Tuesday, August 02, 2005

TS-SIS Acquisitions Committee Meeting

TS-SIS Acquisitions Committee Meeting
July 18, 2005
San Antonio, Texas

Attendees: Shyama Agrawal, Lisa J. Arm, Ajaye Bloomstone, Carmen Brigandi, Marlene Bubrick, Heather A. Buckwalter, Karen B. Douglas, Ruth Patterson Funabiki, Bonnie Geldmacher, Ismael Gullon, Barb Henigman, Alan Keely, Mary McKee, Mary F. Miller, Lynn Monkres, James A. Mumm, Cynthia Myers, Kelly J Shorrel, H. C. Singh, Julie R. Stauffer, Mary K. Tartaglia, Catherine M. Thomas, Richard Vaughan, and Lorna Tang (Chair).

The meeting began at approximately 7:10 a.m. Introductions were made all around, and each attendee summarized the highlights of the previous fiscal year in their library. The main activities mentioned were (1) being required to reduce the size of the physical collection; (2) deciding which subscriptions to cancel due to budget cuts and/or online availability; and (3) reorganizing the collection in some way, i.e. sending items to storage.

The first topic of discussion was the integration of several Aspen and CCH titles. Aspen and CCH are now part of this new Wolters Kluwer Tax, Accounting & Legal Division. How this will effect invoicing and customer service is yet to be seen. Chairperson Lorna Tang has more details on this development, and will send a report to CRIV to be included in an upcoming CRIV sheet.

There was a general discussion of common problems with continuation titles affected by the CCH/Aspen merger; it took a while to determine which company picked up which titles, and from whom to claim missing supplements.

Next, one library had a problem regarding a Kluwer title that they suddenly began receiving from Hein. They have not been successful in clearing up problems with this title, and several attendees recommended they deal directly with Dick Spinelli.

A problem with Hein monograph orders was mentioned. Carmen Brigandi, now serving on CRIV, gave a brief description of the Hein site visit recently completed. The customer service department recently lost over 85 years of combined experience because of retirements. Loretta was able to return part-time to help train the new people, but some of the slow response is due to this learning curve. Hein is in the middle of updating their web site, which some agreed is not currently user friendly. Hopefully the updated site will enable more flexible searching of titles. The full site visit report will be included in the November 2005 CRIV sheet.

Another Hein development is the delivery of the green slips electronically. The benefits of this are yet to be seen.

Carmen described the size of Hein’s staff, which is comparatively small. There are maybe 75 to 100 employees to handle a bombardment of law library business.

The pricing of Hein Online will be restructured due to the many additional components now available. It might be based on a price per online library component, rather than a lump sum.

It was asked if Hein was planning to do more government document printing. Carmen said that Hein will print a document on demand if they get at least 10 orders for the title, or if the document is already scanned and in their system, they will print on an as requested basis.

Next proposed program ideas for St. Louis 2006 were discussed. Lisa Arm suggested a program on print materials—what to keep, what to store, what to discard. With “everything being available online” what do you get rid of? How do you make these decisions? Is it a container or content question? Will electronic products become unaffordable? If something is to be discarded, who do you offer it to before actually throwing it away? Do faculty want the discarded items?

What about the idea of a central repository or several regional depositories for print storage? Some questions this idea led to are who owns the material? What if the depositing library wanted the item(s) back? Who would fund such a project? Is this a realistic solution?

After discussion, it was decided that the final program idea would be on the current state of law library repositories. Lisa Arm and Julie Stauffer will work together to flush out a program.

Ayjay Bloomstone recommended a program that she attended at the ALA meeting, “How to assess your vendor’s viability”, with a banker as one of the speakers. Before you spend a large (or any) amount of money with a particular vendor, what are the questions to ask and the information to obtain to determine whether they will still be around in a few years? What are the red flags to look for to warn you away? Ayjay has her notes from the ALA session to provide more information.

This was determined to be an excellent suggestion for a program, and Ayjay will work with Barb Henigman to develop this idea.

It was asked if the Technical Services SIS was making use of the new procedure for submitting programs for the upcoming conference. Karen Douglas explained that sponsoring our own programs would broaden the scope of programs we could offer, but if TS-SIS sponsors, TS-SIS pays for all expenses, including equipment, speakers and travel.

It is also often a problem to bring your own equipment into a convention center, so using our own equipment is not a possibility for saving money. However, we could make a guest speaker into an SIS VIP, so that AALL would pay their registration. If it were someone local, there would be no travel expense. There are ways of getting around expenses. Ayjay and Barbara will explore this further.

Other suggestions for programs were ISBN-13 and its impact and technology trends in acquisitions departments, neither of which was greeted enthusiastically.

The subject of EDI came up in relation to West and Lexis. How can we encourage them to provide this capability?

Lisa Arm mentioned that West has been conducting focus groups with several acquisitions librarians, and the feedback they received (at least in the session she was involved in) included adding institutional purchase order numbers in their invoices, avoiding cancellation of a standing order title when returning duplicates, and avoiding sending editions of titles other than that actually ordered.

At the Head of Technical Services roundtable, a major discussion involved whether the acquisitions “person” in the library should be a professional? Some departments are doing away with the “Head of Technical Services” position, and having a Head of Acquisitions and a Head of Cataloging run the department. There was more discussion of reorganization of technical services departments, how workflows are changing and how procedures must change in accordance. There is a proposed program on this topic for next year.

Libraries must keep themselves visible, and as Roy Tennant mentioned, they need to get away from just moving books around, and figure out a way to make their knowledge of accessing materials a public service.

Finally there was a reminder that the Law-Acq listserv will be moving to the University of Indiana, and that current subscribers will be automatically moved to the new list.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:50 a.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Marlene Bubrick
Loyola Law School Los Angeles