Introduction to Negotiations

Approximate time to complete: 3-4 hours (1-2 hours to review the material, and 2 hours for the assignment putting learning into practice).

Learning objectives:

After completing this lesson, you will be able to

  • Examine how vocational awe and the service orientation of libraries sometimes gets in the way of negotiating.
  • Explain how being a principled negotiator can support building a sustainable business relationship with library vendors.
  • Articulate your institution’s values and goals in regards to negotiating for library resources.

Table of Contents:

DO: Negotiation Journal Reflection 1 

This should be done prior to reviewing instruction content!

Start your Negotiation Journal using the following prompt.  You can keep a physical journal using pen and paper or a digital journal with whatever software you prefer.  Please refer to the Introduction to the Curriculum lesson or the Foundations Workbook (docx download, PDF download) section on Journaling Practice for more information about the utility of keeping a negotiation journal.

Prompt: When you think about negotiations what words come to mind? Jot them down then reflect on why you feel that way. These words may be positive, negative, neutral and mixed and all feelings are relevant. This curriculum is designed to empower you no matter where you are starting.


Review the following video content in order, since the content builds. Videos are provided through YouTube. The notes in the PowerPoint slides correspond with the transcript of the videos.

  1. Asking for what we need (13:01) (PowerPoint with Notes)
  2. It’s a business relationship (8:24) (PowerPoint with Notes)
  3. Principled negotiations (5:13) (PowerPoint with Notes)
  4. The structure of negotiations (4:34)  (PowerPoint with Notes)

Complete Check Your Understanding Quiz

Take this short quiz to check your understanding of ideas presented in the videos. Feel free to go back and review the videos as needed.

DO: Negotiation Journal Reflection 2

Reflect upon a fairly recent experience when you had to negotiate (e.g. e-resource, job offer, car, rent). How did that negotiation go? Would you describe yourself as a hard, soft, or principled negotiator? What about the other party? Did you ask for what you needed? How might you approach that negotiation differently?

REVIEW: Application within Academic Libraries

Examples of Negotiation Principles. Review at least two.

DO: Write Your Own Script Exercise

(Approximate time: 2 hours)

This link to the Write Your Own Script Exercise goes to the .docx file for this individual exercise. However, this exercise can also be found in the Foundations Workbook (docx download, PDF download). 

Helpful Tools & Readings

Group Activities & Discussion

If the curriculum is being completed by a group these activities can help the group learn together. (docx download) (pdf download)

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