Placing subscriptions direct with publishers (2 messages) Marcia Tuttle 09 Jan 2003 13:28 UTC

Date: Wed, 08 Jan 2003 11:26:17 -0500
From: "Marcia Kingsley" <>
Subject: subscription vendors/new model
Content-Disposition: inline

Placing subscription orders directly with publishers is a miserable
alternative to dealing with a debacle such as Faxon. (Fortunately we
at WMU switched from them to Ebsco a couple of years ago.) In two
libraries where I've worked, we have increased efficiency
tremendously over the years by consolidation almost all journals
with key vendors. If we had not done this for our 7,000 or so print
subscriptions years ago, there is no way we would have had the
manpower to spare for dealing with all our electronic databases and
journals. Dealing directly is extremely labor intensive. (In the
early nineties I even published a couple of articles - in The
Acquisitions Libn. and the Encyclopedia of Library and Info. Science
- about the difficulties of just coping with the idiosyncratic
invoices and billing processes of individual publishers.)

We librarians should look at some alternative models of working
with our periodical vendors BEFORE we all go sending out our huge
payments to them this fall. The old model, built on trust, hasn't
held up in the case of Faxon. While some of our colleagues are busy
struggling with the Faxon mess, some of the rest of us can look at
ways to get better legal guarantees from our periodical vendors that
they are handling our money properly. I'm sure our legitimate
vendors would readily cooperate. We also need written assurances
from our vendors that when their online information  says the
publisher has been paid, that information is true.

I hope to get some advice from our campus Purchasing and legal
officers and from Ebsco on some win-win enhancements to our payment
and contractual model.  PLEASE LET'S SHARE IDEAS WE ALL COME UP

And I hope this a topic that some of our ALA ALCTS Committees will
be addressing in Philadelphia in a couple of weeks.  - Marcie

Marcie Kingsley
Head, Library Acquisitions and Serials
Western Michigan University
Kalamazoo, MI 49008
269 387-5147  (Fax: -5193)

From: "Rollo Turner" <>
Subject: Re:      Re: Faxon/Rowecom/divine
Date: Wed, 8 Jan 2003 17:56:43 -0000

Whilst I can understand and sympathise with Amanda Myers given the current
situation, I would be wary of going it alone.   Agents have in general
helped lower libraries costs (otherwise libraries would not use them). Doing
it all yourself may well raise your overall costs. Also it is important to
realise that there are other agents out there who are efficient, financially
secure and should be able to do a good job for you. Because one agent has
collapsed does not mean the whole industry is on the brink of catastrophe,
thank goodness! A list of agents can be found on the ASA website
( and we are always happy to put libraries in
contact with member companies and help with advice relating to subscription
agents and intermediaries where possible and appropriate.

Rollo Turner
Secretary General
Association of Subscription Agents and Intermediaries
10 Lime Avenue
High Wycombe
Bucks HP11 1DP
Tel +44 (0)1494 534778

----- Original Message -----
From: "digest Amanda Myers" <AmandaMyers@FERRIS.EDU>
Sent: Monday, January 06, 2003 8:21 PM
Subject: Re: Faxon/Rowecom/divine

> Hello,
> With the Divine confusion, we are considering not working with a jobber
> but instead, ordering titles directly from the publisher.  I'm at a
> state-assisted university serving 9,000 FTE students and 500 faculty.  We
> were obtaining approximately 600 journal titles from Divine.  I'm
> interested in learning of any library out there with demographics
> comparable to ours that is getting their journals directly from the
> publisher, i.e., without using a subscription jobber; is anyone doing or
> considering doing this?
> Please feel free to email me directly.
> Amanda Myers
> Serials Librarian
> 1010 Campus Drive, FLITE 208
> Ferris State University, Big Rapids, Michigan 49307-2279
> email:
> phone: (231) 591-3012  fax: (231) 591-3724