Library Vendor Negotiations Research
Libraries buy products & services from thousands of vendors.
Vendors are organized and focused on product sales & financial objectives.
Library Budgets are severely constrained.
More efficiency in the buying process may result in greater latitude within current
Survey invitation email sent to Data-Planet email subscriber list 4000+ individuals.
The Survey was blind questionnaire – no tracking mechanism was used to identify
The data was used to formulate a presentation at the Charleston Conference presented
The open rate on the survey was >25% (~1020) with 238 completed responses.
Library Professional Counts Are Flat or Shrinking
National Center for Education Statistics (2012). Academic Library Statistics: United States, 1990-2010: Staff Count - Librarians and Other Professional
Staff | Country: USA – [Data-file]. Retrieved from Data-Planet by Conquest Systems, Inc., www.data-planet.com. Dataset-ID: 017-015-004. DOI:
Total Library Expenditures Have Flattened
National Center for Education Statistics. (2012). Academic Library Statistics: United States , 1990-2010: Total Expenditures | Country: USA – [Data-file].
Retrieved from Data-Planet by Conquest Systems, Inc., www.data-planet.com. Dataset-ID: 017-015-024. DOI: 10.6068/DP1425356F2E54
But Product Expenditures Are Increasing
National Center for Education Statistics (2012). Academic Library Statistics: United States, 1990-2010: Expenditures for Electronic Books, Serial Backfiles and
Other Materials | Country: USA – [Data-file]. Retrieved from Data-Planet by Conquest Systems, Inc., www.data-panet.com. Dataset-ID: 017-015-014. DOI:
But Product Expenditures are Increasing
National Center for Education Statistics. Academic Library Statistics: United States: Expenditures for Electronic Serials | Country: USA – [Data-file], Retrieved from
Data-Planet by Conquest Systems, Inc. , www.data-planet.com . Dataset-ID: 017-015-017. DOI: 10.6068/DP1425363B0566
Committee vs. Sole Decision Makers?
Specialized Licensing Position?
Do you have a specialized licensing position at your organization that handles actual
contract terms and conditions for acquisition of content, technology or services?
Do you have a documented negotiation process for the
acquisition of products or services?
192 / 81%
44 / 19%
Selected Comments from the Survey
“I work with vendors to do preliminary negotiations, but the final License
terms must be approved by the University.”
“We don't have a person whose only duty is license negotiations,
but I work with the campus legal office to negotiate terms.”
“You should always try and negotiate. Many librarians seem to just take the price they
quote as a given…”
“Often need to consult terms with lawyers particularly dealing with waivers
of responsibilities or consortia pricing. Faculty are contacted to review
whether benefits to accreditation. Other subject specialists are consulted
whether beneficial for other academic disciplines.”
“The question about "position in organization" doesn't have an answer that's a good fit for me.
I'm the Head of E-Resources & Licensing. Not subject librarian, not senior management. Peer to
subject librarians, but different scope of responsibilities.”
If you have questions about this survey, please don’t hesitate to
If you want to cite this presentation, please follow the format
Dunie, Matt (2013). Library Vendor Negotiations Research [Powerpoint presentation].
Presented at Charleston Conference November 8, 2013. Retrieved from SlideShare web
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