When you understand our past, it’s easy to see the future. Our unwavering goal was and is to design solutions exclusively for you--the library community. We are large enough to supply products and services essential to everyday library life, and small enough to focus exclusively on the individuality of your library.
Our commitment to exclusively serving the library community began with ingenuity and a clear, plastic, book cover. Brodart evolved into a full-service library supply company, serving all facets of the library market from the Northwest Territories to the Pacific Rim, with facilities in the United States and Canada.
The Plasti-Kleer book jacket is a perfect example of a product designed specifically for libraries. It was invented by Arthur Brody, our founder, and is still in demand more than seven decades later. This product led to more products designed to extend the circulation life of library materials and aid in physical processing.
Our business has been built on decades of listening to librarians. In 1966, we began to add professional librarians to our unique team of writers, engineers and administrators. By employing librarians, we have been able to translate what we learned into innovative solutions designed specifically for libraries. We continue to use the knowledge to transform detailed workflow processes into simple solutions.
Our ability to recognize the importance of keeping libraries patron-ready was firmly established in the 1950’s when we partnered with Nelson McNaughton. The partnership parlayed a commercial failure into the first successful library subscription model for high-demand material. McNaughton has since expanded the original model for hardcover books to include plans for popular audio books, DVDs, children’s hardcovers, paperbacks, and Spanish-language material.
Centralized cataloging and processing was a librarian-inspired first we brought to fruition in 1960. We got our feet wet with 30,000 customer owned books and catalog card sets the library purchased from Library of Congress. Our staff processed the collection and shipped it to the library shelf-ready. Today, we continue to build upon the initial experience carefully honing the cataloging and processing services we offer today, which range from simple to complex.
We expanded to include opening day collections, which combined our library furniture, 50,000 processed books, and cataloging from Library of Congress. Indicative of our attention to detail, libraries still rely on us to provide quality furniture, supplies, and material with value-added services. Brodart was the first library vendor to provide the full complement of opening day collection services and we remain the only library exclusive vendor to do so today.
In pursuit of a better way for libraries to acquire materials with cataloging we entered into an agreement with the Library of Congress in 1961. This agreement made it possible for libraries to purchase material and catalog cards from a single source for the first time.
The following year we established Continuations, the first of its kind, standing order service for trade, text, technical, reference books, and government publications. Libraries still rely on Continuations to automatically keep their collections current with the latest in serial publications. More recently, managing standing order serials selection and scheduling became even easier with the addition of our online tool TitleQueue.com.
By 1970 Brodart had become known as The Complete Library Source, because we could actually take your empty library space, add our furniture, supplies, and materials, then leave you patron-ready.
In the decades since we have brought many other firsts to libraries:
- Circ-Serv, Flex, or Compleat cataloging and processing choices for patron-ready material
- TIPS (Title Information Preview Service) our notification program with full text reviews
- FASTips (Frequent Author and Series) a standing order service for forthcoming titles
This is just a sampling of the many solutions, which have led to the range of services we offer today.