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More bang for your buck: working with your vendor in the age of shrinking staff handout


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Library expenditures for serials are growing while staffing of serials operations is declining. Sara Bahnmaier, Resource Licensing and Management Librarian at the University of Michigan, will report on the changes in her organization and how her library relies on subscription agencies to manage its serials accounts. Bill Sherfey, Regional Manager for HARRASSOWITZ, long-term subscription vendor for the University of Michigan Libraries, will present from a vendor’s perspective the training and in-house expertise that a vendor has to offer the library in these times of lean and mean staffing. The University Libraries recently began working also with WT Cox for some of their North American subscriptions. Maria Hatfield, Vice President of Integrated Solutions at WT Cox, will address how to establish an effective new vendor-library relationship in order for the library to get the most support possible. Join the discussion about using vendor services to optimize your serials workflows.

Sara Bahnmaier, Acquisitions & Licensing Librarian, University of Michigan
Maria Hatfield, VP, Integrated Solutions, WT Cox Information Services
William Sherfey, HARRASSOWITZ Booksellers and Subscription Agents

Published in: Education
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More bang for your buck: working with your vendor in the age of shrinking staff handout

  1. 1. Getting more bang for your buck Working with your vendor in the age of shrinking staff Sara Bahnmaier, Maria Hatfield and Bill Sherfey June 8, 2019
  2. 2. University of Michigan Member of Big Ten Academic Association Collection budget: Over $25 million FTE: over 55,000 Located in Ann Arbor, Michigan Engineering campus, Michigan Medicine campus, Central campus, athletic campus Two satellite campuses, Flint and Dearborn located within 50 mi. radius
  3. 3. ARL Statistics on Staff and Librarians #1 of all 124 ARL members for number of staff positions #3 of all 124 ARL members for number of professional staff positions #3 in overall library investment #2 in volumes held #3 in library wages and salaries ARL Statistics 2016-2017 Shaneka Morris and Gary Roebuck, Washington, DC: Association of Research Libraries (2019).
  4. 4. What shrinking staff? ~75 staff in Technical Services circa 2000 vs. ~45 staff in 2019 in same jobs No layoffs, no downsizing, just attrition and “right-sizing” Staffing growth has been in new areas of emphasis: Data management, Metadata services, Data visualization, Accessibility, Publishing, Digital content, digital archiving, international programs, Assessment, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
  5. 5. Collection services needed include... ● Access: If the outage occurs on an online serial handled by a subscription vendor, that will be the first report made. ● (electronic data interchange) EDI invoicing: This alone saves us 3/4 of the data entry time we used to devote to keying in each invoice by hand. ● Online database - a cornucopia of available titles, formats, pricing and details about access and licensing ● Package management: Vendor works with consortium; finds overlap and duplicate copies, applies our discounts, manages orders in publisher’s Deeply Discount Print program.
  6. 6. More collections services ● Reports: Time savings from preparing reports, security of historical data in clean formats ● Title changes, publisher transfers The knowledge of a serials vendor is invaluable and it’s made easy for us to decide whether we to continue or cancel a migrated title, and the serials vendor will carry it out. ● Invoices we need might be broken down by item, or consolidated. We have the flexibility to ask our serials vendor to invoice us in a certain way that corresponds with our decentralized fund structures.
  7. 7. Building a relationship Communication: Visits are important but are not a substitute for day-to-day communication. If you can’t get hold of the vendor, or they aren’t getting responses from your organization, how can they do any business Discuss standards - NISO standards and MARC standards and any other important ones that you need. Discuss specific contents: A list of the titles you’re interested in having them order, which ones if any can’t they advise you on? What regions do they concentrate on? Read their contract language; read their history and stories about themselves.