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Software Selection Made Easier

Problems Finding Software?

It is fairly easy to find a general purpose software package. But what do you do when you need software to perform a highly specific task? “Computer Software Evaluation: Balancing User’s Needs & Wants” by Dale Carpenter tells you how to determine your specific ‘needs’ and ‘wants’ and how to compare multiple software packages.

“What Library function or functions would provide the greatest return to you and your department?” This is how Dale Carpenter started interviews with department managers when he was asked to select software for the company Library. Carpenter immediately focused on how to best serve his users.

After surveying department managers about their needs, the IT department about software and hardware standards, Carpenter value-ranked the needs and wants into functional requirements. Then software packages were reviewed to see if they met those requirements. Each step of this process is detailed in the book, from user surveys, value ranking spreadsheets, a line item quote example to a management project proposal.

After mentioning this project at professional meetings, Carpenter received so many requests for help he decided to write up his software selection process. Unable to find a publisher, he self-published the book which is available at, both in paper and as an e-book.

Dale Carpenter has over 30 years’ experience with computers and computer software. He has worked with everything from UNIX to the present desktop software packages. He has a Masters of Library Science Degree from SUNY Geneseo.

“Computer Software Evaluation: Balancing User’s Needs & Wants” is available at all book outlets and directly from The print version is $18.51 and the e-book is $8.99.


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