Selection of Vendor: Before placing the book for order the librarians should consider whether the particular title can be acquired by gift, donation, by virtue of membership and so on. If not, then only should it be considered for acquisition by way of purchase.
The vendor to be selected should be the one that is known to provide prompt and satisfactory service. He should be honest in his dealings and must have a good reputation. In case of titles published by learned societies, organizations, and institutions, it is often preferable to place order directly to them for availing huge discounts.
The Good Offices Committee (GOC), New Delhi is a voluntary organization formed by representatives of the book trade and libraries to standardize and introduce uniform terms of book and periodical supplies to libraries. The committee meets at regular intervals and after taking into consideration the fluctuations in currency rates it decides the rates conversion. It has also laid down discount rates for different categories of books and periodical publications as well as other terms for the book suppliers. As a result, there should be ordinarily no necessity for calling for tenders and quotations, etc. for purchase of books and periodicals from Indian vendors. A library should agree to abide by the terms laid down by the Good Offices Committee and place order with the vendor who agrees to these terms.
The different practices followed by libraries in the choice of the supplier are:
i) Tender Method: In tender method, every book list of finally selected items is circulated among a number of booksellers who are invited to quote their lowest prices for each item. The order is placed for each item with the firm offering the lowest price.
ii) Quotation Method: In this method, quotations are invited for various categories of documents along with trade discounts admissible in each case. This is done usually prior to the beginning of the financial year. The supplier for each category is fixed finally on the basis of the most economic terms offered.
iii) Standing Vendor Method: A standing vendor is one who is appointed as the authorized supplier to library for a specified time, generally for a year or two, under prescribed terms and conditions of supply.
iv) Books – on – Approval Method: In this case reputed publishers will be sending their new titles as and when published to the library directly. These items are accepted after due process of selection. The formal order will be placed with the local bookseller named by each publisher. Sometimes the local booksellers, at frequent intervals, bring some recent publications for approval and ordering. The selected items are included in a formal order and accepted while the others are returned.
v) Open Purchase: Purchasing from the book fairs and buying from any bookseller from the open market comes under this method.
vi) Direct Ordering with Publisher: Direct ordering with publishers or their representatives is done by some libraries.