Thursday, July 2, 2009

Non-print equipment & services: Equipment selection checklist

1. Select a medium that best meets an instructional or information objective in conjunction with the following considerations:
a. Investigate the technical requirements of the users along with their needs for information production and delivery.
b. Investigate media format availability.

2. Contact distributors of required equipment type or format:
a. Identify distributors that sell the equipment type and models that are required.
b. Request of each distributor:
(1) literature, price quotations, and demonstrations on the equipment;
(2) information on the cost of the equipment, added features and supplies; and
(3) information on equipment service contracts and rates of repair.

3. Evaluate equipment:
a. Evaluate and compare equipment models using distributor information and information from media literature.
b. Obtain evaluative reports from people in libraries, schools and businesses who are using the equipment in question.
c. Contact technicians who work through independent service centres for information on breakdown rates, parts availability and ease of repair.

4. Evaluate and select through the process of elimination:
a. Select only those equipment lines that have the options and specifications that are required.
b. Whenever possible try to standardize newer equipment with models that are presently in operation.

c. Select only reputable distributors that provide quality and timely maintenance service.

5. Receiving new equipment:
a. Unpack equipment and check for any damage in shipping.
b. Check shipping list to verify that all components have been received.
c. Check the machine, making sure that it is the correct model.
d. Check the warranty and service contract for the active date and the termination date.
e. Read the operator’s manual and then test all equipment operations.

Adapted from: T.E. McCormack. “Media Equipment Selection Methods for Law Libraries.” Law Library Journal, 83:299, 1991.

Basic criteria for selecting equipment
  • Purpose
  • Cost
  • Extent of usage
  • Skill of patron
  • Life expectancy
  • Standardization
  • Maintenance
  • New developments

From: James Cabecceiras, The Multimedia Library. 3rd ed. San Diego: Academic Press, 1991, pp. 82-6.

Steps in preparing a purchase proposal
1. Examine background to the purchase
a. need
b. users
c. location
d. policy on use
e. purchasing policy
f. budget

2. Develop the selection criteria or requirements
a. mandatory
b. desirable

3. Obtain information

4. Evaluate equipment against criteria

5. Write and submit proposal

From: Carol Javes, Managing Multimedia Equipment. 2nd ed. Canberra: DocMatrix, 2002, Chapter 8: Purchase Proposals, pp. 84-94.

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