“I am not a shouty man”

It was true when Sergeant Jackrum said it, and it’s true when I say it. I am not a shouty man. But by all that’s holy, vendors make me shouty. And I am not alone.

Harvard is shouting about Big Deal packages and why they, actually, are kind of crappy for libraries. FINALLY. This matters because Harvard (despite their current leadership crisis) is a voice that gets listened to, so when they get shouty, it is, intentionally or not also on behalf of all of us small fish.

Librarians and others are shouting about a kooky choice by Canadian Universities about copyright. Because, yeah, we need to be inventing problems in intellectual property law in higher education. Totally. Way to go, neighbors.

And me? Well.

I tweeted these today, after a phone call.



And I got an email from a vendor who refuses to stop contacting me directly, despite my many attempts to point her to our Collection Development Coordinator, except this one said something about how great it was to talk to me at Computers in Libraries. I talked to two vendors at CiL — one was Springshare, and one was LibraryThing, both of whom I enjoy working with, and this email was from neither of them. ARGH.

And then there’s the American Chemical Society. I’m headed to Albany with the SUNY Council of Library Directors Task Force on the ACS to meet with some reps from ACS Sales, oh joy. And on campus, we’ve requested pricing information for our 2012-2013 budget, as we need to meet with faculty before they leave for their summer commitments in anticipation of building our budget in June.  And ACS has not responded — not even an “ok, let me look into this…” message. Just silence.


Also, you suck.


  1. I think there have been far too many cases when we have let vendors and other outside forces walk all over libraries, and part of the reason for this is that librarians are too nice. Clearly, nice hasn’t worked for us, so maybe we have no choice but to become a bit shouty, even if we’re not shouty men. If enough of us shout in a common voice, eventually people will listen.


  2. Not that I’m defending ACS, but you’re essentially asking them for their 2013 pricing, and usually publishers don’t make that public (if they even know) until August at the earliest. But, given your ongoing issues with ACS, I suspect it’s more poor communication choices on their part. If it were any other publisher, I’d estimate high at 7% above this year’s pricing, but for ACS, it could be 20-30%, if they’re in a mood.


  3. Oh, I know, Anna. I fully expected a “we’re not sure yet, here’s our timeframe for next year’s pricing” reply — which is what I got in the end. But when we’re trying to buy things from a vendor, we should not have to wait two weeks for that courtesy reply, nor be required to nag them to get it!


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