Virginia and all,

My God, I could have written this response.  Our hospital has a very similar
set-up. And it IS difficult  to organize and time consuming. If I've told
every department once how to order a publication properly, I've told them a
million times.

Every department is "supposed" to send their purchase request to me for
verification, to check for duplication and to record for future reference
and then I send it along to Purchasing to be ordered. Is that how it
actually happens 85% of the time? Not by a long shot. I've given
presentations at our Administrative staff meetings, sent memos, called
people directly and yet they still don't get the procedure right. What are
you gonna do?

I suggest that if a hospital wants the library to coordinate the purchasing
of publications then they better make sure that all departments know the
right way to order. If not, you're going to have one big on-going headache.

Leann Isaac
Jameson Health System Library

> My library is responsible for centralized budgeting and ordering of all
> bibliographic materials (books, journals, pt ed pamphlets, audiovisuals).
> 1. This is very time consuming and involves a lot of clerical work on my
> part.
> 2. Our employees do not know the meaning of the word "share". All expect
> to have their own. No cost savings here.
> 3. We can consolidate orders of pamphlets, PDRs, Nursing 2000 drug
> handbooks, etc., and save money. Still, lots of clerical time involved. I
> would prefer to have the librarian set up the system while Purchasing
> implements.
> 4. I know that I save money by ordering from jobbers. Depts don't know
> that and order from publishers.
> 5. Subscriptions are very time consuming because depts forward all
> publisher renewals to library. Fortunately, I know which to discard, but
> this still takes time.
> 6. I used to catalog books for all depts, but not any more. Either I
> couldn't find the book when needed, or dept refused to lend it because
> they use it as ready reference, a legitimate reason, since our employees
> do not understand the meaning of "due date". Some do not understand the
> concept of "return borrowed materials" until they get an invoice with a
> copy to their manager, for physicians a copy to the VP.
> 7. Centralized purchasing can save money, but only if everyone cooperates.
> Also I believe that this is a function for Purchasing with the expertise
> of the librarian to recommend vendors and set up a policy & procedure for
> consolidating orders.
> I'm interested in learning about other librarians' experiences with
> centralized budgeting and/or purchasing.