You are here

Feed aggregator

DuraSpace News: NOW AVAILABLE: More Information About the DuraSpace/LYRASIS “Intent to Merge”

planet code4lib - Tue, 2016-02-09 00:00

Austin, TX  Learn more about the planning now underway as a result of the exciting news that the LYRASIS and DuraSpace Boards have voted unanimously in favor of an “intent to merge” the two organizations. In order to provide additional information for our communities DuraSpace and LYRASIS have developed the following information:

HangingTogether: A Sister Blog is Born

planet code4lib - Mon, 2016-02-08 21:38

OCLC has launched a new blog: Next. Focused on what comes next for libraries, librarians, and the communities they serve, it will draw upon OCLC staff with a variety of experiences and perspectives.

First up is Skip Prichard, OCLC CEO,  who discusses “Transforming data into impact”. This was also the topic of an OCLC program at ALA Midwinter of the same title, and you can find links to the slides and video of the event in his post.

Second is yours truly on “Getting started with linked data”. In this short piece I try to make linked data understandable and explain why it is important (making data more machine-actionable) and how it will have an impact on libraries (by making many of workflows more efficient and enhancing the user discovery experience).

Then there is “Learning isn’t learning until you use it” by my Membership and Research colleague Sharon Streams. In it she provides some sage advice for both students and teachers — and aren’t we both at different times? And any post that ends with a story from comedian Louis CK can’t be all bad, right?

These initial posts will be followed up by other colleagues who have some fascinating things to say. I think you will find this blog will be well worth adding to your blog reader or aggregator. If you use Twitter more than blog aggregators for current awareness as I do, follow @OCLC and you’ll be good.

About Roy Tennant

Roy Tennant works on projects related to improving the technological infrastructure of libraries, museums, and archives.

Mail | Web | Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn | Flickr | YouTube | More Posts (92)

District Dispatch: Libraries celebrate 20th anniversary of telecom act

planet code4lib - Mon, 2016-02-08 16:15

Libraries are celebrating the 20th Anniversary of the 1996 Telecommunications Act this week!

When the 1996 Telecommunications Act was signed into law, only 28% of libraries provided public internet access. What a dizzying two decades we’ve experienced since then! It’s hard to imagine how #librariestransform without also considering the innovations enabled by Act and the E-rate program it created.

Libraries were named one of seven major application areas for the National Information Infrastructure in a 1994 taskforce report: “For education and for libraries, all teachers and students in K-12 schools and all public libraries—whether in urban suburban, or rural areas; whether in rich or in poor neighborhoods—need access to the educational and library services carried on the NII. All commercial establishments and all workers must have equal access to the opportunities for electronic commerce and telecommuting provided by the NII. Finally, all citizens must have equal access to government services provided over the NII.”

In his 1997 State of the Union address, President Clinton called for all schools and libraries to be wired by 2000. We came close: 96% of libraries were connected by this time.

Looking back at precursor reports to the Digital Inclusion Survey, we see both how much things have changed—and how some questions and challenges have stubbornly lingered. Fewer and fewer of us likely remember the dial up dial tone, but in 1997 nearly half of all libraries were connected to the internet at speeds of 28.8kbps. (Thankfully, by 2006 we weren’t even asking about this speed category anymore!) The average number of workstations was 1.9, compared to 19 today.

Then, as now, though, libraries reported that their bandwidth and number of public computers available were unable to meet patron demand at least some of the time. Libraries, like the nation as a whole, also continue to see disparities among urban, suburban and rural library connectivity.

Or how about this quote from the 1997 report under the subheading The Endless Upgrade: “One-shot fixes for IT in public libraries is not a viable policy strategy.”

As exhausting as we may sometimes feel at the speed of change, what has been enabled is truly transformative. From connecting rural library patrons to legal counsel via videoconferencing in Maine to creating and uploading original digital content from library patrons nationwide, “The E’s of Libraries®” are powered by broadband.

According to a 2013 Pew Internet Project report, the availability of computers and internet access now rivals book lending and reference expertise as vital library services. Seventy-seven percent of Americans say free access to computers and the internet is a “very important” service of libraries, compared with 80 percent who say borrowing books and access to reference librarians are “very important” services.

America’s libraries owe a debt to Senators Rockefeller, Snowe and Markey for recognizing and investing in the vital roles libraries and schools play in leveraging the internet to support education and lifelong learning. And we also are grateful to the current FCC for upgrading E-rate for today—setting gigabit goals and creating new opportunities to expand fiber connections to even our most geographically far flung. We invite you to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Telecom Act (hashtag #96×20) and share how your #librariestransform with high-speed broadband all this week.

The post Libraries celebrate 20th anniversary of telecom act appeared first on District Dispatch.

Open Library Data Additions: Amazon Crawl: part en

planet code4lib - Mon, 2016-02-08 16:00

Part en of Amazon crawl..

This item belongs to: data/ol_data.

This item has files of the following types: Data, Data, Metadata, Text

Islandora: Islandora's Long Tail VIII

planet code4lib - Mon, 2016-02-08 14:21

Time for the 8th installment of the Islandora Long Tail (which contains eight modules!), where we take a look at modules outside of the Islandora release that are being developed around the Islandora community.

Islandora Job

Released by discoverygarden last November, this module utilizes Gearman to facilitate asynchronous and parallel processing of Islandora jobs and allows for Drupal modules to register worker functions and routes received messages from the job server to the appropriate worker functions.  

Islandora GSearcher

Another module from discoverygarden, this one a brand new release. Islandora GSearcher sends created and edited objects to be indexed via the Fedora Generic Search Service on page exit, removing the need for ActiveMQ between Fedora and GSearch.

Islandora UIIG Edit Metadata

To address some perceived issues with the interface currently available for editing metadata, the User Interface Interest Group has started work on this standalone feature module to create an "Edit Metadata" tab. It's currently in the early stages of development, so please suggest use cases, improvements, and refinements.

Islandora Ingest Drag'n'Drop

From Brad Spry at the University of North Carolina Charlotte, this ingest module provides a methodology for creating a drag-and-drop batch ingest workflow powered by a local Linux-based NAS system integrated with an Islandora ingest server. Basically, it gives access to the power of islandora_batch without the need to use terminal commands. You can use it with another fun little tool from UNCC, the Islandora Ingest Indicator, which  is "designed to communicate Islandora ingest status to Archivists; a methodology for integrating Blink (link is external) indicator lights with an Islandora ingest server. We have programmed Blink to glow GREEN for indicating "ready for ingest" and RED for "ingest currently running."More about Blink:

Islandora Usage Stat Callbacks

This offering from the Florida Virtual Campus team and Islandora IR Interest Group convenor Bryan Brown, is a helper module that works with Islandora Usage Stats to take the data it collects and expose it via URL callbacks.

Barnard Collection View

And finally, a custom content type from Ben Rosner at Boston College that allows archivists and curators to create a collection view by way of using a Solr query. Basically, it "aims to mimic certain behaviors from the Islandora Solr Views module, but also permit the user to search, sort, facet, and explore the collection without navigating them away from the page." Ben is looking for feedback and  has provided a couple of screenshots of what it looks like in action:

Islandora Mirador Bookreader

This module implements Mirador open source IIIF image viewer for Islandora Book Solution Pack. It was developed by the team at the University of Toronto, with support from the The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for development of the French Renaissance Paleography website.

LITA: Hack your Calendars? Using them for more than just appointments.

planet code4lib - Mon, 2016-02-08 14:00

As librari*s one thing we know, and usually know well, is how to do more with less, or at least without any increase. With this mindset, even the most mundane tools can take on multiple roles. For example, our Calendars

I had a boss near the beginning of my professional career who leveraged their calendar in ways I’d never thought to: as a log for tracking projects, personal ticketing system, and the usual meeting/appointment scheduling. It stuck with me; a handful of years later and I still use that same process.

When I interviewed for my now current job, I was asked how I prioritize and manage what I have to do. My response: with my calendar. I don’t have meetings every hour of every day but I do have a lot of tasks to do and things I’m working on, and having a running log of this is useful, as well as scheduling out blocks of time to actually get my work done.

Using a tool that was designed to organize days and then developed for individual use or network use (sharing of information). Personal calendars kept separate from work calendars, and all used for documenting appointments on our schedules. Why not use them for more than that? Calendar software is designed to intake a reasonable amount of information, customize it as you will.

Things that a Calendar offers that makes this easy

  • Free text Subject/Location fields
  • Start & End times
  • Category options (you decide!) — if you wear multiple hats or are working for multiple teams, this can be incredibly useful
  • Free text Notes field
  • Privacy options

Using a Calendar this way allows you to link together in one point an array of information — people associated with a project, a URL to a google doc, organize based on the hat you’re wearing, document time spent on projects — really helpful for annual reviews. My personal favorite use is noting what you did with a specific project (or problem), this works well when you need a ticketing system setup but just for your personal projects/problems/etc. Things break, it’s my current job to fix them and keep them from breaking (as often) in the future — when I spend 4 hours fixing something, I note it on my calendar and use the notes portion to log running issues, how they were solved, etc.

Using my calendar this way accomplished a handful of things, aside from traditional use:

  • Gave me a decent log for time spent on projects
  • Made my annual review 100% easier
  • Forced me to become more aware of what I was spending my time on
  • Helped me set aside the necessary time needed to work on certain tasks
  • Ward off unnecessary meetings (because Calendar was busy)

If you’re concerned about privacy — check here {link to setting Outlook Calendar privacy} and here {link to setting Google Calendar privacy} for how to manage the privacy settings on Outlook and/or Google.

I challenge you for a week to use your calendar in this fashion, as your own personal work log.

Many thanks to @archivalistic @griffey  @timtomch @slmcdanold @collingsruth @metageeky @sharon_bailey @infosecsherpa @gmcharlt @amyrbrown @redgirl13 for sharing their responses.

LibUX: 033 – A UX Shop for One with Stephen Francoeur

planet code4lib - Mon, 2016-02-08 04:23

Stephen Francoeur is among the first user experience librarians and in this episode he shares his insight about thriving as a one-person UX shop. We talk about organizational buy-in, how best to pitch and communicate UX work, as well as a super interesting tear on imposter syndrome.

You have to be careful who you compare yourself too. If you already have bad feelings about what you can do, your library’s relative poverty compared to other institutions, it’s easy to say “oh screw it, we’ll never be able to keep up with that.” … Maybe we all should be pointing to the under-resourced libraries who manage to be doing a real bang-up job. Stephen Francoeur

  • 1:15 – The story behind “Advice for UX Shops of One in Libraries
  • 2:23 – Stephen petitioned administration to create a new UX position
  • 4:43 – On organizational buy-in
  • 6:26 – Setting milestones or benchmarks for determining whether investment in UX work has been successful.
  • 11:00 – How receptive are university IT to user-centric design or development requests made by the library?
  • 13:28 – What if a proposal fails?
  • 15:29 – What kind of advice does Stephen have for folks whose administrations aren’t so receptive to user experience design?
  • 17:31 – Whether there’s a preference toward either quantitative or qualitative data.
  • 23:13 – If somebody is new — let’s say they just read Amanda Etches’ and Aaron Schmidt’s book — where do they start?
  • 24:44 – How persuasive is it to stakeholders to look at what other institutions have done with user experience teams?
  • 27:27 – Lasting thoughts

If you like you can download the MP3.

As usual, you support us by helping us get the word out: share a link and take a moment to leave a nice review. Thanks!

You can subscribe to LibUX on Stitcher, iTunes, or plug our feed right into your podcatcher of choice. Help us out and say something nice. You can find every podcast on

The post 033 – A UX Shop for One with Stephen Francoeur appeared first on LibUX.

FOSS4Lib Recent Releases: Omeka - 2.4

planet code4lib - Sun, 2016-02-07 20:48
Package: OmekaRelease Date: Thursday, January 21, 2016

Last updated February 7, 2016. Created by David Nind on February 7, 2016.
Log in to edit this page.

We are pleased to announce the release of Omeka 2.4. Although most of the changes are behind the scenes, they contribute to a smoother operation overall.

We have increased the required version of PHP, now at a minimum of 5.3.2. Be sure to check what version of PHP you are running before you upgrade to ensure that you have a supported version. On the opposite end of things, the latest version, PHP 7, is now supported.

FOSS4Lib Updated Packages: AtoM - Access to Memory

planet code4lib - Sun, 2016-02-07 19:56

Last updated February 7, 2016. Created by David Nind on February 7, 2016.
Log in to edit this page.

AtoM stands for Access to Memory. It is a web-based, open source application for standards-based archival description and access in a multilingual, multi-repository environment.

Key features:

  • Web-based Access your AtoM installation from anywhere you have an internet connection. All core AtoM functions take place via a web browser, with minimal assumptions about end-user requirements for access. No more synching multiple installations on a per-machine basis – install AtoM once, and access it from anywhere.
  • Open source All AtoM code is released under a GNU Affero General Public License (A-GPL 3.0) – giving you the freedom to study, modify, improve, and distribute it. We believe that an important part of access is accessibility, and that everyone should have access to the tools they need to preserve cultural heritage materials. AtoM code is always freely available, and our documentation is also released under a Creative Commons Share-alike license.
  • Standards-based AtoM was originally built with support from the International Council on Archives, to encourage broader international standards adoption. We've built standards-compliance into the core of AtoM, and offer easy-to-use, web-based edit templates that conform to a wide variety of international and national standards.
  • Import/export friendly Your data will never be locked into AtoM – we implement a number of metadata exchange standards to support easy import and export through the AtoM user interface. Currently AtoM supports the following import/export formats: EAD, EAC-CPF, CSV and SKOS.
  • Multilingual All user interface elements and database content can be translated into multiple languages, using the built-in translation interface. The translations are all generously provided by volunteer translators from the AtoM User Community.
  • Multirepository Built for use by a single institution for its own descriptions, or as a multi-repository “union list” (network, portal) accepting descriptions from any number of contributing institutions, AtoM is flexible enough to accommodate your needs.
  • Constantly improving AtoM is an active, dynamic open-source project with a broad user base. We're constantly working with our community to improve the application, and all enhancements are bundled into our public releases. This means that whenever one person contributes, the entire community benefits.
Package Type: Archival Record Manager and EditorLicense: AGPL Package Links Development Status: Production/Stable Releases for AtoM - Access to Memory Operating System: Browser/Cross-PlatformLinuxMacWindowsTechnologies Used: Dublin CoreEADMODSProgramming Language: JavaPHPDatabase: MySQLOpen Hub Link: Hub Stats Widget: 

FOSS4Lib Upcoming Events: KohaCon 2016

planet code4lib - Sun, 2016-02-07 11:06
Date: Monday, May 30, 2016 - 08:00 to Saturday, June 4, 2016 - 17:00Supports: Koha

Last updated February 7, 2016. Created by David Nind on February 7, 2016.
Log in to edit this page.

Join Koha community members for their annual conference from 30 May to 4 June 2016 in Thessaloniki, Greece.

Whether you're just curious about Koha, or have been using it for many years to manage your library, come along and learn more about Koha, the world's first free and open source integrated library management system.

FOSS4Lib Recent Releases: CollectiveAccess - 1.6

planet code4lib - Sun, 2016-02-07 04:37
Package: CollectiveAccessRelease Date: Friday, January 29, 2016

Last updated February 6, 2016. Created by David Nind on February 6, 2016.
Log in to edit this page.

Version 1.6 of Providence, the CollectiveAccess cataloguing tool, includes many changes including completely rebuilt support for ElasticSearch, a brand new display template parser (faster! better!), lots of bug fixes and many new user-requested features.

You can learn more by reading the release notes for version 1.6.

NOTE: The 1.4 version of Pawtucket (the public web-access application) is NOT compatible with version 1.6 of Providence. A 1.6-compatible release will be available soon.

FOSS4Lib Recent Releases: Piwik - 2.16.0

planet code4lib - Sun, 2016-02-07 03:48

Last updated February 6, 2016. Created by David Nind on February 6, 2016.
Log in to edit this page.

Package: PiwikRelease Date: Thursday, February 4, 2016

FOSS4Lib Recent Releases: Koha - 3.22.2, 3.20.8

planet code4lib - Sun, 2016-02-07 03:44
Package: KohaRelease Date: Thursday, January 28, 2016

Last updated February 6, 2016. Created by David Nind on February 6, 2016.
Log in to edit this page.

Monthly maintenance releases for Koha.

See the release announcements for the details:

Terry Reese: MarcEdit In-Process Work

planet code4lib - Sat, 2016-02-06 13:09

Would this be the super bowl edition? Super-duper update? I don’t know – but I am planning an update. Here’s what I’m hoping to accomplish for this update (2/7/2016):

MarcEdit (Windows/Linux)

· Z39.50/SRU Enhancement: Enable user defined profiles and schemas within the SRU configuration. Status: Complete

· Z39.50/SRU Enhancement: Allow SRU searches to be completed as part of the batch tool. Status: ToDo

· Build Links: Updating rules file and updating components to remove the last hardcode elements. Status: Complete

· MarcValidators: Updating rules file Status: Complete

· RDA Bug Fix: 260 conversion – rare occasions when {} are present, you may lose a character Status: Complete

· RDA Enhancement: 260 conversion – cleaned up the code Status: Complete

· Jump List Enhancement: Selections in the jump list remain highlighted Status: Complete

· Script Wizard Bug Fix: Corrected error in the generator that was adding an extra “=” when using the conditional arguments. Status: Complete

MarcEdit Linux

· MarcEdit expects the /home/[username] to be present…when it’s not, the application data is being lost causing problems with the program. Updating this so allow the program to drop back to the application directory/shadow directory. Status: Testing

MarcEdit OSX

· RDA Fix [crash error when encountering invalid data] Status: Testing

· Z39.50 Bug: Raw Queries failing Status: Complete

· Command-line MarcEdit: Porting the Command line version of marcedit (cmarcedit). Status: Testing

· Installer – Installer needs to be changed to allow individual installation of the GUI MarcEdit and the Command-line version of MarcEdit. These two version share the same configuration data Status: ToDo


Mark E. Phillips: Identify outliers to use for a user interface feature.

planet code4lib - Sat, 2016-02-06 05:07

At work we are deep in the process of redesigning the user interface of The Portal to Texas History.  We have a great team in our User Interfaces Unit that I get to work with on this project,  they do the majority of the work and I have been a data gatherer to identify problems that come up in our data.

As we are getting closer to our beta release we had a new feature we wanted to add to the collection and partner detail pages.  Below is the current mockup of this detail page.

Collection Detail Mockup

Quite long isn’t it.  We are trying something out (more on that later)

The feature that we are wanting more data for is the “At a Glance” feature. This feature displays the number of unique values (cardinality) of a specific field for the collection or partner.

At A Glance Detail

So in the example above we show that there are 132 items, 1 type, 3 titles, 1 contributing partner, 3 decades and so on.

All this is pretty straight forward so far.

The next thing we want to do is to highlight a box in a different color if it is a value that is different from the normal.  For example if the average collection has three different languages present then we might want to highlight the language box for a collection that had ten languages represented.

There are several ways that we can do this, first off we just made some guesses and coded in values that we felt would be good thresholds.  I wanted to see if we could figure out a way to identify these thresholds based on the data in the collection itself.  That’s what this blog post is going to try to do.

Getting the data:

First of all I need to pull out my “I couldn’t even play an extra who stands around befuddled on a show about statistics, let alone play a stats person on TV” card (wow I really tried with that one) so if you notice horribly incorrect assumptions or processes here, 1. you are probably right, and 2. please contact me so I can figure out what I’m doing wrong.

That being said here we go.

We currently have 453 unique collections in The Portal to Texas History.  For each of these collections we are interested in calculating the cardinality of the following fields

  • Number of items
  • Number of languages
  • Number of series titles
  • Number of resource types
  • Number of countries
  • Number of counties
  • Number of states
  • Number of decades
  • Number of partner institutions

To calculate these numbers I pulled data from our trusty Solr index making use of the stats component and the stats.calcdistinct=true option.  Using this I am able to get the number of unique values for each of the fields listed above.

Now that I have the numbers from Solr I can format them into lists of the unique values and start figuring out how I want to define a threshold.

Defining a threshold:

For this first attempt I decided to try and define the threshold using the Tukey Method that uses the Interquartile Range (IQR).  If you never took any statistics courses (I was a music major so not much math for me) I found this post Highlighting Outliers in your Data with the Tukey Method extremely helpful.

First off I used the handy st program to get an overview of the data that I was going to be working with.

Field N min q1 median q3 max sum mean stddev stderr items 453 1 98 303 1,873 315,227 1,229,840 2,714.87 16,270.90 764.47 language 453 1 1 1 2 17 802 1.77 1.77 0.08 titles 453 0 1 1 3 955 5,082 11.22 65.12 3.06 type 453 1 1 1 2 22 1,152 2.54 3.77 0.18 country 453 0 1 1 1 73 1,047 2.31 5.59 0.26 county 453 0 1 1 7 445 8,901 19.65 53.98 2.54 states 453 0 1 1 2 50 1,902 4.20 8.43 0.40 decade 453 0 2 5 9 49 2,759 6.09 5.20 0.24 partner 453 1 1 1 1 103 1,007 2.22 7.22 0.34

With the q1 and q3 values we can calculate the IQR for the field and then using the standard 1.5 multiplier or the extreme multiplier of 3 we can add this value back to the q3 value and find our upper threshold.

So for the county field

7 - 1 = 6 6 * 1.5 = 9 7 + 9 = 16

This gives us the threshold values in the table below.

Field Threshold – 1.5 Threshold – 3 items 4,536 7,198 language 4 5 titles 6 9 type 4 5 country 1 1 county 16 25 states 4 5 decade 20 30 partner 1 1

Moving forward we can use these thresholds as a way of saying “this field stands out in this collection from other collections”  and make the box in the “At a Glance” feature a different color.

If you have questions or comments about this post,  please let me know via Twitter.

Equinox Software: On The Road Again

planet code4lib - Fri, 2016-02-05 18:08

It’s a new year, which means it’s time for the Equinox team to hit the road and attend some Spring conferences!  Here’s where we’ll be for the next few months:

  • Code4Lib Conference in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania March 7-10, 2016
    • We love Pennsylvania, this much is true.  Equinox is proud to be co-sponsoring childcare for this event.  Mike Rylander and Mary Jinglewski will be attending the Code4Lib Conference and they’re excited to learn some new things and mingle with the library tech folk.  If you’d like to meet up with either of them, please let us know!
  • Public Library Association (PLA) Conference in Denver, Colorado April 5-9, 2016
    • Equinox is looking forward to exhibiting at PLA this year in beautiful Denver, Colorado.  The team will be ready and waiting in Booth #408.  We can’t wait to meet with you to talk about Open Source solutions for your library!  
  • Evergreen Conference in Raleigh, North Carolina April 20-23, 2016
    • Our very favorite conference of the year!  We love getting together with Evergreen users and sharing our experience and knowledge.  Equinox is not only a Platinum Sponsor for this event; we are also sponsoring the Development Hackfest. The Equinox team will be involved in fourteen separate talks throughout the conference spanning a wide variety of topics.

There are a lot of exciting things in store for 2016 and we can’t wait to share them with you.  Whether in an exhibit booth or over a beer, we love to talk.  Hope to see you all soon!

LITA: Quid Pro Quo: Librarians and Vendors

planet code4lib - Fri, 2016-02-05 13:00

I joked with a colleague recently that I need to get over my issue with vendors giving me sales pitches during phone calls and meetings. We had a good laugh since a major responsibility of my job as Assistant Director is to meet with vendors and learn about products that will enhance the patron experience at my library. As the point of contact I’m going to be the person the vendor calls and I’m going to be the person to whom the vendor pitches stuff.

The point was that sometimes it would be nice to have a quiet day so you could get back to the other vendors who have contacted you or maybe actually implement some of the tech you acquired from a vendor—he says as he looks wistfully at a pile of equipment in his office that should out in the public’s hands.

Just last month my fellow blogger Bill Dueber talked about the importance of negotiating with vendors in his post “There’s a Reason There’s a Specialized Degree.” Because I work hand in hand with vendors on an almost daily basis there’s a number of things I try to do to hold up my end of the bargain. There’s an article from 2010 on LIS Careers that talks about the Librarian/Vendor relationship. While not everything is relevant, it does have some good information in it (some of which I’ve pulled into this post).

  • Pay bills on time
  • Reply to calls/emails in a timely manner
  • Be clear about timelines
  • Say no if the answer’s no
  • Be congenial

I find it helps if I think of the vendors as my patrons. How would I treat a member of the public? Would I wait weeks before answering a reference question that came in via email? We’re all busy so not responding the same day to a vendor is probably ok but going more than a day or two is not a good idea. If I don’t want the vendor emailing me every other day I need to communicate. And if things are really busy or something’s come up I need to be clear with the vendor that I won’t be able to look at a new product until next week or second quarter, whichever the case may be.

I can’t speak for other libraries, but our board approves bills so we basically do a big swath of payments once a month. The more time it takes me to sign off on a bill and hand it over to finance, the longer it’ll take for that bill to get processed. Trust me, the last thing you want is for your computer reservation license to expire so you end up scrambling fifteen minutes before you open the doors trying to get a new license installed.

If I’m doing my part, then there are some things I expect in return from vendors (this list will look similar):

  • Send bills in a timely manner
  • Don’t send email/call every other day
  • Take no for an answer
  • Don’t trash competitors

It’s very frustrating to me when a vendor keeps pushing a product after I’ve said no. I know the vendor’s job is to find customers but sometimes it can be beneficial to lay off the sales pitch and save it for another visit. Only once have I actually had to interrupt a vendor several times during a phone call to tell them that I no longer will be doing business with them and do not want them to call me any more.

It’s one thing to say that your product does something no one else’s does or to claim that your product works better than a competitor. That’s business. But I’ve sat in vendor demos where the person spent so much time trashing another company that I had no idea what their product did. Also, sometimes I use similar products from different companies because they’re different and I can reach more patrons with a wider variety of services. This is particularly true with technology. We provide desktops, laptops, and WiFi for our customers because different people like to use different types of computers. It’s not always economically feasible to provide such a variety for every service, but we try to do it when we can.

I also have a number of things I’ll put on a wish list for vendors.

  • Look over meeting agendas and minutes
  • Check our website for services we’re offering
  • Provide a demo that you can leave behind
  • Try to not show up unannounced; at least call first

It shocks me when vendors ask what our budget is on a project, especially something for which we’ve done an RFP. This might pertain more to public libraries, but everything we do is public record. You can find the budget meetings on the city website and see exactly how much was approved. That attention to detail goes a long way towards showing me how you’ll handle our relationship.

Maybe we use iPads in our programming. Maybe we just replaced our selfchecks. Perhaps we already have a 3D printer. Maybe the head of our children’s department took part in an iLead program with the focus on helping parents pick early literacy apps for their children. Our website is, for all intents and purposes, an ever-changing document. As such, we make every effort to keep our services up to date and tout what our staff is doing. This can help you frame your sales pitch to us. You might not want to downplay iPads when we’ve been having success with them.

Where technology’s concerned, being able to leave a demo device with me is huge. It’s not always possible, but any amount of time I get where I can see how it would fit into our workflow helps us say yes or no. Sometimes I have a question that only comes up because I’ve spent some time using a device.

If you’re seeing a customer in Milwaukee, my library is not that far away and it makes sense that you can drop in and see how things are going. Totally fine. If you can, call first. The number of times I’ve missed a vendor because I didn’t know they were coming are more numerous than I’d like. But I can’t be available if I don’t know I should.

I get it. Companies are getting bigger through acquisitions, people’s sales areas are changing, the volume of customers goes up and up, and there’s still the same number of hours in the day. But there are vendors who do the things I mention above, and they’ll get my attention first.

What are some of the things you would like to see vendors do?

Patrick Hochstenbach: Studies in crosshatching

planet code4lib - Fri, 2016-02-05 08:15
Filed under: portaits, Sketchbook Tagged: art, crosshatching, hatching, illustration, ink, pen, rotring, sketch, sketchbook

OCLC Dev Network: Update to WorldCat Metadata API

planet code4lib - Thu, 2016-02-04 20:30

The latest release of the WorldCat Metadata API includes new operations for validating records.

OCLC Dev Network: Update to WorldCat Metadata API

planet code4lib - Thu, 2016-02-04 20:30

The latest release of the WorldCat Metadata API includes new operations for validating records.


Subscribe to code4lib aggregator