On the quality and usefulness of the specification in determining a customer’s requirements: a survey of UK library system suppliers

Shelagh Fisher (Shelagh Fisher is Reader in Information Management in the Department of Information and Communications, Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester, UK.)

OCLC Systems & Services: International digital library perspectives

ISSN: 1065-075X

Publication date: 1 December 2000

Abstract

An effective library management system is essential to the operation of services but the procurement of a system is an infrequent activity with little opportunity for librarians to build on or consolidate their experience. The common activity of specifying the operational requirements of a system can consequently be problematic. The procurement process is also difficult for potential system suppliers who must respond to specifications (or RfPs) which are very variable in terms of content, format and quality. A survey of UK library system suppliers was undertaken in January 2000 as part of the UK LIC‐funded HARMONISE Project to determine their views on the quality and usefulness of the specification in the procurement process. The suppliers indicated a number of problems inherent in specifications produced by libraries, such as a lack of clarity, poor structure, variable in technical understanding and with too great a focus on basic functionality which has been tried and tested. A model specification of system requirements for libraries is recommended.

Keywords

Citation

Fisher, S. (2000), "On the quality and usefulness of the specification in determining a customer’s requirements: a survey of UK library system suppliers", OCLC Systems & Services: International digital library perspectives, Vol. 16 No. 4, pp. 168-174. https://doi.org/10.1108/10650750010354111

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Publisher

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MCB UP Ltd

Copyright © 2000, MCB UP Limited

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