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The Automation Process

Automation: Process

Below you will find a suggested process to follow in an automation process. Items that are required by statute are in BOLD. Items that should be emphasized are in Italic.

1. Invite vendors to visit the library and display their products. Several vendors, at different levels should be viewed. This will better enable the library to determine which vendors to invite to bid when it comes time to contract.

2. Weed your collection. Each book you keep costs you at least .55 in conversion costs. Weed the collection using strong, established criteria.

3. Prepare your shelflist for conversion. Check it against the actual collection. Eliminate cards for books that are no longer present. Make sure the information matches the information on the book. Make sure the call number matchers the one on the book.

4. Determine the number and location of public access and staff terminals. Try to make this realistic. Too few terminals will hamper patrons and staff, too many will go unused and cost you money (initial cost and ongoing licensing fees).

5. Determine which existing equipment can be used with the new system. It may be that much of it can be recycled; it may be that you have to purchase entirely new equipment.

6. Prepare and RFP (Request for Proposal) for your project. This should be a tool to enable you to compare the services, performance and options of the automation vendors.

7. Advertise for bid:

  • All purchases over $20,000 must be bid.
  • Dividing purchases artificially to render them under $20,000 is not allowed.
  • Advertisements must be placed in the county newspaper of record, on two different occasions at least 7 days apart.
  • The final advertisement must run at least 7 days before the bid opening.
  • The library may accept the lowest and best bid (best value) or may reject any and all bids.
  • Make a bid award determination, following the process outlined in the RFP.
  • Award the contract.
  • The library should be prepared to invite vendors to bid, as it is highly unlikely that any will see the advertisement in the local paper.

8. The library should contract with the chosen vendor to supply conversion, equipment, and installation.

9. The vendor will then guide the library though the actual automation process.

If you need any additional assistance, please feel free to contact the KDLA Technology Consultant. We have available sample RFP’s, newspaper advertisements, assistance with evaluating bids and other services and materials. Contact Terry Manuel at 502-564-8300, ext 269 or


Information Updated:09/27/2007