A Brief History
DLS Australia began its life in July 1985, as Victoria Express Books. The company was originally jointly owned by S.A. Express Books in Adelaide (at that stage a major supplier to the S.A. Library Board) and Stephen Walters in Melbourne.
In 1987 Stephen Walters bought-out the Adelaide interests, and Victoria Express "merged" with another Victorian library supplier, Badlan Library Suppliers, with Peter Badlan becoming a Director of the Company. This association was terminated within 2 years, with total company ownership returning to Stephen Walters, who remains as sole Proprietor/Director to this day.
The Company name was changed in July 1991 to DLS Australia Pty Ltd and two separate trading names of DLS Library Services and DLS Distribution Services were registered. The reason for this change was mainly to facilitate the introduction of a wholesale distribution division to the Company.
Now in it's 30th year, DLS continues to operate, very successfully, both as a Library Supplier and Publishers' Agent & Distributor, with Library Supply being by far the mainstay of the business.
We operate from our owned 6600 sq ft office / warehouse at Braeside, where visitors are always welcome to select from our considerable stock of new and recently released adult and children's books.
A Holistic Approach To Library Services
Each of our customers has their own special requirements and we are flexible enough to meet such requirements, in almost all cases. We are not just "order processors" - we carry extensive stock, across all popular categories of adult and childrens books, nor are we simply "booksellers". Our services extend well beyond simply selling books.
Library staff are under pressure more these days to perform, than at any time in the past. We believe that it is our role, as Service Providers, to make book selection and acquisition as hassle-free as possible. We succeed by making it easier for our customers.
Our services are constantly evolving, to meet the ever-changing requirements of our customers, but they can be categorised under four broad groupings:
On Approval or Inspection Services
This is how we started - delivering new books to Libraries, on a regular basis, for selection - and it is still an integral part of our business. Visits can be arranged as regularly as weekly to a 2-3 monthly cycle, perfect for country libraries. The range of books we present for selection is governed by the customer and can be as limited as selected genres only, to a complete range of adult and children's books from Australia, the UK and USA. All books presented are new, having been released in Australia, or directly imported, since the last visit to that particular customer.
Our policy is to purchase sufficient stock, to ensure every regular customer sees each new book we buy. We present all books in easy-to-handle plastic crates, not in enormous tubs or cartons. Our stock of new and recently released titles currently stands at over 20,000 volumes spread across all categories of books, for adults, children, and young adults.
Books are usually left for selection for a week and the books can be either invoiced and left at the library, and/or supplied to order at a later date. Books can be left for longer periods if necessary, but most of our customers find that a week is plenty of time. A same-day service for delivery, selection and invoicing is the usual preferred option for our customers in country areas.
Our new title information services now focuses on our website and email bulletins. We produce monthly "e-catalogues" of forthcoming titles to be released in Australia, with links to these catalogues being emailed to all our customers.
These catalogues are produced by department - Adult Fiction; Adult Non-Fiction; & Children's Books (broken down further into junior, young adult, picturebooks and boardbooks, non-fiction, and graphic novels) - so individual librarians can access only their area/s of responsibility. We detail new books from different publishers or distributors, and group them to ensure that each department's catalogue has a manageable number of new titles.
We believe in not inundating you with emails, so only email you the links monthly. The links allow librarians to access the lists from our website at any time, and lists remain on the website for upto 6 months.
We also produce "special purpose catalogues" in areas, such as USA Adult Fiction and Picturbook titles being imported directly by us, but which are not being released in Australia by the general trade, and a monthly paperback fiction catalogue.
Our "Adult Fiction Checklist" - a monthly list of forthcoming adult fiction titles, from authors on our standing orders author listing of over 2600 authors - is also available on the website. In 2006 the adult checklist was also complimented by a regular online "Children's Checklist", for junior and YA fiction and picturebooks from significant authors, and "Adult Non-Fiction Checklist", for popular authors and series.
"Media" lists are also posted on our website weekly, listing titles featured and reviewd in state and national newspapers during the week.
All these catalogues and lists are stored on our website, where they are easily accessable for ordering and/or downloading of MARC records, for import into libraries' own systems.
For new titles of particular merit - potential non-fiction bestsellers - we produce promotional "e-flyers", which are regularly emailed to customers.
Our website database now contains well over a million titles. Searching is easy, as is on-line ordering, and MARC records can be downloaded from our site free of charge, even if an order is not placed. (It should be noted that the term "MARC" refers to a record in MAchine Readable Code. It should not be confused with a "Catalogue Record". All our records do contain sufficient fields to conform to a Level 1 catalogue record, but such records should be used as interim records only and not as library catalogue records.)
Of course, our very experienced staff are always available to assist with information on any books, past, present, or future. We are very aware that our customers rely on us to keep them informed, and that the quality and timing of the information we provide is a critical part of the supplier/customer relationship. We continually strive to improve our information services, and the technology we use to deliver these services.
This complex area can be split into these basic sub-groupings
Reporting Procedures - Accurate reporting of the status of customers orders is the most difficult task of any Library Supplier.
We all rely on information supplied to us by publishers and/or distributors, and constantly press for accurate information, to forward to our customers. With the very best intent and diligence, it is not possible for us to give guaranteed reports at all times, but we do try - very hard. We are always happy to chase particular outstanding orders to get an updated report from the supplier.
We often run separate sub-accounts for different library "departments", to enable us to not only split-up back order reports for different types of books, or types of orders (like standing orders), but also to enable us to report to our customers on expenditure by "department".
Processing and Cataloguing Services - Extensive end-processing services can be carried out to specific requirements, at a very competitive rate. We can quote to suit your particular needs.
As much as possible we catalogue in-house via Libraries Australia. By keeping cataloguing and processing in-house, we can maintain quality control, and prioritise work flow. This enables us to ensure prompt supply of all urgent items, e.g fiction best-sellers, to the customer.
At DLS, we really do have A Holistic Approach to Library Services
All our services are geared to the needs of our customers, so they change and grow with these needs.
If there is a particular need for a particular service at your library, which has not been detailed in any of the above, then please ask. Chances are we already do it for at least one of our customers but, if we don't, we are always eager to take on new challenges.
|Website Development by Metrix Operations|