Severe budget cuts create need for acquisition changes
After our library budget was cut by about 50% we had to make changes in acquisitions while still ensuring we were meeting the needs of our faculty. We eliminated some standing orders and evaluated firm orders more carefully. That's when we started checking Alibris for Libraries first for everything to see if we can get a better discount than the 18% our standard vendor offers. With the selection and good prices we find at Alibris we are able to stretch our budget considerably.
At Alibris we find items not available other places. In general, we're ordering titles that are two to five years old, titles that are still in print but have gone to remainder. We have some new faculty as well as faculty offering new courses for which they need titles in a full range of subjects-from music, to women's studies, to math and religion. Sometimes Alibris is the only place to have the title we need, whether it's in print or out-of-print. If we need the book to fill a faculty request, we're willing to pay for it because we're glad to have found it.
Alibris understands what's important for libraries. We use a purchase order instead of a credit card and take advantage of consolidated shipping to get free shipping whenever we can. The turnaround time is fast enough so we don't have to use the direct-from-seller shipping option, although it's nice to know it's there if we need it. We order used books in good condition, which can represent a savings of 50%. The price and condition information and seller ratings for each title are very reliable and help us make good choices.
Alibris supports our just-in-time approach to acquisitions. We get what we need when we need it, even several years after publication. Checking every title on Alibris first is worth the time to ensure we are using our money wisely.