The Bucks County Free Library regularly purchases items such as books, office supplies, computer and network equipment, and furniture for its seven branch locations. Except for library materials and some computer or network equipment, the Bucks County Free Library does not make purchases on behalf of all the public libraries in Bucks County, so those additional libraries should be approached separately.
The library strongly favors discount billing and purchases many items through the PEPPM multi-state contract program, TechSoup, Lyrasis, or various other cooperative programs that offer deep discounts to government, non-profits, or libraries.
Library employees keep current on available and new products by attending conferences and trade shows and by reading print and electronic publications in areas of interest.
The majority of the library's general maintenance and repair work is handled by library staff or the County of Bucks General Services Division.
Except for occasional grants, the County of Bucks manages all capital projects on behalf of the library. Typical capital projects include HVAC replacement, parking lot repair and renovation, commercial carpet installation, roof repair and replacement, dropped ceiling replacement, and fire system installation. Current projects and bidding instructions are listed and regularly updated by the County of Bucks Finance Department.
Work beyond the scope of library staff and General Services Division is guided by the library's quote and bid process. Some examples of projects or services that may be outsourced are landscaping and snow removal, janitorial services, and HVAC preventative maintenance. Generally, facilities maintenance or service contracts are two-year contracts with an option to renew for one year.
The Bucks County Free Library manages the bulk of technology operations in-house and does not seek to outsource technology services or support. General web services are internally hosted, and except for hosted versions of particular special products, the library is not interested in co-location or other hosting services.
As a recipient of federal e-rate discounts, the library system uses the Universal Service Administrative Company to contract with vendors for telephones, cellular phones, cellular Internet, wired Internet, and Wide Area Network connectivity. Because of the complexity of the e-rate program, vendors planning to successfully bid on these services must be familiar with the e-rate program, the e-rate calendar and timelines, and limitations on multi-year contracts. The library does not seek the services of an e-rate broker.
Maintenance contracts are generally purchased through the vendor selected for purchasing the goods and are always manufacturer's contracts.
The library system's business office is responsible for finance, accounting, payroll, and benefits administration, among other administrative services. Most administrative services contracts are quoted or bid out on a three- or four-year cycle.
The library's Collection Management Office and Technical Services Department work with large distributors for the majority of purchasing of books and other library media. Because of high volume the library generally qualifies for the deepest available discounts. Publisher's sales representatives are encouraged to familiarize themselves with Collection Management Office guidelines before approaching us about new and upcoming titles.