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Community College Library/Vendor Relations: You Can’t Always Get What You Want . . . or Can You?

Community colleges have a multi-faceted mission to provide quality postsecondary education opportunities regardless of income, background, or prior academic experience. They prepare students for transfers to four-year institutions through programs of lower division and general education courses. At the same time, community colleges provide workforce development through vocational programs geared to community needs. “Community colleges not only hold the key to success for millions of our citizens, but also the key to a workforce prepared to compete in a global economy, and the key to an educated citizenry that serves as the stable basis for a strong multicultural democracy.”1 For the community college library, acquiring and maintaining a collection to support these diverse programs is a challenge made difficult by dwindling funds and, in some areas, the lack of suitable resources to fit the needs of community college-level programs. Online resources in particular pose a set of challenges for community college librarians in areas from availability to pricing to access.