From supplier to partner: a typology of library services

Library services have greatly developed and diversified in recent years. This article outlines a typology, by type of organisation and type of function, of suppliers able to provide libraries with products and documents as well as management tools, consultancy and services. The intense competitive context in France and constraints imposed by public tendering legislation have brought about a rapid change in the relations between suppliers – both public and private – and libraries. Today, the client–supplier relationship is moving towards partnership, in order to provide the best service to the public. The article is accompanied by a separate text presenting two integrated library service firms, ekz in Germany and NBD/Biblion in the Netherlands, who supply all libraries in their respective countries.