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Licensing Electronic Resources (Chapter Six of Technology for Small and One-Person Libraries)

2015 March 24
by Henry Stokes

ycdi_buttonThis week we will continue with the 7th blog reviewing the LITA guide Technology for Small and One-Person Libraries, which the State Library sent to public libraries serving populations under 25,000. This book has great information about many aspects of technology in libraries.

Chapters 5 and 6 discuss issues with Electronic Resources, so I asked Russlene Waukechon, the TexShare Database Coordinator to review these chapters for us — Thanks Russlene!

In Chapter Six we go a little deeper into dealing with electronic resources and discuss licensing e-resources discussing agreements and negotiations. Sound like fun? Let’s start.

Before the era of e-resources libraries purchased physical resources but with the advent of electronic resources libraries subscribe to or lease electronic resources and that’s a key difference. If you decide you want to subscribe to an electronic resource you’ll be dealing with an electronic license and leasing it either directly from the publisher or from a content aggregator such as EBSCO or ProQuest. Just like with any legal transaction you’ll want to read the license and understand what you are purchasing.

This chapter provides a great checklist for your use which is taken from a work I have used many times, Lesley Ellen Harris’s Licensing Digital Content: A Practical Guide for Librarians. This book is available for you to checkout out through TSLAC’s Library Science Collection.  Another great resource is ALA’s online e-course available here: “Copyright & Electronic Resource Management” by Lesley Ellen Harris.

The rest of the Chapter 6 discusses negotiations and alternatives to signing a lengthy license by opting to use a SERU (Shared E-Resource Understanding). Fortunately, as a TexShare member library these tasks are taken care of for you! That’s one of the benefits of TexShare membership; we handle all of the purchasing, licensing and negotiations for the electronic resources found in the core TexShare menu and in the TexSelect optional resources.

We’re always here to help with any questions you have about electronic resources. You can reach us at:

Check out these other technology resources:
You Can Do I.T.: Basic Network Technology Training workshops
Subscribe to the new You Can Do I.T. email list here

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