Frequently Asked Questions

The following questions and answers are intended to address the most common questions members and vendors have regarding MALiA contracts. Content will be added as it is developed. Please address any questions not discussed here (or make suggestions for additional content) to Carolea Newsome, MALiA Contract Administrator.

Q: Can I purchase library materials from a vendor that is not a MALiA vendor? OR, Can libraries purchase from me if I am not a MALiA vendor?

A: If you are a private college library or a special library that is part of a private company, you are not restricted by public procurement law in your acquisitions. These libraries that do not need to follow state procurement law may purchase materials totaling any amount of money from any vendor that they choose (although there may be procedures set forth by their parent institution that they must follow).

Public libraries, public school libraries, and public college and university libraries must comply with state procurement law. In order to purchase library materials and subscription services in compliance with state procurement law, MALiA members can purchase from approved MALiA vendors through the competitively negotiated contracts. Additional regulations may be set out by your locality, school district or academic institution. These contracts reflect the best discounts and price incentives for member libraries and were established in compliance with VA Procurement Law as set out in the Agency Procurement and Surplus Property Manual (APSPM). However, MALiA members may also purchase materials from non-approved vendors in the following manner (see the APSPM for details):

  • For purchases of goods and non-professional services up to $5,000, libraries may select a vendor, obtain a quote, and place an order. The library is required to keep documentation of the quote process (see APSPM, Chapter 5 “Small Purchases”) in order to meet state requirements and may also need to keep additional documentation as required by their locality, school system, or academic institution. This process may be completed through eVA, Virginia’s electronic procurement system.
  • For purchases of goods and non-professional services over $5,000 and up to $15,000, libraries must “identify and solicit six (6) valid sources, including a minimum of  four (4) from SWAM businesses, where there is adequate registration in the commodity being purchased” (see APSPM, Chapter 3 “General Procurement Policies”). Specific documentation of this process must be maintained to meet state requirements as well as any requirements of the locality, school system, or academic institution. This process may be completed through eVA, Virginia’s electronic procurement system.
  • For purchases exceeding $15,000, members must purchase off of the contracts competitively negotiated by SWING in order to comply with VA Procurement Law.

Purchasing from the vendors with which SWING has established contracts is the most efficient way for member libraries to get the best discount while complying with VA Procurement Law. However, members may make individual purchases of up to $5,000 from vendors of their choice with minimal documentation. For purchases exceeding $5,000, purchasing through the SWING contracts saves both time and money, due to the added quote and SWAM requirements. Additional regulations may be set out by your locality, school district or academic institution.

Q: What can MALiA do for me?

A: One of MALiA’s primary goals is to issue RFPs and maintain contracts for its member libraries; thereby saving time and money. The contracts negotiated by MALiA ensure that extensive discounts and great service is guaranteed. With over 100 member libraries, MALiA has the negotiating ability to receive over 45% discounts on certain book titles and up to a 15% discount on serials. New to the MALiA contracts in 2007 is the RFP for library supplies. This contract will allow member libraries to purchase consumables, furniture, and equipment up to $5000.00 per item.

In addition to saving members money, MALiA contracts save time. All contracts are written according to the Virginia Agency Procurement and Surplus Property Manual (APSPM) and follow Virginia state purchasing guidelines. Each member library is listed in an appendix of the RFP and is automatically covered under the contract. MALiA contracts enable member libraries to avoid bidding their own contracts, thus saving valuable time.

All contract information is kept up-to-date on MALiA website (look under the contracts tab). There you can find information on library materials, serial subscriptions, and library supplies. The current contracts stay in effect for three years and are put out to bid approximately six months before the contract expiration date.

In order for a library to receive the MALiA discounts, the member library will need to contact the vendor. Once their account reflects their MALiA membership, the vendor will apply the applicable discounts. Check our website to make sure your chosen vendor is still contracted with MALiA. Contracts are not automatically renewed at the end of the cycle.

Carolea Newsome
MALiA Contracts Administrator
Email: MALiAContract@ehc.edu