System Selection Dania Bilal IS 592 Spring 2005
The Selection Process • Review the literature • Read the Automated System Marketplace survey for the last two years. This survey is published Library Journal, on April 1of each year. • Consult Library Technology Guides
The Selection Process • Identify six packages most suitable for your library • Examine each package thoroughly • Find evaluations of these packages in Library Technology Reports (latest issues)
The Selection Process • Check whether a neighborhood library has a particular package so that you can use it when it is in full operation. • Acquire the latest demo diskette of the software package for the software vendor to preview. • Write down questions to ask of a sales representative about the software.
The Selection Process • Invite a sales representative from each of the six software companies for a demo of their software packages. • Write down strengths and weaknesses of each module in a package as you view/examine it.
The Selection Process • Read the literature provided by each software company and identify the features supported, hardware requirements, cost, other services provided, etc. • Consult with library professionals to get their input about the packages.
The Selection Process • Ask colleagues over listservs (be careful about their responses, meaning do not go by what they say 100%). • Narrow your choices to 3 software packagesthat best meet the needs and requirements of your library.
The Selection Process • Consider the following in narrowing your choices: • The features that match your present needs and the needs in the near future • The capability to integrate multiple modules and add modules in the future • The presence of all modules needed
The Selection Process • The strengths of each module provided: • Overall software capabilities (Web access, expandability, networking, etc.) • Compliance with latest standards • Architecture and operating systems supported (e.g., NT, Unix)
The Selection Process • Software vendor’s plans for future developments • Frequency of software update • Quality of service provided • Software documentation • Type and cost of training provided • Maintenance and technical support
The RFP • Develop one RFP with specifications for the overall system function, as well as for each module you want to have. • The RFP allows you to articulate your needs and priorities • The RFP responses allow you to compare and evaluate each software package and make a wise selection decision
Organizing the RFP • Instructions to Vendor • Introduction to the library • Software specifications • Hardware specifications • Request for price quotation • Notice of intent to respond
Organizing the RFP • Review the RFP before sending it • Evaluate responses to the RFP from each of the three vendors • Decide on one software package • Negotiate and issue a contract to purchase the software package
Contract Should Include • Schedule for software delivery, installation, testing, and implementation • Schedule for training personnel to use the software • Vendor’s promise to deliver the package that meets the specifications stipulated in the RFP
Contract Should Include • Vendor’s comments or explanations about certain specifications, rating of features, etc. • Payment plan • Consider paying in three installations: 1/3 upon signing contract, 1/3 upon successful installation and performance testing, and the rest upon successful performance over time.
DO and Not DO! • See Text, pp. 43-44 for: • The Do Not Do List • The Do List (key things to remember)
Class Activity • Work individually or in a group • Choose a type of library you desire • Review LJ article and decide on 6 company software packages you could meet your library needs • Find and print a profile about each of the companies and their software by using the class Resources. Click on Library Technology Guides. • Find the name(s) of software each of the six companies produces and write down the name of the package that may best fit the needs of your library. • Find a sample RFP to consult when you write the RFP for the system of your choice. Give the source of the RFP you find.