Sourcing Books

A portion of our budget was drawn up to support our initial learning about maker spaces.  Obviously there are several books out there that meet our need to learn and challenge our preconceived notions.  As a team we drew up a list of books that we thought would meet our expectations.  We then whittled the list down to eight.  Eight seems to be a reasonable number that 4 people can share over the summer.  Since this is ministry/government money that is supporting us, we felt an obligation that the money be spent within our local community rather than through a multinational company like Amazon or Indigo/Chapters.  We chose a bookseller, Bryan Prince, with whom I’ve done business with in previous years.  This turned out to be a somewhat difficult decision that required a measure of patience from us.  Most of the books had to be ordered from the United States.  The fluctuating currency meant that our titles were going to be more expensive.  The time it took for the books to arrive was frustrating at the time.  The order was processed around the 2nd week of June.  The first three books arrived about a month later.  Four more arrived a week after and I have still yet to pick them up.  As we struggled with these issues, and they really are minor issues other than the fact that we are in a hurry to read these books, I thought I would do some comparison-shopping through the vendor that we probably would have chosen.  Through Bryan Prince, our cost for the books was about $380CDN.  Through Amazon, with shipping, our order would have been around $310CDN and books would arrive a week to six weeks after ordering.

Did we make the right decision?  I’d like to think that in keeping the interests of local economy in mind, we did.  This will certainly play a part through the remainder of the project as we seek to order materials, supplies, and equipment through a variety of vendors.  Who will get us the supplies faster?  Who will get them cheaper for us?  Will it be local, Ontarian, or Canadian?