Welcome to The CITE -- a blog on Course materials, Innovation, and Technology in Education, created by Mark Nelson and now part of the Publications Department of the National Association of College Stores. CITE is a pun with multiple meanings - referring to cite as in citation, something people reference; site as in location, website, or place people go to; and sight as in foresight or looking ahead to what is coming. Comments, discussion, feedback and ideas are welcome.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Follett acquires Fourteen40

In an interesting move, Follett Corporation announced today in a press release that they are acquiring Fourteen40. Follett is one of the largest lease store operators in North America. Fourteen40 is an interesting company that I have watched and have had some interest in for some time. Fourteen40 produces a social networking solution for e-textbooks called CafeScribe. The product has received a variety of good media attention over the past year or so. This is a very interesting partnership and we will be sure to watch how Follett's digital strategy unfolds over the course of the year.

Interestingly, this acquisition comes on the heels of another acquisition of Follett just a few one month ago on February 25 when they acquired Varsity Group, Inc. -- a company that provides online textbook sales and services. A copy of that press release is also available.

I can think of a couple other acquisitions that would really round out Follett's digital portfolio, so it will be interesting to watch and see if any other news emerges in the next few weeks or months. Companies are starting to hone in on what the digital environment for textbooks might look like. We are working in that direction as well. We are refining a partnership model that should guide and help prioritize our initiatives going forward. Much to do!

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