Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Vendors, Hating

Librarians should not hate library database vendors. Yes, they dress better than you and they get paid more than you, but they are miserable soulless people who deserve your compassion. Plus, they give you free ink pens.

21 comments:

tara said...

But the training sessions are so flipping! boring!
Geeeezzz!

The.Effing.Librarian said...

is there some inverse relationship between the usefulness of the database and the quality of the pen? i've gotten some really nice pens from companies that seem to gone now. maybe they overbudgeted for pens?

Dances With Books said...

I think that should depend: compassion if they make a database that actually works and does not suck. If they make a shitty product (pardon the language), hate is definitely in order.

exlibriscat said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

They deserve all the loathing we can give them.

One vendor demoed a product to us, we bought it, we inexplicably received the downgraded version (I do not know if the librarians protested this or not), and then the vendor cancelled the product 3 months into our one year term. Though one librarian thought we should be grateful that they provide us with 3,500 e-books; unfortunately we could find those titles, in a more accessible format, at Project Gutenberg.

The vendor’s consultant (i.e., Willy Loman) was conspicuously absent for more than a year after that debacle. Oh, to heck with it! Up yours OCLC!

Anonymous said...

It's the weeny library staff and administrators who allow the vendors to run all over them that bother me. If librarians had backbones and stood up to the vendors and told them "do it this way, how we really need it, and we will buy the product" we wouldn't have problems.
Instead we bend over forwards, take it up the wazoo, and happily pay.

exlibriscat said...

Some vendors are better than others. The ones that suck deserve my hate, especially those that are non-responsive and/or have pathetic tech-support. I also hate vendors that cold-call me repeatedly to offer us stuff we don't need or want. I also have no patience for vendors who charge us for so-so products and then don't provide minimal user stats.

The ones that don't suck have all of my love forever.

Anonymous said...

Plus, some vendors have great webinars to show off their products or to train us how to click on the buttons. Oh, wait, what was that pinching feeling deep in my sould whaen I wrote that?

---Chytraeus

Anonymous said...

One vendor we dealt with liked to call out of the blue and put the screws to us.

MY DREAM CONVERSATION WITH THAT VENDOR:

What’s that you say?
….
You have a database sale and we have to buy tomorrow or no deal?
….
Hmmm, interesting.
….
If you want my business, you’ll have that sale tomorrow and everyday afterward. Good bye.

Unfortunately one of my colleagues took the call and fell for it – hook, line, and sinker. 2000£ of crap later.

Liam Hegarty said...

What free pens? I never get any free pens. God, I hate those vendors.

Anonymous said...

somewhat related - Why do CiL vendors have the worst swag? You'd think it'd be all cool USB drives and techno toys, but you're lucky if you get a decent pen.

What library conferences offer good swag? Any?

Pahntom Midge said...

One of our potential vendors was giving away troll pens (you know, the kins with the foofy neon hair).
I'm not sure what to make of that marketing message...

nick said...

Don't hate anybody.

Holly said...
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Holly said...

They deserve to be set alight. The system we purchased was oversold and under-preformed. The standard response to complaints is “It’s fixed in the next version”. When we speak to Librarians on the next version not only is the issue not fixed, other issues have also appeared. But we got something better than pens. We got USB coffee cup warmers. Wahoo! Fearing that they are as unreliable as the system they advertise, we gave them away to our departing IT guy, along with a roll of "emergency tape" for when the inevitable melt down occurs.

Fran said...

I don't like cold calls, but cold visits bother me more than anything. A cold visit shows the salesperson's level of respect for what we do. We couldn't possibly be involved in something important, like, I don't know, trying to put next year's budget together with less-than-adequate funds? Or meeting with staff, or interviewing cadidates for an open position? Whatever it is, it's not as important as what I'VE got to show you right now. You are, after all, just a librarian, and I have many stops to make in my very busy day.
Must say, though, that I appreciate the pens. I frequently go out to greet them with a cheery, "Leave your gifts and offerings and I'll let you know when I'm free."

Monster Librarian said...

and pads of paper!

Anonymous said...

Our OPAC does not show the call number when you create a list of items. Apparently the engineers who designed this software have never used a library as they do not have any idea of the importance of the call number.

People who never use libraries creep me out.

Pipsqueak Fiddlesticks said...

Librarians need to remember that these people are selling a product which was priced by their boss (who sucks them dry too). Also we should think about buying a database the same way as you do about buying a car. Would you pay the sticker price for a car? You would? Then I'm sorry for you.

Anonymous said...

I just had to share this . . . my free vendor pen just popped apart and nearly hit me in the face. Scared me so badly I shouted "Winking Webinars!" or something to that effect. I'm going to go cry in the bathroom now. Hopefully I won't be disturbing anyone on their cell phone.

Amy M said...

What is a USB coffee cup warmer and why have I never had anything better than one of those fuzzy pop pop things stuck to some ribbon?