School of Information Sciences -- Faculty Publications and Other Works

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Library Journal

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Do vendor reps provide librarians with the information they need in the way they need it? Do vendors feel they are communicating effectively with their librarian clients? A recent survey of North American and European academic librarians commissioned by Jim McGinty, vice chair of Cambridge Information Group, and carried out by consultants David Oglivie and Simon Inger may help improve this tricky, but important, communication process. McGinty presented the first results as the annual Miles Conrad Memorial Lecturer at the 2005 annual meeting of the National Federation of Abstracting and Information Services (NFAIS). Almost 200 academic librarians responded to his web-based questionnaire or in-person interviews. Close to 30 percent of librarians prefer in-person visits to find out about new products, but 18 percent chose that as their least favorite. Twenty-two percent like to go to their personal computer for a remote presentation as their favorite method, but for 15 percent that is their least favorite. Vendor web site browsing and vendor catalogs have both proponents and opponents. Reps need to be flexible and know their individual customers. This article briefly discusses the results from this survey.


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