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Derrik and I attended this year’s Purchasing Committee meeting at High Point University last week. This was the first time the group has done a 1 day format and they jam-packed it! The whole focus was e-books.

We heard a hilarious presentation from Tim Rogers of NC Live poking fun at the ad-hoc purchasing approach for e-books by NC Live to-date, but then he gave his serious plan for a more organized approach, which received resounding approval. We also had a Lyrasis update from Cal Shepherd.

The majority of the day was spent in hearing purchasing proposals from the various vendors who came in person to pitch — this marked a return to the style from the NCCIHE meetings that I experienced as a new librarian in NC, maintaining a strict focus on collective buying advantages. It became fairly clear that EBL and ebrary are the main players, while EBSCO’s pick-up of NetLibrary has some good potential since they will adopt more current access and pricing models as fast as they can arrange it with the publishers. We also learned that EBL has made a proposal to NC Live, but we have to remember that NC Live is waiting to find out about the state budget and has made preparations for cuts of products if necessary. No specific actions were taken by the NCICU Purchasing Committee with any particular vendor yet since the outcome of many presentations culminated in more info to come by email.

High Point University is impressive — lots of newer buildings. We were in the fancy new building for the Wilson School of Commerce for meals, and passed by the Boardroom and Trading Room (with electronic “ticker tape” board scrolling around the entire top perimeter) en route to the Banquet room, which had a projector that dropped down from hiding behind a ceiling tile. The rest of the time we were in Norton International Home Furnishings Center, and I hope 204 looks this good when upgraded. Now if we could just get those same La-Z-Boy Executive Chairs, we’d really be in business!