A study reported in 1970 of 3 types of book selection procedures in 4 Midwestern 4-year institutions of higher education with graduate programs that had used at least 2 methods of book selection for current imprint, English-language titles (sample size: 6,891 books including 2,559 selected on approval plan, 2,196 selected by faculty, and 2,136 selected by librarians) showed that, on the basis of subsequent book circulation (at least once in the 12 months following public availability), the librarians were the best selectors, faculty the next best, and approval plans the worst. 80.4% of librarians’ books circulated; 69.7% of the faculty books circulated; and 61.8% of the approval plan books circulated. These differences were statistically significant at the .05 level.         (Source)

 A study reported in 1975 comparing book price increases reported in the Bowker Annual of Library and Book Trade Information with actual price increases encountered on English-language material acquired through approval plans at 3 universities (University of Nebraska, years 1966-67 and 1967-68; Florida Atlantic University, 1969-70 and 1970-71; and Arizona State University, 1971-72) during the period 1967-1972 showed that Bowker indicated a 48.1% increase, while the libraries showed an 18.5% increase for this period.          (Source)

 A study during the 1975-76 fiscal year at Louisiana State University comparing 5 different [not identified] U.S. book dealers based on ordering 400 titles from each dealer showed that there were substantial differences between the dealers in a number of areas, including:

             number of titles received—ranged from 342 (85.5%) to 371 (92.8%);

             length of time between purchase order and receipt of invoice—ranged from 29 days to 55 days;

             length of time between purchase order and receipt of book—ranged from 45 days to 70 days;

             and average discount—ranged from 5.29% to 16%.         (Source)

 A performance survey in 1977 of 3 book vendors undertaken by the University of Louisville Library over a 4-month period showed that Ballen supplied books in the shortest amount of time; BNA and Baker & Taylor were tied in supplying the most accurate bibliographic information; and Baker & Taylor had the best discounts.             (Source)

 A 1978-79 study of domestic book vendors undertaken at the University of Utah Libraries and involving “approximately 800 orders” divided among 3 vendors (Baker & Taylor, Academic Book Center, and Taylor-Carlisle) showed that books whose publishers were listed in BIP were more likely to be delivered than books whose publishers were not listed in BIP. Within 180 days of placing the orders for books with publishers listed in BIP, both Baker & Taylor and Academic Book Center had delivered 92.6% of the ordered titles, while Taylor-Carlisle had delivered 85.6% of the ordered items. Within the same 180-day period for books whose publishers were not listed in BIP, Baker & Taylor had delivered 60% of the requested titles; Taylor-Carlisle had delivered 58.3% of the requested titles; and Academic Book Center had delivered 52.7% of the titles.           (Source)

         Ibid . . . showed that, for books with publishers listed in BIP, Baker & Taylor delivered a substantial number of items more quickly than the smaller vendors, although within 3 months of order placement the difference had reversed. Specifically, Baker & Taylor delivered 31.0% of the total number of requested items within 30 days and 60.1% within 90 days; Academic Book Center delivered 0% within 30 days and 78.8% within 90 days; and Taylor-Carlisle delivered 4.1% within 30 days and 73.6% within 90 days.        (Source)

         Ibid. . . . showed that, for books with publishers listed in BIP, Baker & Taylor provided neither books nor information on 6% of the orders placed and canceled .9% of the orders; Academic Book Center provided neither books nor information on 3.7% of the orders placed and canceled 1.4% of the orders; and Taylor-Carlisle provided neither information nor books for 10.4% of the orders placed and canceled 3.1% of the orders. For non-BIP books Baker & Taylor, Academic, and Taylor-Carlisle, respectively, provided neither books nor information for 14.5%, 27.3%, and 41.7% of the orders placed, while they canceled 14.5%, 20.0%, and 0% of the orders respectively.        (Source)

 A 1980 study at the University of Northern Colorado (Michener Library) over a 3-month period (February through May) involving 477 separate invoices from 115 individual vendors showed that the average time lapse between vendor’s invoice date and date of the check generated by the acquisitions department was 35 days (on average 16 days lapsed between vendor’s invoice date and receipt of invoice in the library); the average time lapse between receipt of vendor’s invoice in the library to generation of check by the acquisitions department was 19 days; and average time lapse between payment authorization for vendor’s invoice to generation of check by acquisitions department was 4 days.         (Source)


A 1979 study of vendor performance (Baker & Taylor, Brodart) over a 5-month period in 8 small- to medium-sized public libraries and 1 regional resource center on Maryland’s eastern shore showed that the average discounts received from each vendor were as follows:

                TYPE OF BOOK         BAKER & TAYLOR         BRODART

                      adult fiction                      38.91%                       37.6%

                      adult nonfiction                 36.1%                         33.2%

                      juvenile                            28.15%                       20.4%

                      paperbacks                      37.5%                         32.7%         (Source)

         Ibid. . . . showed that the time lag between placing the order and receiving the book for each of the vendors was as follows:

                    TYPE OF BOOK     BAKER & TAYLOR         BRODART

                      adult hardback                 33.7 days                     42.9 days

                      juvenile                            24.9 days                     44.25 days

                      paperbacks                      22.7 days                    17.3 days          (Source)

 A 1982 survey of American and Canadian public libraries (sample size: 279; responding: 68 or 24%) showed that the top 4 vendors (of 120 given) of paperback books used by respondents were: Baker & Taylor (42%), Ingram (9%), Bookman (7%), and Brodart (6%).       (Source)

Dr. David Kohl

 "Libraries in the digital age are experiencing the most profound transformation since ancient Mesopotamian scribes first began gathering and organizing cuneiform tablets."

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