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Vendor Selection Policy

Vendor Selection

The single source of supply for much material the library seeks to obtain makes competitive bidding impractical.  In the selection of vendors the guiding purpose is to achieve the best possible combination of service and cost.  Availability of material in the shortest time, correctness of invoices and material received, cooperation in accepting returns, responsiveness to inquiries, and prompt and cooperative issuance of credit memos are also factors in the selection of dealers.  Specialization in subject or format which produces excellent service and/or good discounts is a consideration in vendor selection.  Geographic proximity which insures promptness of delivery and the ease with which written and telephone communication can be maintained are also considered. Orders are placed directly with publishers when higher discounts and faster service can be obtained.  Orders submitted on a rush basis are often ordered directly from publishers.

Aids in vendor selection are the department's internal vendor evaluation records and published guides such as the American Library Association's Guidelines for handling library orders for in-print monographic publications (l984) and Ung Chon Kim's Policies of publishers; a handbook for order librarians, 4th ed. (1989).

Regular review of the vendors will have high priority.  Efforts are made not to have large amounts of money obligated for long periods of time to a vendor who is not performing well.  A close check will also be maintained on the discount rate which is promised and delivered on publications purchased.

Prompt, courteous reception of business telephone calls and prompt courteous replies to correspondence are required of Acquisitions Department personnel, and reciprocal courtesy is expected from vendors.  In addition, a spirit of cooperation and amicability is expected in making adjustments such as cancellations, returns, and issuance of credit memos.  Quick response in sending catalogs and brochures outlining services and availability of materials is expected.  Dealers must be willing and able to respond in a cooperative and constructive manner to complaints registered by the Acquisitions Department.

Suggestions from teaching faculty or librarians regarding vendors will be given careful consideration, but the ultimate responsibility for selecting vendors rests with the Acquisitions Department and is based on the above criteria. Verbal offers from vendors to supply expensive sets or large quantities of volumes must be substantiated by written quotations.  All purchasing commitments for non-periodical library materials should be made through the Acquisitions Department.  Teaching faculty or librarians outside the Acquisitions Department are not authorized to make commitments to vendors for library purchases, nor may they claim or cancel Acquisitions Department orders.

This page was last reviewed 04/19/2010
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Steve Knowlton, Interim Head of Collection Management

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Last Updated: 11/26/13