New Periodical Librarian... (6 messages) Marcia Tuttle 28 May 1998 13:15 UTC


Date: Wed, 27 May 1998 10:30:44 -0400
From: Otto Sillius <otto.sillius@SHERIDANC.ON.CA>
Subject: Re: EBSCO

I have used EBSCO/CANEBSCO for the past 23 years and have had no
complaints, great service and reps!

Otto Sillius
Sheridan College
Oakville, Ontario


Date: Wed, 27 May 1998 08:39:55 -0700
From: Caitlin Downing <cdowning@LOGOS.SANTAROSA.EDU>

Dear Vicki:

I agree wholeheartedly with you.  I love my rep, Luis, at the San Mateo
branch of EBSCO.  He gives me friendly, easy to understand advice, resolves
my claims (sometimes this takes several phone calls to recalcitrant
publishers) and has been my best ally is sorting through the problems
that have arisen through the recent addition of our branch library.
I'd be lost without him.

Fortunately we have been lucky to have him with us for awhile. When
there is a lot of turnover in a service company things can fall through
the cracks.

Overall I am very happy with the Service EBSCO has provided. Their
service rep, Susan Paulson has come to our library once a
year to make sure all is going well and to find out if we have any
special needs or would like any reports run.

I also agree that EBSCO has helped me learn my job - what to watch out
for, how to determine what to claim,  how some of the problems with
publishers arise in the first place, how to deal with companies that bill
us for subscriptions we never ordered, etc.

Caitlin Downing


Date: Wed, 27 May 1998 12:00:49 -0500
From: Stephen Clark <>
Subject: Re: New Periodicals Librarian... (3 messages)

    I am finding this entire discussion very interesting.  Over the past
28 years that I have worked with serials, starting as a student assistant
and working my way up to being a department head, I have had varying
experience with two periodicals vendors -- Faxon and EBSCO.  It is obvious
from the "playing field" of vendors that both of these vendors, as well as
the other vendors out there, that all of the vendors are doing something
right for some of their clients.  Otherwise, they would not be in

    As a matter of fact, my very first contact with EBSCO was not
complimentary at all.  I also acknowledge that since that time, the level
of service that EBSCO provides has changed and that this company has a
great deal to offer.  Faxon's service has also been variable in the past.
Regarding our situation at the present, they have made great strides in
solving the problems which we have been having.  Some of the problems that
Faxon was experiencing several years ago were alluded to earlier in this
discussion.  From my experience, those times are past.  We (Faxon and the
College of William and Mary) are continuing to have fruitful conversations
resolving problems as well as setting a new direction of service.

    I have to agree with some of the statements made previously to the
effect that a great deal of one's service depends on the service and
account representatives with whom one deals.  This makes a tremendous
amount of difference as to what you receive, if you receive anything at
all.  The level of service which this library has gotten from vendors for
firm orders, standing orders, approvals, and serials has been determined
in many instances by the representatives in the office and field.

    References are an important part of deciding who to use as a vendor,
but make sure that you ask questions of the references.  Very detailed
questions.  Ask about how a vendor can handle some areas with which you
are having problems, but also ask about areas which you take for granted
now -- you do not want to pick up a new set of problems just to solve some

    Do not forget to be objective about your analysis.  This is sometimes
difficult, but it is essential that you do not become swayed just because
you like the sales rep. or the way he/she made a presentation.  You have
to look much deeper than that.  The fact that all Virginia state supported
institutions have to send out Requests for Proposals (RFPs) has helped us
in looking at services and prices with more open and non-judgemental eyes.

    So, keep your eyes and ears open, but also make sure that you do some
in-depth, objective research before you make your decision.

Stephen Clark

Stephen D. Clark                              phone:  757-221-3107
Acquisitions Librarian                       fax:    757-221-2535
Earl Gregg Swem Library                 e-mail:
P.O. Box 8794
Williamsburg, VA  23187-8794


Date: Wed, 27 May 1998 21:15:45 -0500
From: _Laurie _Nalepa <NALEPA@JCVAXA.JCU.EDU>
Subject: Re: New Periodicals Librarian seeking vendor info. (Anne Stovall)

We are just now going through the process of evaluating our "vendor situation."
I would be glad to share the steps we went through in the process. Please
e-mail me direct or Phone: (216) 397-1646.
        Good Luck with everything!!


Date: Thu, 28 May 1998 10:01:33 +0800
From: Lea delos Reyes <>
Subject: Re: New Periodicals Librarian Seeking Vendor Information (6              messages)

We are previously are a customer of  EBSCO but changed vendor
last year. The problems we had were mostly about the delay in delivery
and claims. We are now dealing with Swets Subscription Agency and
they are great. We received the journals on time and claiming late
issues are very easy. They have this wonderful service called the
"Fast delivery" service where all journals are delivered in one package
every month.

Lea delos Reyes
Library and Documentation Service
International Rice Research Institute
P.O. Box 933, 1099 Manila, Philippines
Tel: (63-2) 845-0563. Fax: (845-0606)
Ariel IP:
E-mail:   or
IRRI is one of 16 Centers supported by the Consultative
Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR)


Date: Thu, 28 May 1998 11:09:40 GMT
From: Lesley Tweddle <LTWEDDLE@AUCEGYPT.EDU>
Subject: VENDORS DEBATE - MY 10c

Earlier this year I posted to the List because the trouble we were
having with one of our vendors (we use four!) had got bad enough that
I felt out of my depth.  Quite a few people replied to me, and although
I didn't name the unsatisfactory vendor, most of them guessed who it
was and were having troubles of their own.

The neatest thing that anyone said by way of summing up their discontent
was, that no-one at management level had contacted them or expressed an
intent to handle the problem/s.

Vendors read this list!  Once they noticed that my posting had aroused
a response, two of our vendors got in touch with me.  One was the UV
that I was complaining about.  Why had I not complained to the UV, why
to the List?  I said, who do I complain to?

This bit matters, fellow-librarians and List-monitoring vendors.  Read
On!  A normal librarian has no reason to believe her (excuse sexism)
normal contact-person is malevolent or incompetent.  We know, from our
own experience of ordering direct, that many suppliers part with their
publications as if they were losing teeth.  What we suspect is that
our contact-person is overloaded with tasks and just does not have time
to chase, and re-chase, and keep letting us know that this is what she
is doing.  We know that vendors are trying to save costs.  We suspect
this may be at the expense of just the kind of service that makes us
appreciate them.

Or, or Also, we suspect that our poor contact-person doen not have
good managerial backing.  If she keeps getting messages from us that
indicate we are more and more fed-up with the problems we're experiencing,
has she been trained not to keep all this to herself, but to alert a
management-level person?

In the case of our UV, once a management-level person (several, actually)
got involved, we were able to resolve the big problems and are now
back to our normal contact-person again.  In the case of another vendor
who was not U, I am worrying that they may become U, precisely because
the response from our normal contact-person has dwindled over the years,
from being same-day to being late or never, and (in my opinion)
management have not realised the seriousness of our concern about a
particular issue.

How many (non-Government) libraries automatically go for the vendor which
offers the cheapest rates?  The kind of staff contact we need, requires
high staffing levels in the vendor's offices, and those don't come cheap.

What do the vendors have to say about all this?

Lesley Tweddle
Serials Librarian
American University in Cairo Library