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ALS Library Services - Making a big job easy

How many times have you heard people ask, “Where on earth will I find that book?”, only to hear, “Try the library.” As often as not, the local library is the best place to start, but have you ever wondered how libraries source their vast ranges of books?

ALS Library Services (ALS), based in Adelaide, has been supplying to Australian public libraries since 1973. Having always been an innovator in library supply services, ALS’s simple online ordering system enables their clients to select among 4,500 new titles every month. Along with books, other items such as audio, DVD and other multimedia materials, are available two to three months before general publication.

A passion for language

After working for a couple of years as a lecturer at Deakin University, Tricia Genat, with a love of language and literature, migrated into the book industry. She completed her Masters of Business Administration and, after holding several senior management roles, became the Managing Director for an international publisher and distributor in South Australia.

A giant decision

Tricia had been a Saward Dawson client for several years, stating that she, “shared Saward Dawson’s values and was aware of their expertise at all levels”. As she added to her portfolio, Tricia respected the valuable relationship that had developed. “When it came to the big crunch of buying a business I was not going to trust anyone else. I had confidence that Saward Dawson would get the job done.”

Buying a business is a very big decision. Tricia flew one of our staff to Adelaide during the due diligence process to “touch, feel and see ALS”, helping to confirm that this was a good decision.

She not only needed Saward Dawson to advise on general aspects of purchasing a business, but to ensure that it was acquired as advantageously as possible. There were elements of the purchase that required specific expertise to achieve the best outcomes. For example, it was necessary to explore the advantages and disadvantages of the various business structuring alternatives. Ultimately, Tricia was able to make informed decisions resulting in the best possible purchase and setting up a successful ongoing business. Saward Dawson organised the most cost effective financing and facilitated the loan. We also advised on the implications of the sale agreements and liaised with other parties including the vendor’s solicitors.

Simplifying a monumental task

Every year, about 900,000 new book titles are published worldwide of which about half are suitable for public libraries. To sift through all of these without help to determine what might be of interest to their members would be an overwhelming task for many libraries. ALS, by establishing networks with publishers around the globe, make it much easier. They identify and categorise publications, enabling libraries to easily identify publications of potential relevance, making a seemingly impossible task much more manageable. By viewing the ALS website, just once a month, libraries need not miss a title of interest or significance.

Some libraries prefer ALS to do the selections for them. By understanding the library’s particular requirements, ALS supply the most suitable publications monthly without library staff needing to be closely involved in the ordering process.

A complete service offering

ALS takes pride in client service. Books can be delivered to their clients ready to go onto the shelf. Without national standards, this can be quite a process. Many libraries stipulate specifications for plastic jackets, security strips, bar coding, labelling and stamping.

The next time you visit your local library to find that impossible find, you will have a fair idea of who found it first. Visit their website at www.alslib.com.au to learn more about how ALS Library Services make it possible.

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