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Session Recording

Co-pilots or Backseat Drivers?: Perspectives of Vendors & Library Workers on Vendor Services Recording


Vendors and library workers coexist in a mostly mutually beneficial ecosystem, but we don’t always feel that we’re on the same journey. We share the same goals–for libraries to succeed–but the buyer/seller power dynamic often positions us at odds with each other in achieving these goals. It’s far too easy to find ourselves traveling on divergent paths. Is this the unfortunate reality of our profession or a false, yet persistent, narrative?

Join an enthusiastic panel of four professionals with interests in exploring and transforming narratives around vendors and library workers. Participants will get a sneak preview into the results of a global survey of vendor service expectations that gathered perceptions of both library workers and vendors. Rather than focusing on projects, products, or systems, this large-scale, comprehensive survey illuminates overall vendor service expectations. Do vendors understand libraries’ shifting priorities? What services do library workers genuinely value, and which are less important? Do we really want those fancy dinners?

The panelists, representing a large research university, a liberal arts college, a consortium, and a streaming video vendor, will share diverse perspectives and plenty of frank discussion. Participants, both vendors and library workers alike, will enrich their partnerships by gaining a deeper awareness of the values and services prioritized by library workers, and the corresponding perceptions of vendors around library workers’ priorities. And participants will join the fun by sharing their own responses to survey questions via live audience polling. The journey may not always go smoothly, but we’re in it together!

Erin Gallagher is the Chair of Acquisitions & Collections Services at the University of Florida Libraries. She received her MLIS from Florida State University, and she has worked in E-Resources and Collection Management since lucking into a position in collection development consulting for a major academic library book vendor. Erin is passionate about the future of collections as a service and how this is represented (or not) in libraries' strategic directions, library/vendor collaboration, and the intersection of collections and user experience. Talk to her about books, travel, Jeopardy, and polar exploration.

Jonathan H. Harwell has previously served as guest editor and peer reviewer for Against the Grain. He is Associate Director for Collection & Resource Services at Georgia College, and was previously a librarian at Rollins College, Georgia Southern University, the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and Berry College. He holds an MLIS from The University of Alabama, an MA in Social Science from Georgia Southern University, and a BA in English from the University of Southern Mississippi. In his former life, he was a teacher in Albania for two years. He is co-editor of Theology and Prince (2019), and Theology and Protest Music (forthcoming).