RE: [Videolib] Ambassador Books

Keith Powell (
Tue, 25 Apr 2006 08:38:53 -0700

As the Western States Marketing Rep for Ambassador Books & Media I
appreciate everyone's account of working with any particular vendor,
including Ambassador. Disappointments and heroics abound...I would like to
clarify a few things:

Ambassador Media's strengths include providing educational/academic
materials to libraries - primarily academic libraries. We also work with
public and special libraries that have some breadth to their collections.

Ambassador does what it does better now than five years ago, four years ago,
even one year ago. When we find out something is not working properly for a
library, we will do everything to find the solution. Sometimes this is
quickly fixed, sometimes the solution process takes longer.

Speed, compared to some big inventory vendors and online retail is slower -
but that is not what we are trying to market - if you need something
overnight, use Amazon or the like...

Ambassador prides itself on working closely with the library in determining
their particular needs and responding accordingly - We can provide hard to
get materials, do searches for out of print, etc... all with some success.

We offer the benefit of going through one source for the vast majority of
your materials at competitive pricing - saving staff time costs, and order
processing costs.

We will do pre-pays for you.

Ambassador offers discounts upwards of 20% from select distributors.

In summary - Ambassador will partner with the library to meet their media
requirements. Our strengths are in that partnership. When looking at
overall discount, fulfillment and speed as a whole, Ambassador can be an
excellent solution for many libraries.

As a library's marketing rep, I will do everything in my power to provide
you the best company response possible. With fifteen years of academic
library experience, I like to think I know what many of your concerns and
issues are.


Keith Powell
Western States Marketing Representative
Ambassador Books and Media
Laguna Hills, CA
Phone: 949-457-9129

-----Original Message-----
[] On Behalf Of Chris McNevins
Sent: Tuesday, April 25, 2006 6:05 AM
Subject: RE: [Videolib] Ambassador Books

A couple of years back we had a deal with Ambassador for free shipping
in return for our business. However, their turn around time (2-4 weeks)
couldn't accommodate our demand (our media collections are almost
entirely driven by faculty reserve requests) so I often ended up
ordering direct anyway. In the end we lost the free shipping. I can
echo what Michael said: for difficult titles I had to supply the
ordering information, otherwise they would report as unavailable. About
the only advantage was that in most cases Ambassador could fulfill
credit-card orders for us.

Based on my experience, I think Ambassador might work well for a public
library, but I wouldn't recommend them for an academic institution. I
would highly recommend Baker & Taylor Entertainment for feature films.
My predecessor negotiated free shipping with them years ago (+ discount)
Since one of B&T's distribution points is in NJ I'll often receive my
order the next day (which never ceases to amaze me) They also have a
distribution point in Reno, NV (the furthest west)

I've also had luck with DVA out of FL and Midwest Tapes in OH. All will
furnish MARC records for a fee. I know DVA will scout for OP titles if
requested--not sure of the others. Both websites are easy to use (B&T's
not so much--best to order by phone)

Here are the websites to all three:

Baker & Taylor:
Distribution Video & Audio:
Midwest Tapes: (must register on line to

Hope this helps...

Chris McNevins
Non-Print Coordinator
University of Connecticut
Homer Babbidge Library
369 Fairfield Rd. Unit 2005AM
Storrs, CT 06269-2005
PH: 860-486-3842
FAX: 860-486-6493

-----Original Message-----
[] On Behalf Of Brewer,
Sent: Monday, April 24, 2006 11:06 AM
Subject: RE: [Videolib] Ambassador Books

We use ambassador for videos/dvds. There have been some problems, but
they are getting better. If you are buying foreign stuff (or used
stuff), it is often better just to go direct than to go through them. I
always let them know where they can buy something (if I have a good
source) otherwise they often can't find it and say it is unavailable
(and then I have to send them the contact information). One other issue
is if you want to purchase the "home use" copy rather than the
institutional copy (with the previously discussed "educational use"
rights). They will not purchase "home use" copies unless they are the
only one available.

All and all, however, they have improved a lot recently. I don't really
deal with them directly (I send stuff to our ordering dept and they deal
with them or act as an intermediary) and am not sure what sort of
discount we get from them and if this ends up saving us any money or


Michael Brewer
Slavic Studies, German Studies & Media Arts Librarian
University of Arizona Library A210
1510 E. University
P.O. Box 210055
Tucson, AZ 85721
Voice: 520.307.2771
Fax: 520.621.9733

-----Original Message-----
[] On Behalf Of Linda
Sent: Friday, April 21, 2006 4:16 PM
Subject: [Videolib] Ambassador Books

Has anyone had experience trying to purchase videos/dvd's through
Ambassador Books? I'd very much like to hear about your experience with
them. Thank you and aloha!

Linda Engelberg
Video Librarian
Wong Audiovisual Center
Sinclair Library
University of Hawaii
Honolulu, HI 96822
(808) 956-5414
FAX (808) 956-5952
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