Archive for April, 2009

Are you a “power user” of the library? (We hope so.)

April 10, 2009

April 12 marks the launch of National Library Week, and this year, with so many people feeling the impact of the economic recession, we at the library want to reach out and urge people of all ages to harness the power of libraries to help in their day-to-day lives.

Read about the library’s public awareness efforts during National Library Week and share your thoughts on what it means to be a POWER USER by leaving a comment on this blog.

This teen visitor to PLCMC's Cornelius branch has the right idea.

This teen visitor to PLCMC's Cornelius branch has the right idea.

Library response to DVD story on FOX Charlotte

April 3, 2009

Recently, FOX Charlotte ran a story about how the Public Library of Charlotte & Mecklenburg County purchases DVDs and whether money could be saved using other vendors. Library Collection Management Manager Linda Raymond did an extensive interview with FOX, but only a few seconds of that interview were aired. In the full interview, Raymond explained the many reasons that we use specific vendors, including increased efficiency (saving staff time/cost), customer service, billing procedures, and the ability to buy large quantities of items at a discount before the release date so that customers can have high-demand items as early as possible.

The reporter showed that on Amazon.com a movie like “27 Dresses” can be purchased at a lower price than the library paid; however, that did not take into account these important things:

  • the Library receives a discount ordering in bulk.
  • the price when the item was purchased vs. the price today (DVDs are more expensive closer to the release date).
  • the price shown on TV was the consumer price, not the corporate price. The library has to use an invoice system with vendors, so it can’t purchase items using a credit card like an individual consumer.

Also not reported in the FOX story was the fact that in the budget scenarios the Library submitted to Mecklenburg County last month (see our previous post “Library works with Mecklenburg County on Budget Scenarios”), the Library plans to preserve as many jobs as possible by cutting costs in other areas, such as benefits and materials spending.

Because of this story, the Library has received several inquiries from concerned library users. The library buys goods and services from a variety of vendors in accordance with the Library Board of Trustees Bidding Policy, which is in compliance with applicable North Carolina statutes in regard to the purchase of goods and services. We’re always willing to answer questions about our purchasing practices.