Computers in Libraries
Vol. 21, No. 7 Jul/Aug 2001 

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These Pages Are Valuable!
by Kathy Dempsey 

If you need to buy any equipment for your library, check out this annual double issue. The CIL Buyer's Guide gives you just about all the information you need to make your purchases (except prices of course).

Speaking of information, you'll be happy to know that's one of our major categories in this directory. Pages 23­28 list all the companies that sell all the types of information that libraries run on: databases, encyclopedias, books, periodicals, dictionaries, indexes, etc. When it's time to beef up your collections, just use these listings. (Now, if only we could make the licensing as easy for you!)

Of course, you also need the software and hardware on which to run all that new electronic information--we've got that covered too. We also list the different supplies you'll need and the outside services that allow your operation to continue running.

These category listings are good, but there are two other sections that I think make our Buyer's Guide even more valuable. My favorite is Products and Services by Vendor. Here, all the vendor companies that responded to our requests for information are listed alphabetically. Under each company's name is a list of every service and product it offers. This is especially valuable, I feel, in these times of corporate mergers and changing product lines. We've managed to give you a snapshot of what everyone in the market is selling today.

I also think the Products and Services by Brand Name section is handy, because some companies sell things with names like "EZ-HTML" or "STV-13" and it's fairly impossible to relate the product name back to the company that sells it. So, if you've read about a great product that you want to explore, but you forget who makes it, this index can help you track down the manufacturer or distributor quickly. Because time is money. (And who has enough of either?)

While I'd like to take credit for assembling this entire amazing directory, of course it was a huge team effort. It starts with me and database expert Jonelle Guy in Oklahoma. We work together in the autumn to update, reorganize, and prepare for the upcoming issue. Then of course the vendors are essential, because without their cooperation and information there would be no Buyer's Guide. (Special thanks go to the folks who help to gently "remind" many of the vendors to send their survey forms back!) Then throughout the spring Jonelle works her database magic and sends the final files here to be printed in the magazine. Finally, our "production" folks (graphic artists, proofreader, and editors) fine-tune all the listings into what you're holding now. It's a good feeling to assemble all this valuable information into one package. How does that TV ad go? "We work hard so you don't have to."

Kathy Dempsey, Editor

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