Library supply deals worth millions awarded

Library supply deals worth millions awarded

Accreditations for significant library supply contracts worth millions of pounds have been awarded, with Blackwell’s, Dawson and the JS Group among the winners.

Agreements for the Joint Consortia Framework Agreement for the Southern Universities Purchasing Consortium (SUPC) worth up to £90m per year have been revealed, for the first time highlighting supply of e-textbooks to universities.

The deals are worth millions of pounds combined and involve the supply of e-books and printed books to universities and higher education institutions in England and Wales. It is one of the largest value global book agreements in the HE sector, according to SUPC.

Dawson Books has been accredited to supply print books, e-books, standing orders and related materials to HE institutions. The company is owned by Connect Books and its sister company Wordery, an e-commerce retailer, was also accredited in supplying sales to individuals - staff and students.

Jane Johnson, executive director of Dawson Books, explained if a company cannot get accredited, it was very difficult to supply university libraries in England and Wales. “It is pretty significant,” she told The Bookseller. “It is pretty material for the company to achieve this.”

She added the accreditation was a result of an “excellent team effort” across the whole business. “We’re looking forward to continuing to work with the libraries and departments over the coming years and are confident that we have found the right mix of quality and price to help libraries and university departments support research, learning and teaching in an ever changing and dynamic environment,” she said.

Blackwell’s meanwhile has secured university ‘appointed supplier’ status to supply library print books, European Language books, standing orders, e-textbooks, departmental supply, and library supply via campus bookshops.

Matthew Emery, head of Blackwell Learning, said: “The importance of direct e-textbook provision has been increasing for a few years as a response to universities wishing to improve the student experience, improve outcomes and add value. It’s great to see the Joint Consortia framework officially recognising this emerging business model, and that Blackwell’s is one of a small number of providers who can genuinely deliver this.”

Tim Kilmartin, head of corporate, professional and institutional sales at Blackwell’s, meanwhile, said that book supply to the university library from the campus bookshop made “perfect sense” for the company and also created a “self-perpetuating partnership that secures the commercial viability of the bookshop, which is such an important feature of any campus, especially in a post-Teaching Excellence Framework world.”

The JS Group has also been accredited to supply e-textbooks with its partner Kortext, as well as print book department purchases.

Peter Gray, chairman and c.e.o. of the JS Group, said: “We know from our discussions with universities the growing importance they place on providing their students with the learning resources they need to progress and to achieve. Investment across the sector is increasing and this will continue to do so with the emphasis within TEF on learning environments and learning resources….Along with our e-book platform partner Kortext, we are delighted to have been accredited and look forward to supporting universities in the future.”

Andy Alferovs, m.d of Kortex, said the deal comes at the end of a “record year” for the company, which has struck several new deals to supply universities with e-textbooks as more turn away from print.  "We are delighted to be awarded this contract for the supply of both digital textbooks and digital learning resources, whilst being commended for accessibility and sustainability,” he said. “This announcement comes at the end of a record year for Kortext, as its learning platform gains significant adoption across the UK and around the world. We look forward to working with our partners and university customers in the sector to ensure that we deliver the best student learning experience that intend to improve learning outcomes."

The agreement will run from 1st August 2017 until 31st July 2019.

Thirteen suppliers in all were awarded lots, comprising Askew & Holts Library Services, Bibliotech Education, Browns Books for Students, Casalini Libri SpA, EBSCO International Inc, Otto Harrassowitz, GmbH & Co and ProQuest LLC, along with Dawson, Wordery, the JS Group, Kortext and Blackwell’s.