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A reply to the ILS Customer Bill of Rights

Nov - 24 - 2005
Nicole C. Engard

I posted earlier this week about the ILS Customer Bill-of-Rights that John over at blyberg.net posted. This post has been commented on several other library related blogs over the past week … but the first (that I know of) reply from a vendor was posted yesterday by Talis (not the vendor we use).

I like that the reply wasn't dismissive … and while I understand where the author is coming from … I can't agree with him 100% … mostly because I'm on the other side of the table.

I see why we don't want people running queries willy nilly while our users are trying to search our data … but why not trust us to make that decision … we want what's best for our customers and us, and we're going to do everything we can to make sure we don't effect work flow … Also realize that some libraries have a highly capable IT staff (including myself) who do understand the data that comes out of the database in it's raw form.

The other point I understand, but feel needs commenting on is:

Well yes, the current generation of ILS systems were not built with Web Services everywhere. To put it bluntly, who will pay the salaries of the developers who are going to develop these services for you to consume?

Of course we have to pay for the services, but do we have to pay out the ear? Why not lower the prices so that us non-profits can afford the nifty upgrades and then charge extra to have it customized … and if the library has a staff that is capable of doing the customizing have them sign a waver and let them do it …

I don't know if my suggestions are logical … but it seems to me like there are some things that just don't make sense when it comes to the price we pay our vendors for add ons and upgrades … especially when they don't let us make fixes to have things meet our needs.

[update] John's reply to Talis is online[/update]


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