Monday, December 17, 2007

RFP ... and after

Well, we sent out our Request for Proposals. Just getting to the point of putting this document in the mail was a two-and-a-half year process. And I don't imagine that evaluating or acting on the resulting study will be much faster. But this is a small watershed.

After the Library Board approved the RFP, we sent it to a list of 45 possible respondents, a mix of architects with some specialty in public libraries and library building consultants. We developed the list from a variety of sources:

  • firms that have done work for us in the past
  • exhibitors at this year's state library conference
  • recommendations from other Wisconsin libraries
  • firms requesting to be included
  • relevant names from lists published by Library Journal and the Library Administration & Management Association
The RFP is published on our library website -- it's a public document adopted by the Board, and we want the community to be able to oversee how we're doing this process. Accountability and openness are important.

What next? We'll field questions as they arise, and plan a process to evaluate responses. They RFP includes the criteria we'll use to evaluate any proposals, so we'll need to agree on a scoring system and timetable. Since responses are due by Feb. 1, we want to have a recommendation for the February meeting of the Library Board. What comes after that is a contracted agreement, then the study, and then ... it will depend on the results & recommendations!

In the meantime, realtors and property developers are calling me. Not that we're in a position to buy nor likely to be anytime soon, but it's good to discuss options.

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