Working Collaboratively with Vendors to Create the Products You Want

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<ul><li><p>This article was downloaded by: [University of Southern Queensland]On: 03 October 2014, At: 01:02Publisher: RoutledgeInforma Ltd Registered in England and Wales Registered Number: 1072954Registered office: Mortimer House, 37-41 Mortimer Street, London W1T 3JH,UK</p><p>The Serials Librarian: From thePrinted Page to the Digital AgePublication details, including instructions forauthors and subscription information:</p><p>Working Collaboratively withVendors to Create the ProductsYou WantYvette Diven a , Cathy Jones b &amp; Katy Ginanni ca R. R. Bowkerb Sirsic EBSCO Information ServicesPublished online: 24 Sep 2008.</p><p>To cite this article: Yvette Diven , Cathy Jones &amp; Katy Ginanni (2005) WorkingCollaboratively with Vendors to Create the Products You Want, The SerialsLibrarian: From the Printed Page to the Digital Age, 48:3-4, 247-250, DOI: 10.1300/J123v48n03_03</p><p>To link to this article:</p><p>PLEASE SCROLL DOWN FOR ARTICLE</p><p>Taylor &amp; Francis makes every effort to ensure the accuracy of all theinformation (the Content) contained in the publications on our platform.However, Taylor &amp; Francis, our agents, and our licensors make norepresentations or warranties whatsoever as to the accuracy, completeness,or suitability for any purpose of the Content. Any opinions and viewsexpressed in this publication are the opinions and views of the authors, andare not the views of or endorsed by Taylor &amp; Francis. The accuracy of theContent should not be relied upon and should be independently verified withprimary sources of information. Taylor and Francis shall not be liable for anylosses, actions, claims, proceedings, demands, costs, expenses, damages,and other liabilities whatsoever or howsoever caused arising directly or</p><p></p></li><li><p>indirectly in connection with, in relation to or arising out of the use of theContent.</p><p>This article may be used for research, teaching, and private study purposes.Any substantial or systematic reproduction, redistribution, reselling, loan,sub-licensing, systematic supply, or distribution in any form to anyone isexpressly forbidden. Terms &amp; Conditions of access and use can be found at</p><p>Dow</p><p>nloa</p><p>ded </p><p>by [</p><p>Uni</p><p>vers</p><p>ity o</p><p>f So</p><p>uthe</p><p>rn Q</p><p>ueen</p><p>slan</p><p>d] a</p><p>t 01:</p><p>02 0</p><p>3 O</p><p>ctob</p><p>er 2</p><p>014 </p><p></p></li><li><p>Working Collaboratively with Vendorsto Create the Products You Want:</p><p>Smooth Sailing Ahead</p><p>Yvette DivenCathy Jones</p><p>Presenters</p><p>Katy Ginanni</p><p>Recorder</p><p>SUMMARY. Yvette Diven and Cathy Jones talked about how collabo-ration between librarian and vendor teams, or even between vendors,can be mutually productive and help create products and services thatmeet real needs of libraries. This session was intended to give librariansa better idea of how and with whom they may consider collaborating.It gave some definitions and descriptions of the software develop-ment process. It also provided some common sense guidelines for theprocess for both librarians and vendors. [Article copies available for a feefrom The Haworth Document Delivery Service: 1-800-HAWORTH. E-mail ad-dress: Website: ]</p><p> 2005 by the North American Serials Interest Group, Inc. All rights reserved.</p><p>[Haworth co-indexing entry note]: Working Collaboratively with Vendors to Create the Products YouWant: Smooth Sailing Ahead. Ginanni, Katy. Co-published simultaneously in The Serials Librarian (TheHaworth Information Press, an imprint of The Haworth Press, Inc.) Vol. 48, No. 3/4, 2005, pp. 247-250; and:Growth, Creativity, and Collaboration: Great Visions on a Great Lake (ed: Patricia Sheldahl French, and Mar-garet Mering) The Haworth Information Press, an imprint of The Haworth Press, Inc., 2005, pp. 247-250. Singleor multiple copies of this article are available for a fee from The Haworth Document Delivery Service [1-800-HAWORTH, 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. (EST). E-mail address:].</p><p> Object Identifier: 10.1300/J123v48n03_03 247</p><p>Dow</p><p>nloa</p><p>ded </p><p>by [</p><p>Uni</p><p>vers</p><p>ity o</p><p>f So</p><p>uthe</p><p>rn Q</p><p>ueen</p><p>slan</p><p>d] a</p><p>t 01:</p><p>02 0</p><p>3 O</p><p>ctob</p><p>er 2</p><p>014 </p></li><li><p>Kim Maxwell of MIT introduced Diven and Jones, both of whomwork in product developmentone for a publisher and one for a libraryautomation vendorto an audience of about twenty-five. Diven hasworked with R. R. Bowker for twelve years. She is currently Director ofProduct Management for Serials. Jones has been with Sirsi since thespring of 1995. She has worked with various standards and ALAgroups. The two have worked together to provide products for libraries.They decided that collaboration between vendors, and between vendorsand librarians, would be a good topic for NASIG.</p><p>Diven began with some definitions of collaboration. She emphasizedthat working together in a joint intellectual effort with a vendor doesnot mean that you are cooperating treasonably. Besides technical bar-riers, some of the questions librarians have to answer are: Am I truly go-ing to provide help in creating this new product or service? Am Ibetraying my colleagues or profession by working with a vendor? Will Iunderstand everything about the process, including any terminology Imight encounter?</p><p>Identifying partners with whom you may wish to collaborate and ar-eas of product/service development in which you might have contribu-tions to make are just the beginning of the process. Diven mentionedsome of the usual parties (ILS vendors, publishers, subscription agents,serials management companies) including some that librarians may notautomatically think of. For example, colleagues down the hall in thesame library may be of help even though you may not be sure what theydo or how their jobs impact yours. Faculty on your campus might begood partners for collaboration. Similar institutions may face similarchallenges and could be partners in a joint effort. Some of the areas youmight consider for partnered projects are workflow or day-to-day pro-cesses (serials management, acquisitions, ILL, etc.), administration(collection assessment, reporting, licensing, etc.), and service (end-usertools/interfaces, archiving, digitizing, etc.).</p><p>When entering a collaborative project, everyone must recognize thata time and/or resource commitment is required from all partners. Librar-ians should remember that vendor resources are not unlimited. Vendorsshould remember that librarians have other duties beyond providingtheir expertise and insight in product development. The serials still mustbe checked in and patrons questions must be answered. All partnersneed to remember that their expertise should be used to create products/services that are not just useful but usable. The partners should distin-guish between needs and wants before development begins. Is the prod-uct something that a library needs right now? Or is it something that a</p><p>248 Growth, Creativity, and Collaboration: Great Visions on a Great Lake</p><p>Dow</p><p>nloa</p><p>ded </p><p>by [</p><p>Uni</p><p>vers</p><p>ity o</p><p>f So</p><p>uthe</p><p>rn Q</p><p>ueen</p><p>slan</p><p>d] a</p><p>t 01:</p><p>02 0</p><p>3 O</p><p>ctob</p><p>er 2</p><p>014 </p></li><li><p>library might like to have but cant afford now? Diven also pointed outthat successful products/services are based on standards. Standardsmake products and services interoperable, and, therefore, more usableand valuable. Finally, any one person, whether vendor, librarian orother stakeholder, may have an idea which solves a problem. Dont beafraid to speak up!</p><p>Next, Diven explored some of the benefits of collaborating. Thesebenefits were mostly from a librarians point of view. The more a li-brary becomes involved with vendors in issues that affect the library,the more a library stands to benefit. Collaborating with vendors helps li-braries establish ongoing relationships. It gives the library the power tochange what vendors do or create. It can also help to build bridges be-tween vendors. Some vendors will establish special partner status forthose customers who assist them. Sometimes this means price dis-counts. Other times it gives the library the opportunity to be the first totest a new product or service.</p><p>Jones continued with some ideas about what the goals of collabora-tion should be, especially from a vendors perspective. Open communi-cation is key. Other goals are to create better products that meet theneeds of libraries; develop quality software, documentation and ser-vices; and develop standards. Goals are very important to vendors.Working in collaboration with libraries is valuable because librarianshave assets and experiences that help vendors reach their goals.</p><p>Jones reviewed the five phases of a software product: (1) develop-mentit is during this phase that most of the requirements for theproduct are gathered and the programming specifications are written;(2) alpha testthis is the prototype and testing phase. It is usually doneonly within the company; (3) beta testwhen the vendor asks its partners totest the product; the vendor may point you to a test server, or some mayhave you test in a live, production environment; (4) releasewhen the prod-uct is out the door and ready to be sold or provided to users. Enhance-ments also come during the release phase; (5) maintenancesoftware isnever perfect, and there is always room for improvement.</p><p>Why would a vendor want to partner with other vendors or libraries?One of the goals for vendors is to open up communication between theparties involved. Jones used NASIG as a model of good communicationbecause of its open and inclusive nature. Another goal for vendors isthat the collaborative process will lead to better products that meet theneeds of libraries. Vendors want to provide quality software, documen-tation and services. They actually want to meet the needs of libraries sothat they can keep your business! They want feedback from libraries.</p><p>Tactics Sessions 249</p><p>Dow</p><p>nloa</p><p>ded </p><p>by [</p><p>Uni</p><p>vers</p><p>ity o</p><p>f So</p><p>uthe</p><p>rn Q</p><p>ueen</p><p>slan</p><p>d] a</p><p>t 01:</p><p>02 0</p><p>3 O</p><p>ctob</p><p>er 2</p><p>014 </p></li><li><p>Jones gave advice about how to make the collaborative process workand some of the pitfalls to avoid. These included things such as beingvocal, specific, professional, and generous with your knowledge. Dontbe vague, reluctant, or timid to share knowledge. These rules apply toall parties, and boil down to one word: communication. She also madesuggestions about ways to pursue collaborative activities such as beingpart of library advisory groups or user groups (at the regional or nationallevel), professional meetings and so forth.</p><p>Diven wrapped up the presentation by mentioning several groups(such as NASIG, COUNTER, NISO and others) that offer an avenue forbecoming involved in collaboration at a community-wide level; shealso provided a list of successful collaboration examples (BioOne, Pro-ject MUSE, SISAC, etc.).</p><p>A question-and-answer period followed the presentation. It includeda somewhat spirited sidebar discussion on the etiquette of how long oneshould take to return e-mails or phone calls. Some final words from anaudience member (Rick Anderson, University of Nevada-Reno) areworth quoting: When you {vendors} say the release date is January,we hear August. But wed rather have it right in August than wrong inJanuary. Again, it all boils down to good communication.</p><p>CONTRIBUTORS NOTES</p><p>Yvette Diven is Director of Serials Product Management at R. R. Bowker. CathyJones is Beta Software Manager at Sirsi. Katy Ginanni is Training Specialist at EBSCOInformation Services.</p><p>250 Growth, Creativity, and Collaboration: Great Visions on a Great Lake</p><p>Dow</p><p>nloa</p><p>ded </p><p>by [</p><p>Uni</p><p>vers</p><p>ity o</p><p>f So</p><p>uthe</p><p>rn Q</p><p>ueen</p><p>slan</p><p>d] a</p><p>t 01:</p><p>02 0</p><p>3 O</p><p>ctob</p><p>er 2</p><p>014 </p></li></ul>