLC said in a press release, will "support public libraries in their efforts to successfully manage accelerated shifts to digital collections."

The acquisition includes the assets of Bibliotheca's digital solutions group, and former Bibliotheca staff at that group have joined OCLC. CloudLibrary had been part of Bibliotheca since 2015, when the company purchased the platform from 3M, a former major player in the library vendor space that exited the business that year.

CloudLibrary is used by roughly 500 libraries in 20 countries, which subscribe to collections of materials including e-books, audiobooks, magazines, digital newspapers, digital comics, and streaming media services in more than 50 languages. These are made available to library patrons through a mobile app.

"OCLC is in a unique position to provide cloudLibrary with a world-class technology infrastructure and a network of public libraries that serve more than 50 million people worldwide," Skip Prichard, president and CEO of OCLC, said in a statement. "This acquisition expands our service to public libraries and reinforces our commitment to increasing access to information." Matthew Bellamy, president of Bibliotheca, added that his organization is "working closely with OCLC to ensure a smooth transition and maintain cloudLibrary’s deep integrations with Bibliotheca products."