- This is something I said at the ARRT program last week, but it bears repeating to a larger audience-- when you are at ALA, go to your current vendors and let them know what you like about their services and then start telling them what they could do better. Don’t feel badly about complaining. They work for you. We need to let them know what we want and need for our patrons. We are the ones in the trenches using their products on actual customers. We know what works and what doesn’t in a real world setting better than they do. Guys, we don’t do this enough. How do I know? Vendors have called me multiple times to find out what the word is on the front line. What have I seen and or been told in the course of my travels? Why are they asking me? IT is because you are not telling them. So please get out there. Here is a short list of what I will be discussing with a few of the vendors I work with but you should make your own list too:
- Please keep making audio books on CD. Even though new cars don’t have CD players, not everyone likes downloadable. I am one of those people. I like getting the CDs, loading them on my computer, and then listening when I am ready. [I delete after I listen so copyright law is followed.] I do not always get to an audiobook within the 3 weeks from when I downloaded it. When it disappears I don’t get it back, I have forgotten about it. Also, libraries are very limited by what we can add to our downloadable audio collections both in choices and because of money. Furthermore, it stinks for a patron when a series is in CD for the first 3 books and then it switches to downloadable. When this happens, more often than not, the patron stops reading that series. I know the publishers don’t want that to happen.
- We need better cataloging and tags on our ebook collections so that we can pull more useful stats. So more than just Romance, for example. Why can’t every book have 5-10 tags? Things about it’s appeal, diversity tags, subgenres, etc... We need to be able to see what people are reading beyond- Mystery or Historical or Fantasy. Those are too broad to help us develop our collections.
- I am in the market for furniture and fixtures as part of my local library’s remodel project. Having been on the board for 16 years, through a new building project, I have many durability questions that I will be asking specific vendors. I have a list! If you sell furniture, watch out, I’m coming.
Tomorrow, I will be posting a few of the programs I will be attending so that you can “bump into me,” if you want.