I had the most interesting conversation with a former library vendor this weekend. We talked at length about the relationship between libraries and vendors. We mused over the fact that so many libraries make their decisions solely on what other libraries are doing, or have done rather than being open to being innovators. Why is that? I would think that in these difficult economic times, libraries would look to innovation and cost savings that focus on the following three areas (regardless of what other libraries are doing or have done):
1) improve efficiencies and streamline processes for cost savings: from materials handling to online fine and fee payments
2) develop strong and revolutionary relationships with vendors to maximize customer service
3) utilize vendors to provide value adds for patrons
Perhaps we could move libraries into the forefront of the public mind by thinking like business people rather than relying on what other libraries have done first.