Category Archives: subscription management

The Importance of Special Libraries

What makes a library a special library? There are of course thousands of more traditional school and academic libraries, which are all special in the excellent service they provide to their communities. Then there are even more libraries out there serving their communities in a unique and particularly focused way.

There’s the unusual. Take the incredible and inspiring Biblioburros, distributing books to children in rural Colombia on the backs of donkeys Alfa and Beto. Or Human Libraries, where you can “borrow” people with special experiences and “read” them by asking them questions about their lives.

And then there’s the more traditional niche library with a specific area of interest, providing specialized information resources for a particular user base. For example, law libraries, business libraries, medical libraries, government libraries, or military libraries.

But while all these libraries are special, we’re going to take a more in-depth look at military libraries.

What makes military libraries so special?

Quite a lot! Historically, the military have been significant library users. During World Wars I and II, the US forces were able to use camp libraries, set up by the American Library Association. This meant librarians travelling to war zones to help run them – in fact over 1,000 volunteered to do so. Reading, and reading to others, became a common form of therapy for those affected by war.

And this continues today. Whether on board every US Navy ship, or in remote bases in Afghanistan, library services remain an integral part of the US Defense Department’s focus on morale and welfare.

How does this work?

The SLA Military Libraries Division (DMIL), part of the Special Libraries Association, plays a key role in ensuring the military receive the library services they so need and deserve.

DMIL’s goal is to promote the importance of military libraries and librarians to the outside world. They also help their librarians in their roles by offering continuing professional development, a forum for the exchange of ideas, opportunities for networking and career enhancement.

Where does a subscription agent come in?

Well, subscription agents play a major role in the running of a military library, wherever that might be. Military libraries are like any other library, facing budget cuts and managing their resources ever more efficiently, so enlisting the help of a subscription agent pays off in no time. An experienced subscription agent like WT Cox can assist with the nuts and bolts of serials management, leaving libraries the time to focus on their users.

WT Cox’s award-winning library services

WT Cox have been in the library subscriptions business for over 45 years – military libraries included. Their knowledge and expertise is particularly valuable. Rare for a vendor, they scooped an award at the 2019 DMIL Awards this November. WT Cox’s Debra Knox won the DMIL Distinguished Service Award, alongside the DMIL’s current Chair, Travis Ferrell.

Debra’s role within DMIL is unique as a sales representative, and her continued commitment to the Division has allowed it to thrive. According to the DMIL, Debra has been our voice among vendors and on the various SLA Planning committees. Her care and concern for service members and those serving the military has made her an outstanding member of DMIL and well deserving of the Distinguished Service Award.”

Proudly accepting the award, Debra said: “Do not underestimate the power of giving yourself to a cause you believe in. I am proud to support the mission of military libraries all over the world and have done so for more than 20 years. The librarians in this community are the most dedicated group of individuals I have ever had the pleasure to meet. They have become friends. They are the “special” in special libraries!”

Exceptional customer service

At WT Cox we’re known for exceptional levels of customer service. We take care of the day-to-day running of your serials management, allowing you more time to focus on what really matters – your patrons.

WT Cox – Experience Choice. Where extraordinary service happens.

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Getting More Bang For Your Buck

3 Steps Towards Optimizing Vendor Support

Library expenditure on serials is on the up. In today’s knowledge economy, information is king. Knowledge is power.

But you all know that. And you know too that library budgets are shrinking, all the time. Which means that something has to give, and that includes staff numbers. In particular, staffing of serials operations is declining, which presents a challenge for libraries the world over. According to Ithaka’s 2019 Report Library Acquisition Patterns, serials and other ongoing resources make up over 70% of total library expenditure. So the challenge for library staff is significant, and it’s not going to go away.

Sound advice

At NASIG’s 34th Annual Conference in Pittsburgh this June, Maria Hatfield addressed exactly this issue. Maria is VP of Integrated Solutions at WT Cox, and has years of experience working with publishers, libraries and library technology. Her session at NASIG, Getting more bang for your buck: working with your vendor in the age of the shrinking staff , faced this issue head on, and offered sound advice on how best to move forward. As a Member at Large on the NASIG Executive Board and a member of the ISO ISSN Revision Working Group Committee, Maria has her ear to the ground and knows what libraries want. Here’s what she had to say.

It’s all about support

Your vendor is there to support you, so make the most of this. Maria knows that establishing an effective new vendor-library relationship is the number one priority for any library to get the most support possible. In order to optimize your serials workflows, tap in to your vendor services. Here are three vital steps in establishing the most effective vendor-library relationship from the beginning:

  1. Set clear expectations. Both library and vendor need to be direct about their requirements and needs in this partnership. Right from the start. This is the basis upon which the entire business relationship will be built, so it’s pretty crucial.
  2. Communicate these needs. Yes, it’s all about communication. As vendors, at WT Cox we have two account management teams who are there to act as advisers and consultants whenever you might need them. Our Sales Team is responsible for looking at everything from cost impact analysis to assessing support service needs. And our Customer Relationship team actually view themselves as an extension of your staff – their relationship with your library is close and responsive.
  3. Establish a transition plan. You’ll need a timeline clearly indicating who is responsible for each step of the transition. At WT Cox we have an established transition plan that has evolved through years of experience doing many successful transitions for new customers. Our transition team and account management teams start by collecting data about your library and end with the order invoice. Our aim is to ensure as smooth and continuous a service as possible.

Most importantly…

“The most important thing a library can do is communicate with their vendor.” Maria Hatfield, VP Integrated Solutions, WT Cox

Communication. Throughout the whole transition process, communication is the number one priority. And ongoing, it’s probably the most important aspect throughout your entire relationship with your vendor. It’s worth spending a bit of time at the start to establish clear expectations on both sides, and to promote a full understanding of your library’s needs and special requirements. If you do this, and ensure you have a sound understanding of the transition plan, you’ll save yourself hours of staff time further down the line.

Get the most bang for your buck!

So, follow these simple steps and get your vendor on board. Streamlining this partnership will save you invaluable time. And it’ll save you money too, if you let your vendor take an active role in the running of your library. Take a look at the services we provide at WT Cox  – and we’re known for our outstanding commitment to serials management. We ensure you get the most bang for your buck!

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Join us in Austin, TX at the ER & L Conference

If you’re in serials management, you’ll no doubt be attending Electronic Resources & Libraries 14th Annual Conference. March 3-6 sees the library community gather in Austin, TX – working together to improve the ways we manage and access electronic resources.

It’s an unmissable event. There’s so much to learn, and so many people to catch up with. But you know that. What you might not know, however, is what else you won’t want to miss while you are in Austin.

The Bat City

Did you know that Austin is famous for its sunsets? There are some hot   spots to catch its celebrated pink and purple skies – visit the Congress Avenue Bridge, where you can view the spectacle of the city’s 1.5 million bats emerge from underneath, just before dusk. Take a stroll on the bridge itself, or watch from a boat on the river.

Join us at The Color Inside

Don’t like bats? You can still watch the sunrise and sunset! Best of all, visit artist James Turrell’s Skyspace The Color Inside, at the University of Texas. These fabulous light sequences last around an hour, and are best experienced at sunrise and sunset. WT Cox secured several tickets to the Color Inside – we’d love you to join us there at 6:05 pm on either Monday, March 4th or Tuesday, March 5th. Claim yours fast, limited quantities available. Visit us on LinkedIn and post a comment to get your ticket. We hope to see you there!

Sample the food scene…

This is a city for foodies! Austin’s historic East Side is home to some top restaurants, including the Franklin Barbecue  – the best barbecue in the known universe, according to Texas Monthly. Talk serials management over its famous brisket. Or try one of the city’s famous food trucks – there are over 1,000 of them serving up top notch food from lobster rolls to Cajun to churros… And you can’t leave Austin without having taken in some breakfast tacos, which are good almost anywhere you choose to go.

…and the bars

Austin takes its bar scene seriously. Get together with colleagues for some ice-cold beers or craft cocktails and sample a true Austin experience. Enjoy stunning views of the city at the same time at one of the city’s many rooftop bars .

See some sights

If you want an insight into some Texas history, the awesome Texas State Capitol should be at the top of your list. Take in a free guided tour around this larger-than-life institution. In fact it’s the largest capitol building in the United States, 14 feet higher than the Capitol in Washington DC. If you want to stay outdoors, head for Zilker Park  and enjoy the sunny weather the city is known for. Better still, make the steep climb up Mount Bonnell  for magnificent views.

Whatever you choose to do in Austin, be sure to drop by and visit with our team at Table 602.  We look forward to seeing you there!

WT Cox – Experience Choice. Where extraordinary service happens.

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Insider Tips at the Charleston Conference 2018

1 Small US City (1)

What are your plans for Charleston this year? Need a bit of insight? It is a city with so much to offer, it’s hard to know where to start and seeing as we are local – let us show you around!

The history of Charleston is what makes it so special. From graveyard tours to the historic French Quarter, Charleston will surprise and impress you. For over a decade, this conference has provided the WT Cox team with an environment rich in experiences. From relational to educational, exploration to collaboration, it’s truly inspirational!

In fact, Charleston, SC is one of our favorite cities to visit. The fine dining, waterfront parks and good ole Southern hospitality make this the perfect backdrop for this iconic conference! Get your shrimp and grits, chicken and waffles, and of course abundant fresh fish and seafood straight from sea to table. It is just hard to choose, so take some tips from our team, who can help you know your way around the Hot Spots.

In addition to the fun, the Charleston Conference boasts content-rich sessions, engaging speakers and exciting evening events to attend! This year, join us on Tuesday, November 6th at 1 PM in Salon II, Gaillard Centre. You won’t want to miss this preconference session, Foundations of E-Resource Acquisitions. Maria Hatfield, our VP of Integrated Solutions, will share her professional insight and extensive experience of e-resource acquisitions – relating to concepts and workflows, an overview of supporting tools, and solutions to common problems.

Also on Tuesday, you will find the WT Cox Team at Table #80 during the Vendor Showcase. This is a great opportunity to meet your reps, chat and perhaps make plans to meet for a drink. Proof is where you will find us just about every night. The hand-crafted cocktails that are NOT to be missed…

We hope you get the opportunity to experience all that the Charleston Conference has to offer and we look forward to seeing you there.

WT Cox – #1 subscription service for libraries

1 Voted 8 years running by readers of Conde Nast Traveller

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