To work effectively and obtain best value for money Library & Information Services (LIS) buys books from specialised library suppliers.
Library Book Suppliers
LIS is a member of Midland Universities Academic Libraries Purchasing Consortium which renegotiates deals with book suppliers, in line with EU legislation, every 3 to 5 years. Book suppliers are intermediaries between libraries and publishers and their buying power on behalf of a large number of libraries enables them to secure significant discount from publishers. The discount LIS receives is variable depending on that which the book supplier receives but it is typically between 14% and 20%.
Library suppliers also do some of the processing of books ready for the library shelf.
Alternative suppliers and online vendors are used occasionally when a book is unavailable through normal routes e.g. out of print.
LIS is constantly working at reducing supply times. On average it takes 3-4 weeks from ordering for books to be available on the shelf. There is variation according to LIS workload, publisher and availability of each book (e.g. is it being reprinted?). Books requested in advance of publication are only ordered in the month in which they are published to avoid committing money too early.
If there is a genuine need books can be obtained in a week or even a couple of days using suppliers’ urgent order facilities. However this is expensive in staff time, and sometimes additional charges are applied.