bibliotheca is pleased to announce that, effective October 1st, Al Coalla (previously North American Sales Director) will assume the role of President of North America, responsible for operations across the Americas region. Coalla will take over the reins from Shai Robkin who, following the successful business integration, has requested to step down from his position in order to pursue interests outside of the library world.
As the founder and CEO of Integrated Technology Group (ITG) in 2005, Robkin was instrumental in developing a core management team and product set focused on utilizing technology to improve library operational efficiency. ITG became a significant player in the North American self-checkout and RFID market, and an attractive part of the subsequent merger in April 2011 into the bibliotheca Group. Although leaving his full-time position with the company, Robkin will continue his involvement with bibliotheca as both a shareholder and advisor to the Executive Board and the North American management team.
Jim Hopwood, bibliotheca’s President of Europe and CTO, comments: “We would like to offer our sincere thanks to Shai for all his hard work and dedication as we have moved towards becoming a single global company. Shai has shown exemplary leadership qualities in building up ITG from the beginning and also in continuing to motivate the organization during the merger and we will all miss his day-to-day contribution to the business. Having joined our US operation last year, Al has been an important part of our global Executive Management Team. His appointment is a key milestone in our commitment to grow our North American business, with particular emphasis on strengthening our customer service offering.”
To further strengthen the North American leadership, bibliotheca has appointed Gary Potts (previously bibliotheca Group Director, Finance), as the new Chief Operating Officer of North America. Both Coalla and Potts bring with them a wealth of industry knowledge and experience to their respective roles.
Commenting on his upcoming departure, Robkin states: “From the early days of the merger, it was always my intention to build the North American business and its team to a point where my involvement could be reduced. I love libraries and I love the contribution that we have been able to make to libraries. The time is simply right for me to pursue other interests. I know I will be leaving the business in the safe hands of a dedicated team who will ensure its continued growth, and I am delighted to have both Al and Gary leading the way. As an active shareholder in the company, bibliotheca will continue to hold personal interest for me and I will continue to assist where I can in an advisory role. I would like to thank colleagues old and new for their tireless dedication to the company and for the family spirit to which each one contributes.”
In recognition of Robkin’s accomplishments in the industry, starting 2013, bibliotheca will present an annual award in his honor to a North American library that has shown exceptional innovation or forward thinking; details will be announced next year.
On his new appointment, Coalla added: “One of the key reasons for me joining bibliotheca last year was the quality of people that this business has in North America and the commitment that they show to our customers. Although Shai leaving represents a significant milestone for our company, we should also see this as an exciting new adventure for us; one which I’m hugely excited about leading our business and our team through with Gary.”
bibliotheca is dedicated to the development of solutions that help libraries connect with users in unique ways and provide engaging experiences, allowing them to continually evolve their library services for the changing needs of their communities. Their products are designed to provide a welcoming, intuitive and seamless environment for those that use the library – wherever they choose to use it - be that at home, on the move or within the library itself.
With over 30,000 libraries as part of their family, they have installed and continue to support more than 10,000 self-service units, 6,000 security systems and over 650 Automated Materials Handling (sorter) systems. In addition, the cloudLibrary™ digital platform powers eBook and eAudiobook lending at a further 3,000 libraries.
Al Coalla appointed President of bibliotheca North America