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The annual meeting of the North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities (NCICU) Library Purchasing Committee took place on May 17. At these meetings, representatives from several library vendors and publishers present their latest products and inform their customers of the latest news regarding their services. The location of the meeting varies from one year to the next, depending upon the home campus of the current chair of the group; this year, the meeting took place at the Dover Memorial Library on the campus of Gardner-Webb University.
I was glad to attend the Purchasing Committee meeting for the first time; this year, the topic was serials. Although it was structured as a working meeting, it was an opportunity to hear directly from the agencies we communicate with on a regular basis as well as the ones we see sparingly. At the meeting, the group saw presentations from the American Chemical Society, Duke University Press, EBSCO, Elsevier, Gale-Cengage, JSTOR, NC LIVE, Oxford University Press, ProQuest, Sage, and Springer. Although that was a lot of vendors to see in a single daylong session, the agenda compacted each into twenty minute slots that allowed each one to make their presentations within their respective time frame. I came away from this session with a greater awareness of several services that could be worth further investigation and study. Because of the relaxed setting, it was easy to talk with vendors without the hustle and bustle of a conference in the background.
Next year, the Purchasing Group meeting will move to Guilford College and explore a new topic for consideration. Although the topic was not chosen at Gardner-Webb, ideas included streaming media, online reference sources, audiobooks and eBooks. In 2014, however, the meeting will come to Wake Forest because the chair-elect for that meeting will be Lauren Corbett. Congratulations Lauren!