Library Software Manifesto

Roy Tenant's Library Software Manifesto is offered in an attempt to rationalize the relationship between libraries and library systems vendors, which is presently unhealthy. First done at a talk at the 2007 CODI Conference (Customers of Dynix, Inc.). his topic was a "library software manifesto" in which he would outline the rights and responsibilities of libraries and library software vendors.

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while we're at it

Apparently Mr. Tenant also has the right to a pony.

Non-binding, vague, diffuse ... I'm not sure what the point of it is.

As long as we deal primarily with monopolies we will always be sitting at the kiddie table.

No RFP?

Well that is something dictated by the purchasing policies dictated by funding bodies, auditors, and public perception. Sort of like asking a scientist support a flat earth theory. Ain't going to happen.

Done correctly an RFP is an extremely valuable tool which serves as the basis of a contract. Bad RFP equates to a bad contract. Train a staff member in purchasing documents and you have a real asset. They can consult with relevant staff subject experts to produce a quality document that protects the library and fills the library need.

The real solution with most of the issues he brings up, vague as they may be, is better contracting, negotiating, and purchasing skills by librarians. It's taken me 10 years to become sufficiently good at those skills to effectively navigate my library through the purchasing rapids. We could use more and effective training on these skills and less on "planning process". Speaking as a public librarian we need to foster the skills that will prevent us from being at odds with other agencies.

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