Swets bankruptcy: libraries seek answers

Swets customers are asking for clarification amid confusion following last week's bankruptcy announcement

Librarians are asking for clarification of the current position following uncertainty in the wake of last week’s announcement that Swets has been declared bankrupt.

Swets Information Services B.V. filed for bankruptcy with an Amsterdam court on 23 September. According to an official announcement from Swets,  prior to this date the management team and the administrator had been working “tirelessly to investigate alternatives for the business” but “concrete alternatives to sell the business as a whole have not materialized”.

The Swets announcement goes on to say that the “bankruptcy of the Swets Information Services B.V.  does (for now) not affect its (foreign) subsidiaries as the bankruptcy is only related to Swets Information Services B.V. If and in which way the bankruptcy of Swets Information Services B.V. will affect its branches is currently under investigation by the trustee.”

According to Swets, the administrator and management team will continue discussions with organisations who may be interested in purchasing parts of the business, and “(a)lternative solutions for the subsidiaries, or branches, of Swets Information Services B.V. which could see them continue activities on a stand alone basis will also be investigated.”

In the wake of the announcement, a wide range of publishers including Springer, Elsevier, Cambridge University Press, and Incisive Media have alerted their customers to the bankruptcy. A number have stressed their desire to work closely with customers to minimise disruption, advising that they consider alternatives for future orders.

Librarians have taken to discussion lists and social media to voice their concerns about the ongoing uncertainty, with criticism of “vague”, “sketchy”  and “hard to find” details being typical. They are also highlighting the considerable additional workload at what is already an extremely busy time of year. Others have also expressed their support for Swets staff affected by the news.