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Lassoing the licensing beast


I argue that the role Electronic Resources Librarians (ERLs) have in licensing electronic content is the most relevant within the ERLs core responsibilities. While ERLs are rarely also lawyers, the …

I argue that the role Electronic Resources Librarians (ERLs) have in licensing electronic content is the most relevant within the ERLs core responsibilities. While ERLs are rarely also lawyers, the role they play in educating stakeholders, negotiating with publishers and vendors, and crafting understanding of licensing terms is integral for the success of a rapidly growing and changing electronic collections environment. Due to this rapidly changing environment, it may be difficult for library science programs to stay current with course offerings in the current licensing best practices, and ERLs often-times have to learn these skills on the job. In this session I will highlight specific examples of library licensing language, including topics such as archival rights, perpetual access, interlibrary loan, and reserves, providing a foundation for the ERL's significant role in electronic content licensing. I will share insight into these examples of how I applied the curriculum I received during library school, on the job training, and unique personal experiences to inform the audience on how to navigate through electronic content licensing. I will demonstrate ways ERLs can continue their education and thus work more closely with stakeholders to foster support for the library's role in licensing. In addition, I will provide some insight as to how ERLs can manage these responsibilities along with the range of day-to-day responsibilities.

1) Provide a framework for understanding the history and justification for the inclusion of licensing in the Core Competencies for ERLs
2) Outline resources for new librarians and students to engage in further education about electronic content licensing
3) Detail a toolkit for educating and advocating for a librarian's role in electronic content licensing

Attendees will walk away with knowledge on how to build their licensing competency and advocate for the ERLs role in electronic content licensing.

Shannon Regan
Licensed Content Librarian, Mercer University

Published in Education , Technology
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  • 1. Lassoing the Licensing Beast: How Electronic Resources Librarians can build competency and advocate for wrangling electronic content licensing Shannon Regan Licensed Content Librarian 29th Annual NASIG Conference May 3, 2014
  • 2. NASIG CORE COMPETENCIES FOR ELECTRONIC RESOURCES LIBRARIANS • 1.2 Thorough knowledge of ER licensing and the legal framework in which it takes place. Since licenses govern the use of most library electronic resources and have conditions that cannot knowingly be violated, an ERL with responsibilities related to licensing must demonstrate familiarity with how and for whom an organization licenses content, as well as the concepts, implications, and contract language pertaining to such issues as archival rights, perpetual access and interlibrary loan. A practical working understanding of issues such as copyright and fair use will allow ERLs to obtain the least restrictive, most library-friendly licensing terms during publisher/vendor license negotiations.
  • 3. History 1985-2001 Licensing is a not a job requirement for ERLs 2001-2007 License negotiation is mentioned in over half of ERLs position descriptions surveyed 2007-Present License negotiation is one of the Core Competencies for ERLs
  • 4. Learning about Licensing Michael L. Bradford and others, “Education and Electronic Resources (ER) Librarianship,” Collection Management, 32, no. 1/2 (2007): 65.
  • 5. First Day Some important questions to ask: 1.What is the current license review process? 2.Who is the authorized signatory? 3.Does your library have a relationship with the University/General Counsel’s office? If so, who is your contact? 4.What considerations must you keep in mind with regard to your state or country’s contract law?
  • 6. After you get settled… Familiarize yourself with and expand your understanding of common library license language Explore websites and options for continuing education Seek out a mentor Library License Toolkit
  • 7. Common Library License Language The Good Old Fashioned Print Monograph! Library License Toolkit
  • 8. Common Library License Language https://sites.google.com/site/licensecompare/ Created by: Liane Taylor, Continuing Resources Librarian, Texas State University Library License Toolkit
  • 9. SERU (Shared Electronic Resource Understanding) Library License Toolkit
  • 10. Websites, Listservs, and Continuing Education Library License Toolkit Electronic Resources in Libraries Listserv ALCTS e-Forum
  • 11. Websites, Listservs, and Continuing Education Library License Toolkit
  • 12. Websites, Listservs, and Continuing Education Library License Toolkit
  • 13. Websites, Listservs, and Continuing Education Library License Toolkit
  • 14. Educate to Advocate: Administrators Perpetual Access and Archival Access Library License Toolkit 4.2 Synthesizing easy to understand summaries of complex and ambiguous phenomena. ERLs often serve as the library’s liaison with external stakeholders such as vendors or institutional information technology staff.
  • 15. Educate to Advocate: Administrators Library License Toolkit
  • 16. Build an institutional licensing handbook Things to include: Model license language template with institution specific language - State/Country specific considerations Negotiation Best Practices -Draft negotiation email Dealbreakers Authorized Signatory Process
  • 17. Educate to Advocate: Colleagues Use liberally from your handbook! Cut and paste Educate colleagues about license process Time Number of people involved Invite members of your institution to be a part of the conversation 4.3 Explaining and instructing clearly and concisely, when and as needed; rises above personal feelings and frustrations in order to provide the best possible services and resources to end users.
  • 18. Educate to Advocate: Library users What do users want to do with electronic content? Ebooks: Evaluating ebook purchase options to best serve the needs of the library user population 4.4 Demonstrating the ability to work collaboratively with other units and staff, establishing and maintaining effective working relationships.
  • 19. Now what? The day-to-day realities of an ERL 7:30am Check and Respond to Email 8:00am Begin reviewing license 8:15am Phone call that students cannot access Ebsco Databases 9:30am Weekly phone call with ILL Department 10:00am Meeting with a publisher 10:30am Pick up license again 11:00am Colleague knocks on door to inquire about cancelling and then adding new ejournal subscriptions 12:00pm Lunch 12:30pm Return from Lunch, Check Email 1:00pm-3:00pm work with Collection Development to provide collections data for a grant application that we found out about today and is due in three business days 3:15pm Check and respond to email 3:45pm Pick up license again, finish, start drafting negotiation email 4:30pm Follow-up to access issue with Ebsco databases 4:45pm Finish draft negotiation email, leave open to review one final time in the morning before sending
  • 20. Questions?
  • 21. Bibliography & Links If you click on any of the images in my presentation, you will be directed to the image creator. Some images are screen captures from websites. Bradford, Michael L., Mark Dehmlow, Anastasia Guimaraes, M. Ladd, Pat Loghry, and March Simons. “Education and Electronic Resources (ER) Librarianship.” Collection Management, 32, no. 1/2 (2007): 49-69. Downes, Kathy A., and Pal V. Rao. “Preferred Political, Social, and Technological Characteristics of Electronic Resources (ER) Librarians.” Collection Management, 32, no. ½ (2007): 3-14. Fisher, William. “The Electronic Resources Librarian Position: A Public Services Phenomenon?” Library Collections, Acquisitions, & Technical Services, 27, no. 1 (2003): 3-17. https://sites.google.com/site/librarylicensetoolkit/ https://sites.google.com/site/licensecompare/