Magazine article Computers in Libraries

Ask a Librarian

Magazine article Computers in Libraries

Ask a Librarian

Article excerpt

Ask a Librarian is a monthly feature where librarians have a chance to comment on Computers in Libraries' topic of the month. In this installment, Peg Lawrence, systems librarian at Minnesota State University, talks about what libraries should do to make sure they don't get fleeced when looking for new technology to buy. The following has been edited for style and length.

Q: How can libraries ensure that they are getting the best possible deal when purchasing new technology?

A: Libraries need to do thorough, thoughtful planning before they purchase new technology. Beware of a "good deal" if it leads you to a purchase that is not well-considered or is not a suitable match for the need.

* Identify the need for new technology. Will this technology help you to provide a service that your users need and will use? Do you have buy -in from library staff? If staff members don't support the purchase, they will not use it, and they will not encourage your patrons to use it. …

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