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Poll Response Due to Misinformation on Issues

Honolulu--Baker & Taylor Books, the company awarded a State contract to provide
outsourcing collectin services for Hawaii's 49 public libraries, was not surpri
sed by the results of the recent Honolulu Star-Bulletin poll. Since Baker & Tay
lor was given the green light in March 1996 by the Hawaii State Public Library
System (HSPLS) to begin selecting, acquiring, cataloging, shipping and distribu
ting, it has provided more than 70,000 units to the local libraries.
     As with any new project, especially one of this size, some start-up proble
ms must be anticipated.  However, many of the issues that continue to be addres
sed in the media are not accurate.  Arnie Wight, Baker & Taylor's SVP Customize
d Libary Services, commented, "We acknowledge that this venture has had various
 challenges to overcome from many directions.  But there are numerous inaccurat
e issues creating public misperceptions." Wight continued, "Baker & Taylor rema
ins committed to Hawaii, and the public library patrons and librarians, to cont
inue offering the excellent selection developed over the years within the const
raints of today's reduced budget."  Following are three issues that continue to
 be addressed which Baker & Taylor believes affected the outcome of the survey:

1.  A Practical Guide to Lambing & Lamb Care: Baker & Taylor encourages library
 patrons to visit their local libraries to see if this selection is on the shel
ves.  It is not.  It was never sent to Hawaii.  When Baker & Taylor made the 70
,000 unit selection between April and June 1996, the HSPLS had not had enough
time to complete its collection selection development guidelines.  Due to this
incomplete process, the book did appear under the agricultural category of a re
commended list.  In September it was removed during the selection review proces
s conducted jointly by the HSPLS and Baker & Taylor.

2. Hawaiiana Selection: Baker & Taylor acknowledged the importance of local inp
ut in this selection area from the onset, but it is clear that more must be don
e.  To ensure that the appropriate books were being ordered, Baker & Taylor sub
contracted the Hawaiiana and Asian-Pacific selection of the contract to local b
ook wholesaler, Booklines Hawaii.  Booklines has provided Hawaiiana selections
to the HSPLS from local publishers for many years.
     The number of Hawaiiana books to be purchased is stipulated in the HSPLS c
ontract.  It is Baker & Taylor's understanding that for the HSPLS to remain wit
hin the restraints dictated by the budget cuts, it was forced to reduce the num
ber of new Hawaiian selections and many other categories.
     Since January of this year, Baker & Taylor and the HSPLS have been develop
ing a process to include HSPLS librarians with Hawaiiana expertise to provide t
itle selection recommendations.  This new process will ensure the best selectio
n within the contract guidelines and budget.

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