January 21, 2012

We launch our new website

Well, it's been a long time coming, but we're pleased to announce the launch of our new website.  As you know, we were acquired by Baker & Taylor in December 2009 and re-branded when we moved to our Brookvale premises in May 2010.  But alas the website was not able to be refreshed at the time.  It had become old, tired, and hard to update.  So we decided to look at other options.....

One of them was Silverstripe, which was eventually chosen as the content management system for the site.  We worked with b-side design on the look and feel, and a few months later - TA-DA! - we have our new website.

IT Staff working on JBO took the opportunity to give it a facelift at the same time.  Gone are the old Bennett greens:

Replaced with the new palette

The website itself has progressed.  Here's a "shocker" from 2006. We were obviously trying to put a lot of information on the site, including bestsellers from one of the major book chains.  And there was even an online version of Suduku posted there! 

Over the years we've modified and updated, but nothing this major.  We're proud of the new site which is much cleaner, fresher, and professional:

For our marketing staff, the new website means they can add files and content quickly for our customers - whether it's a special promotion or a selection list.  Look closely - there's even the odd Look Inside the Book there and we'll be working with our publishing partners on more features as we go along.

You can read the official welcome from Mr Chris von Hinckeldey, our Managing Director here.  And if you would like to provide some feedback on the new website, we encourage you to fill in our online form here.

The blog itself will be moving to the new website - you'll find the new Bennett Blog at:


but we'll work out a way to keep you informed on blog posts on this existing site.  We thank you all for following us here on Blogger.  In a relatively short time we had over 14,000 views so we were obviously doing something right!  Let's hope we can continue doing that over at the new website.  Come and play with us there.

December 1, 2011

James Bennett to offer collectionHQ to libraries


Baker & Taylor acquires CollectionHQ Software from Bridgeall Libraries to Improve Library Collection Performance

BROOKVALE, New South Wales – Thursday, December 1, 2011 – James Bennett, the Australian subsidiary of U.S.-based book distributor Baker & Taylor, Inc., will soon offer customers in Australia, New Zealand and Asia the popular collectionHQ library collection performance improvement software, following today’s announcement of Baker & Taylor’s purchase of Scottish technology company Bridgeall Libraries.

The agreement unites two companies that provide critical services to libraries: Baker & Taylor, the leading supplier of products and services for libraries worldwide; and Bridgeall Libraries, developer of innovative software that helps libraries manage their collections more efficiently. Together, and in conjunction with James Bennett, the companies can help libraries provide the best and most appropriate content to the communities they serve.

“This partnership with Bridgeall Libraries is the perfect complement to the innovative and integrated products and services Baker & Taylor is known for.  It strengthens the breadth of products and services we offer libraries worldwide and ensures that we can provide the most innovative workflow solutions in the industry.  collectionHQ gives libraries the information and analytical tools they need to put the most relevant content in the hands of their patrons,” said George Coe, President, Baker & Taylor’s Library & Education division.

“As evidenced by the rapid growth of smartsm over the past four years, we are very proud to have delivered a tool that is hugely popular to libraries.  Baker & Taylor has the global reach, vision and expertise to deliver smartsm –as well as new developments – for even further benefit of libraries worldwide.  We are very pleased that Baker & Taylor has become the custodians of our very exciting technology,” said Stephen Beer, Managing Director of Bridgeall Libraries.

By adding Bridgeall Libraries’ collection-analysis technology to its portfolio, James Bennett can better serve the full range of its library customers’ needs, which include selecting, acquiring and managing printed and digital content.

Bridgeall Libraries’ popular software, known as smartsm in the U.K. and collectionHQ in the rest of the world, empowers libraries to more efficiently manage their holdings and allows them to assess and improve the performance of their collections. With smartsm libraries can better select, acquire and manage printed and digital content, and ultimately serve their patrons better.

In just four years since it was introduced, more than half of the U.K. libraries have subscribed to the service.  In the U.S. and Canada, many top library systems have subscribed since the software was introduced there in 2010.

Software development, sales and customer support will remain headquartered in Glasgow, and the office there is poised to grow as Baker & Taylor helps introduce the technology to library systems in North America and around the world. The Glasgow office will work closely with Baker & Taylor’s U.S. headquarters for customer support operations and future development. 

About Baker & Taylor
Baker & Taylor, Inc. (www.baker-taylor.com) is the world's largest distributor of books, digital content and entertainment products. The company leverages its unsurpassed worldwide distribution network to deliver rich content in multiple formats, anytime and anywhere. Baker & Taylor offers cutting-edge digital media services and innovative technology platforms to thousands of publishers, libraries and retailers worldwide.  Baker & Taylor also offers industry-leading customized library services and retail merchandising solutions.

About James Bennett (www.bennett.com.au)
James Bennett Pty Limited is a major Australian based library supplier and has been servicing libraries since 1964. Based in Brookvale, NSW., James Bennett offers a total package of products and services designed to complement all supply arrangements. As a part of the Baker and Taylor group, James Bennett offers competitive pricing and supply time, with unmatched global resources and cutting-edge technologies.

About Bridgeall Libraries Ltd.
Based in Glasgow, U.K., Bridgeall Libraries Ltd. has developed smartsm® and collectionHQ®, the world leading Evidence Based Stock Management (EBSM®) solutions. EBSM® is the complete library stock improvement methodology, which analyses historic and current information about stock use, to help librarians save time and eliminate waste, improve stock performance and align stock with local demand. smartsm and collectionHQ are the software applications that implement the EBSM® methodology to help libraries achieve stock performance excellence. It is implemented using the Software as a Service model of application deployment. For more information, see www.smartsm.com or www.collectionHQ.com.

Media Contacts:

Baker & Taylor
Kimberly Kuo

James Bennett
Andrew Hocken

Bridgeall Libraries
Stephen Beer


November 8, 2011

Know it All Find it Fast for Academic Libraries

We were absolutely delighted to see this new book from Facet Publishing arrive on our desk today!  The Know it All, Find it Fast books for the enquiry desk are quite popular - and here we have one specifically designed for Academic Libraries.  Naturally, being published in the UK, the book's listings are skewed towards the UK, however they also list International resources to help guide librarians as to "where to look" for information.

Know it All, Find it Fast for Academic Libraries, is a comprehensive and easy-to-use guide developed specifically for information professionals working in academic libraries.

Tackle the questions most commonly asked by students, academics and researchers! 

A broad cross-disciplinary A-Z of themes including topics such as literature searching, plagiarism and using online resources are covered helping you to address any query confidently and quickly. Each topic is split into four sections to guide your response:
  • typical questions listing the common enquiries you’ll encounter
  • considerations exploring the issues and challenges that might arise
  • where to look listing annotated resources in print and online
  • tips and pitfalls outlining useful suggestions and common problems.
This will prove an indispensable day-to-day guide for anyone working with students, academics and researchers in an academic library.

About the author

Heather Dawson is an Academic Support Librarian in the Information Services Department of the LSE Library

 Now available from Inbooks / James Bennett 

387pp; paperback; ISBN 9781856047593; £49.95 (approx AUD $88.68 GST Inclusive) 
Competitive library discounts apply. 

Order your copy on JBO today!  

Not a James Bennett customer but would like to order a copy of this book?  Contact jbmarketing@bennett.com.au and reference this blog entry to receive free freight within Australia.  Offer applies only until 14/12/11.  Please note we take Mastercard, Visa, and cheque only.

You can contact Inbooks, the exclusive Australasian distributor for Facet Publishing, on (02) 8988 5082 or email orders@inbooks.com.au

October 24, 2011

Staff Focus-Customer Service Co-ordinator

This month we focus on......

This month's Bennett Blurb newsletter focuses on customer service. Whether you are a public, academic, specialist or government library, James Bennett is renowned for our superb customer service in the library supply chain. We have the service - and the experience - you need to provide your own patrons, colleagues and staff with a successful and popular library service.

This month we're introducing you to Claire McManaway. She answered some general questions in the Bennett Blurb but she also allowed us to do our own profile of her, here in The Bennett Blog. How did she get to where she is now? What makes her tick? Read on and discover for yourself.

Name: Claire McManaway
Position: Customer Co-ordinator (Academic)

When did you start at James Bennett? A few years ago...about 11-12 years!
What were your previous roles (here or elsewhere)? Inbooks Customer Service, Data entry (Order Services), Operations, Binner in the Warehouse. I was about 15kg lighter - all that walking helped!
Describe your job: Answering to the needs of all our wonderful customers. We are here to help!
What do you enjoy most about your job?Completing that email. Finishing things off and getting a result. It’s great when you get a reply back thanking you for your efforts. We are stars and angels with a couple of awesomes in between .
Describe James Bennett in five words? OMG, we are the best!
What would you like customers to know about the work you do? That we are reliable as individuals and as a team. Finding those hard titles that you know are out there somewhere - it’s just putting your finger on it and hopefully being able to purchase it on behalf of the customer. We do source far and wide and are always looking for the best possible price. Getting results is always great. And things do take time…
What are the challenges you are facing? Keeping up with Claims!
What gets you excited about your day? Coming to work at James Bennett is great, we have a great location, friendly staff. We do have lovely customers from all walks of life, most of them I have never meet, but when we speak to them on the phone or via email it like I have known them for years. Most of my customers are listed on my phone so I know when you ring…
What books do you like to read? Suspense and action.
Do you have a favourite author? Robert Ludlum.
Last book you read? The Help.
Currently reading? The Most Wanted Man.
On the wishlist? (Keeping in mind this was a book question.....) That the All Blacks win the Rugby World Cup 2011

(Well, Claire, they did - by a point!)

We hope you enjoyed reading about Claire and what it's like to work behind the scenes in Customer Service. What staff member would you like to see a Focus On here on the Bennett Blog or in our newsletter service? Contact Marketing and we'll see what we can do!

Your Library Vendor of Choice in the Australasian marketplace 

BOOK REVIEW: ANZACS on the Western Front: The War Memorial Battlefield Guide


This month's guest reviewer is Chris Epple, our Customer Co-ordinator, Academic. Chris recently joined our Customer Service department and we are delighted he was so interested in this forthcoming Australian book from Wiley.  Here is his review of ANZACs on the Western Front: The War Memorial Battlefield Guide written by Peter Pedersen with Chris Roberts:

A quick search for Western Front battlefield guidebooks produces a very short list of mostly out of date titles. In a time when battlefields tourism is on an increase and more and more people are becoming interested in visiting the Australian and New Zealand battlefields of Gallipoli and France this book is a well timed introduction to the travel guide market. Even more so when you realise the 100th anniversary of the Great War is less than three years away!

Peter Pedersen has produced a thoroughly well researched guide to the battlefields of the Western Front from the ANZACS 1916 baptism of fire at Bois Grenier/ Fleurbaix to the final campaigns of 1918 and all the battles in between. The guide covers the battles of Fromelles, the Somme, Pozieres, Mouquet Farm, Bullecourt, Ypres, Messines, Menin Road, Polygon Wood, Passchendaele, Villers-Bretonneux, and many many more.

Pedersen describes each battlefield in intricate detail using pictures taken at the time of each battle, maps, present day photographs, and by pointing out current landmarks in the landscape. These are all used to good effect so that you can orientate yourself on the battlefield to get a glimpse of how each battle unfolded. You can really get a sense of how the battlefields must have looked like to the ANZACS.

He introduces each battlefield by chapter, outlines the conflicts with a narrative of the events of that particular confrontation to place the battle within the wider strategic theatre of operation in the war. Then goes on to describe the key moments of the battle, who won or lost ground, and the Australian and New Zealand units involved at each point as the battle ebbed and flowed. The reader is then instructed on how best to drive and walk each battlefield. The reader is taken through the battlefield and explains the layout of the battle on the present day landscape, pointing out where opposing lines and trenches were and the objectives of the attacks. You then follow the attacks and counterattacks as each battle progresses over the countryside.

The number of cemeteries located at each battlefield makes the brutality and horror of war clear. The guidebook includes every ANZAC cemetery and memorial on the Western Front, which should not be overlooked, as they are the lasting testament to so many lives lost.

As Pederson notes in the introduction “this guide cannot fully bring their words alive. You have to breathe life into them by putting your imagination to work. You will then gain some understanding of what it must have been like to be there and to appreciate the battlefields as places where ordinary men achieved great things.”

ANZACS on the Western Front is not just a guidebook, but a rare mix of a history book and travel guide that documents the battles of the ANZAC soldiers and given the reader a blow by blow account of how each encounter unfolded. For anyone wanting to visit the Western Front this is a must have. Touring the battlefields with Peter Pedersen’s assistance will allow you to gain a greater appreciation of the shocking events of WW1, as if you had your own personal guide travelling with you.

ISBN 9781742169811 | November 2011 | Paperback | 600 pages | AU$49.95
Competitive library discounts apply

October 3, 2011

Alex Miller and how he came to write Autumn Laing

My first encounter with the work of Sidney Nolan was when I was a boy working on an Exmoor farm. An Australian gave me a book on the outback. The book was illustrated with black and white photographs of a vast silent land that was mysterious to me and which compelled my imagination. Although I didn’t know it at the time the haunting photographs in the book were the work of the Australian artist Sidney Nolan. I came to Australia on my own at the age of 16 in search of Sidney Nolan’s outback. It was the most important decision I have ever made. I still revisit Central and North Queensland and have many friends there. That strange and beautiful country photographed with the imagination of Nolan has been a deep and lasting influence on my life as a writer.
My second (recorded) encounter with the work of Nolan was in 1961 when Thames and Hudson published in London the first major monograph on the Australian artist’s work. Though I had very little money at the time – I was earning a living in Melbourne cleaning cars while studying at night for my university entrance exams – I thought this expensive book so important that I bought a copy and sent it to my father as a Christmas present. Nolan’s art, it seemed to me, would reveal to my father more about Australia than my letters ever could. It was through my father’s encouragement that I had first developed what proved to be a lifelong interest in art. He wanted me to be an artist. I did the next best thing and became a writer.
When my first novel, The Tivington Nott (Robert Hale 1989) was distributed in Australia Sidney Nolan’s old friend the poet Barrett Reid wrote to tell me he thought highly of the book and that he wished to meet me. Barrie, as his friends knew him, lived at Heide, the home of the Reeds, where Nolan’s art had found its first and most important champion in Sunday Reed. When I told Barrie about the inspiration of the book given me by the Australian in Somerset all those years ago it was he who told me it was Nolan’s photos I’d been looking at. On more than one occasion during the years of our friendship Barrie suggested to me that I write a novel based on Nolan’s life. Barrie revealed Nolan’s art to me in a way I could not have done for myself and he educated me about its sources and the life of art Nolan had lived at Heide. Barrie remained a dedicated friend and champion of Sunday Reed to the end of his life.
In Autumn Laing, the resident poet laureate of the group of artists whose work is favoured at Old Farm is Barnaby. Like Barrie, Barnaby was born and raised on a cattle station in the Central Highlands of Queensland. Barnaby is my private homage to a dear friend who is no longer with us. The connection of Nolan and the Queensland cattle station that I made through my friendship with Barrett Reid was a compelling one that was rich in those emotions that make us feel as if we not only belong to a certain place but that we are in some sense fated to belong to it. Sooner or later I knew I would attempt to write about Nolan. What I wrote was not, however, what I expected to write. Novels are a kind of dream for the novelist. Although they are based on reality the writer is not in control and must follow the compelling prompts of imagination. For me it has never been possible to plot or plan a novel beyond a few very basic elements. The story reveals itself to me as I proceed with a book and is nearly always a surprise. This book, Autumn Laing, was no exception.
I first wrote what is now chapter two, Autumn’s portrait of the artist’s first wife, Edith. After writing this chapter I had to leave it while I spent a month on tour in the UK with my previous novel Lovesong. At the end of the tour (the end of September 2010) I was sitting on a bench in Holland Park watching squirrels and remembering my boyhood in London’s parks when the idea for the present form of the book suddenly occurred to me. I hadn’t given the book a thought for a month. As I was sitting there that lovely September afternoon watching the squirrels diving about the place I suddenly heard the voice of Autumn Laing, ‘They are all dead,’ she said, ‘and I am old and skeleton-gaunt . . .’ It was a realisation. The realisation that the character I had originally based on Sunday Reed, Nolan’s muse and lover and his greatest supporter during his early years, might have lived on until the age of 86, alone, deserted, betrayed. This woman was no longer the Sunday Reed of history but was my own fiction, a fiction of how such a person might have become had she lived another ten years and had she decided to tell her story, telling it at a time of her life when she had nothing left to lose.
When I got home to Castlemaine from London in early October I wrote for ten hours a day six days a week for five months in the voice that I had heard in Holland Park – the voice of Autumn Laing. It is the longest novel I’ve ever written and the quickest. I loved every minute of it and was sorry when she finally left me. I don’t think I will ever find anyone like her again. She is confident, well informed, passionate, cultivated and very down to earth. She is, in some ways, the personification of a cultivated Australian woman. She couldn’t possibly be English or French. Her commitment was always to Australia and to our art. She was never tempted to live in England or Europe. In her person my own early life as a stockman in North Queensland is connected to my life as a writer in Melbourne, just as these aspects of my own life were connected for me by my friendship with Barrie Reid, a faithful friend of Sunday Reed until the end, and a faithful admirer and interpreter of the art of his old friend Nolan. It is the experience of the artist and of Autumn in this book while they are visiting Barnaby’s parents’ cattle station in North Queensland that changes them both forever.
Autumn Laing
Alex Miller
Allen & Unwin
ISBN 9781742378510 | Hardcover | 456 pages | ARP $39.99

Order your copies from James Bennett today!

September 7, 2011

We launch a new partnership with ebrary


September 7, 2011 – Palo Alto, CA, USA – ebrary ®, a leading provider of e-books and research technology, today announced it has partnered with James Bennett, a leading library acquisitions services supplier, to make e-books more readily and efficiently available to libraries throughout Australasia.  Libraries may now seamlessly integrate ebrary’s e-books into their acquisition workflow by ordering titles directly through James Bennett Online (JBO).

Additionally, ebrary has signed new publishing partner Australian Academic Press, a highly respected publisher in the Australian academic market.  ebrary also offers e-books from James Bennett’s top publisher list including Aboriginal Studies Press, University of New South Wales Press, University of Queensland Press, Wiley, Oxford University Press, Allen & Unwin, and many others. 

“As e-books are critical to scholarly research, we are pleased to offer our customers titles from ebrary, which include the vast majority of university presses and other esteemed academic publishers throughout the world,” said Nada Stanojlovic, James Bennett’s General Manager, Library Services & Business Development.”  We believe researchers will find great value in ebrary’s content as well as their technology that makes it easy to discover, use and share valuable information.”

“ebrary is a trusted and well-known brand in the academic and other library markets,” said Stephen May, Managing Director of Australian Academic Press.  “We are excited to make our e-books available on the ebrary platform through James Bennett and other global distribution channels, and we expect to see an increase in revenue as a result.”   

“The e-book market is growing rapidly in many regions throughout the world, so it is critical that we partner with leading distributors such as James Bennett as well as expand our publisher partnerships outside of North America to enhance our products and extend our reach,” said Matt Barnes, Vice President of Marketing at ebrary.  “We look forward to working with James Bennett to meet the specific needs of libraries in Australia.”

About Australian Academic Press (www.australianacademicpress.com.au)

Australian Academic Press is a niche academic publisher for the behavioral sciences, specialising in psychology. Established in 1987, the press publishes a range of books, evidence-based clinical treatment and prevention resources, scholarly monographs, and journals, for both the academic and trade markets.

About James Bennett (www.bennett.com.au)

James Bennett Pty Limited is a major Australian based library supplier and has been servicing libraries since 1964. Based in Brookvale, NSW., James Bennett offers a total package of products and services designed to complement all supply arrangements.  As a part of the Baker and Taylor group, James Bennett offers competitive pricing and supply time, with unmatched global resources and cutting-edge technologies.

About ebrary (www.ebrary.com)

ebrary is a leading provider of e-books and research technology to libraries worldwide. Founded in 1999, the company offers more than 273,000 e-books from over 500 trusted publishers under flexible models including subscription, perpetual archive (purchase), patron driven acquisition, and short-term loans. ebrary is the only e-book provider that enables customers to upload and integrate their own digital materials right from their computers with DASH!™ (Data Sharing, Fast) technology as well as apply cross-referencing with multiple online resources with InfoTools™ technology.  A member of the ProQuest® family of companies, ebrary is headquartered in Palo Alto, CA, USA.


For more information please contact:

Rachael McDiarmid
Publisher Relations & Marketing Communications Manager
Tel: (02) 8988 5000
Email: jbmarketing@bennett.com.au