July 14, 1998
The session was moderated by Connie Smith, Head of Collection Services at Jenkins Memorial Library in Philadelphia. After attendees introduced themselves, Connie briefly reviewed last yearís roundtable topics to start the discussion.
1. Approval Plans -
There was a discussion on approval plans vs. notification slips which had been the subject of an AALL Annual Meeting program earlier in the day.
2. Non-Law Book Ordering -
Amazonís Editor Service was mentioned as a very good source. Discounts were reported at 15-20%; payment can be made by credit card or check, with no hassle returns. The idea of Amazon setting up services for libraries was discussed. Barnes and Noble Online and Borders were also used.
3. Using Credit Cards for Internet Ordering -
One attendee related a story of how thieves can breach security on a Web site and steal credit card numbers. It is hoped that major services such as Amazon have control over this issue.
4. Jobbers -
Besides Yankee Book Peddler, Midwest Library Service, and Blackwell North America, other jobbers used were Ingram, which has a new Web site, and The Strand Bookstore, which specializes in popular press books.
5. Aspen Law and Business -
The publisherís practice of charging 8.5% for shipping to all points across the country was mentioned as unfair. Also, the company has not clearly communicated to customers which publications will continue and which will be cancelled. Duplicate shipments were also a problem. These problems will be mentioned to CRIV as possible issues on which to work.
6. West Group Publishing Billing -
The pros and cons of annual billing were discussed. The group was advised to write to Mary Ellen Marlowe, Senior Director of Customer Service, if they were in favor of annual billing. (A few West items are already billed annually.) Although advantages include less monthly paperwork by library staff (and also West), fewer postage and processing charges, and fewer possible errors, some librarians felt they would be overcharged for titles if billed annually. Some reported on massive account cleanups which occurred after the West Group merger.
7. Year 2000 (Y2K) Compliance -
It was suggested that legal publishers be asked for this in their licensing of electronic products. LIBLICENSE-L has model contract language which will be suggested to CRIV as an area for them to work on with legal publishers.
8. Cost-Per-Use for Web Products -
Standard reporting procedures for Web products to make cost-per-use decisions was mentioned. ARL has a committee that is working on this.
9. CCH Internal Revenue Manual Audit & Administration -
CCH had not sent out any updates for this service in over a year. Some felt that a reduced charge for the next subscription term should be given. Some academic libraries had cancelled the set after asking their tax professors.
10. Publisher Pricing -
How legal publishers set prices was discussed. There are different types of law libraries with different needs. CDROM is cheaper than paper, and Internet is cheaper still and easier to control. The US market is relatively underpriced. Since some publishers are not archiving electronic files, libraries will need to do this. With fewer legal publishers, the issue of monopolies was discussed.
11. Standardization of Web Pages -
It was suggested that a survey be done with CRIV to obtain information on Web page design that would be more standard and easier for law libraries to use. It was suggested that CRIV initiate a prize for Best Law Vendor Web Site as well as Best New Product.
Cynthia Aninao, Recorder
University of Cincinnati Law Library