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By: Eileen Lawrence, Alexander Street
Sixteen years ago, Stephen Rhind-Tutt, Pat Carlson, and I launched a tiny startup with one product, North American Women's Letters and Diaries. We grew so quickly that libraries and the press referred to us as “The Little Engine That Could” or “that energetic upstart.” Every step we took seemed huge to us, and there were times we thought, “We’ve gotten pretty big.” But, of course, we weren’t big. And while we’ve kept reaching out in more and diverse directions—from full-text to Music Online to Academic Video Online, from one product to one hundred fifty—we’ve known for a while that the company was yearning to take the kinds of truly big steps that a small company can’t take alone.
We’ve built something good and solid and strong. Now we’re ready for those bigger steps. Our baby has grown up and is ready to move out into bigger circles—it’s an exciting moment as Alexander Street joins the ProQuest family.
What will stay the same? Stephen and I are here, will be here, and we feel energized by new possibilities. Other Alexander Street people will be here, maintaining the relationships we’ve built together over the years. Our way of doing business is the same—personal, caring, fair, and collaborative. We’re still here in Alexandria, Virginia, carrying on business as usual, working to deliver all the great products that our sales and marketing folks have been talking about and more. We’ll see you in Orlando in our ALA booth and at our Sunday morning breakfast.
What will change? We truly, deeply love what we do here. Now we can keep doing it, but with the solid foundation, support and additional expertise of a larger company. We’ll have a new freedom that lets us focus on what we do best—using our creativity and passion to deliver great products in collaboration with our customers.
Why ProQuest? We respect the innovation, the research solutions and library management resources that ProQuest has been delivering to researchers and the library market. The ProQuest people who approached us, and whom we’ve gotten to know even better over the past months, emphasized that this is an acquisition for growth, for expansion. They recognize our skills in areas including literature and the arts, where we can share our expertise. Most importantly, we have a shared culture of deep respect for libraries and the researchers they serve. It’s a good pairing, we will have the expanded resources we need to grow our vision, working with colleagues who understand and value our way of doing business.
We’re appreciative beyond words of the support and—may I say it?—love that our customers have shown us since we launched if love is made up of loyalty and trust and shared joy. I believe you’ll see us continue on in the way we create and work with you. Watch us. We’re still Alexander Street—now Alexander Street, a ProQuest company.