Flexibility in working on special projects
Alibris has experience working with libraries. They are flexible, provide reliable information, and deliver great turnaround and customer service. A recent community project, outside the scope of our normal academic library acquisitions process, demonstrated how flexible Alibris is in meeting customer needs.
Our chancellor encourages university employees to participate in the community. For several years, people from the library have been visiting a Justice Center that serves as a holding facility for people in the middle of the litigation process. Inmates, who may spend up to two to three years at this jail, have small reading rooms. According to the part-time librarian, the collections were a mess. They consisted primarily of materials people had discarded and were not in any way targeted to the inmate population.
The Dean of Libraries, Suzanne Thorin, approached the Dean of Management about helping to fund the purchase of materials for this library. The Justice Center librarian provided us with a list of 50-60 titles. These titles were for a prison population-the antithesis of the academic community. We needed to acquire a totally different type of material without interfering with our regular business relationships.
Working with a grant from the Dean of Management, I did my due diligence to find the right vendor for the project. Armed with the list of titles, I approached three or four of our standard vendors. Of the vendors we checked with, only Alibris was willing to work with us. Alibris was incredibly flexible about setting up a separate account, invoicing me, and packing and drop-shipping the books to the jail. We really appreciated this level of customer service.
Alibris was impressively helpful with this small project. We were able to get the titles we needed, have them shipped directly to the jail and paid out of the grants budget. The new collection has improved the quality of life for the inmates and the librarian was very impressed with the impact of the new materials. For my part, I was impressed with how flexible Alibris was. It wasn't a big job but they made it very easy for us.