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any hardware and software purchases fail because the buyer didn’t ask the right questions, such as how easy is it to repair mistakes when content is entered incorrectly, how stable is the company selling the products, and how good is the online help desk when everything goes wrong.

Using a case study approach, we will move through the crucial steps for buying hardware and software for your library, starting with a plan that includes your prioritized goals. This webinar is inspired in part by the memory of the employee who was given a list of features that the platform for our new online service needed to provide. He managed to buy software that did not fulfill any of our goals. Hopefully, this will never happen to you.

This session will include the following topics:

 Who’s in charge of evaluating purchases
 Preparing your library for new hardware and software
 Setting goals and priorities (you can’t have everything)
 Avoiding cutting edge “unicorns” and custom fixes
 The life cycle of 21 st century technology: the myth of planned obsolescence
 Estimating the “real” costs of new toys
 Gathering library customer input
 Checking online user boards for critiques
 Understanding the differing motives of the person who sells you the product, the person who fixes the product, and the person who actually
designed the product

Slides

Original broadcast November 7, 2018 

Biography ~ Pat Wagner
Pat Wagner has been a trainer and consultant for libraries since 1978 using e-mail, platforms, and now social media to serve clients across the United States (and the solar system) who she has never met face-to-face.. She presents at state and national library conferences as well as working with libraries of all types from Alaska to Florida. She has been a frequent visitor to Florida libraries and was a facilitator for the Sunshine State Library Leadership Institute for several years. Pat focuses on skills needed to support better productivity and workplace relationships, from personnel issues to strategic planning. She is known for her practical and good-humored programs.