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:link: Apps for small vendors ideas

6 Aug '18

Hi everyone,

During some of my discussions with library staff around the world, the question has arisen and stuck with me, of whether it might be meaningful to explore the idea of centralized web interfaces, e.g. in the form of FOLIO apps, or in the form of stand-alone web interfaces that interact with FOLIO systems directly, providing an easy-to-use setup for small vendors to provide the data in a digital format they currently do not have the resources to do. This might be a standardized way to share the bibliographic information around their publications, order information or the like.

The idea with any such interfaces would be to freely allow vendors a way of overcoming the hurdle of setting up and managing their own system, and instead letting them log in with a username and password and upload files, fill in forms, etc., the content of which would then seemlessly interact with the FOLIO system.

I am raising the question in this discuss post, not looking for a definitive yes or no answer, but rather to start the conversation on this topic and let people chime in. I know that some institutions feel they would have no benefit from small vendors using these interfaces, while others seem to find this line of thought interesting,

For those who have an opinion on this topic, feel free to share your advice, ideas and thoughts below.


23 Aug '18

From a selfish, practical standpoint, I’m in favor of this; small vendors are doing the best they can with the resources they have, but in aggregate it means library acquisitions staff have to figure out, remember, and manage a lot of different workflows/datastreams.

And trying to put myself in their shoes, I assume they’re currently making choices between a) not providing the level of service we would like (and thus maybe not making a sale), b) stretching budgets and staff too far trying to provide it, or c) relying on a third-party service that may later get eaten up by one of their much larger competitors, which I hear is happening a lot lately.

Sharing a tool that streamlines the process for all of us makes sense to me.

Ideologically, too, I’m in favor of it. I don’t think we can reasonably declare that The Future Of Libraries Is Open unless we’re also extending that openness to our partners, particularly the ones with limited resources. This feels to me like the whole point of the “Open” movement(s).