Capita Software Services has announced the acquisition of library management software from provider Talis Information Limited, for £18.5m initially, with a further £2.5m of possible payment depending on the acquisition's performance to 31 March 2012.
The software enables libraries managed by local authorities and higher education institutions to manage their lending process and resources such as books, journals and DVDs.
It also gives library users access to bibliographic catalogues held by other libraries, such as the British Library and the US Library of Congress, and places orders for inter-library loans.
Capita said the acquisition adds valuable new expertise and capabilities to its existing software services products for the academic and public sector.
"Despite the changing landscape, libraries remain an important public service. We expect to see an increasing shift online, or the consolidation of physical entities that share their service delivery," said Ian Gates, divisional director at Capita Software Services.
"Whatever the method of delivery, it will need to be underpinned by a robust and powerful management system that can assist change and drive efficiencies in this essential service sector."