Information Infrastructure of New York

ESLN embarked on an investigation in 2011 into how libraries, library systems and archives were partnering and collaborating and how these initiatives contributed to an overall statewide information infrastructure. Through a statewide survey, focus groups, and a discussion forum (I2NY Summit), ESLN learned about existing collaborations in the library and archival communities, and identified state-wide priorities that needed scaling or further development.

Libraries of all sizes are struggling with the cost of maintaining electronic database subscriptions. Costs have risen dramatically, and many libraries are in the position of dealing with a sole-source situation. Library staff charged with negotiating database licenses often have no frame of reference with regard to fair pricing, and often are not aware of all of their rights with regard to contract negotiations.

Goals of the original Enhancing Access to Research Databases initiative were: developing a statewide manifesto, identifying existing agreements and relationships in NYS, developing on demand pilots to study alternative access models, developing tools that assist libraries in vendor negotiations, exploring the creation of a purchasing cooperative, and providing insight into the database provider industry.

A key goal of Empire State Library Network’s Information Infrastructure initiative is to ensure affordable access to information needed for the effective support of research, economic development, teaching, and learning throughout New York State. Now is a critical time for libraries to join together in demanding a greater level of cooperation from vendors and publishers that strengthens information access services to all New Yorkers. We encourage New York libraries and library consortia to support the following principles with regard to all purchased/leased content (in all formats), and agree to endorse and strive to conduct business with only those publishers and vendors who:

  • Omit non-disclosure or confidentiality clauses from license agreements for all customers to enhance a library or consortia’s ability to make informed decisions concerning pricing and content.
  • Provide flexible pricing and content that accommodate a variety of user groups and research needs.
  • Support through licensing agreements educational exceptions or limitations to the exclusive rights of owners.
  • Support through licensing agreements the legal concept of fair use in the electronic environment, including common library practices such as interlibrary loan and the inclusion of information in course packs and reserves.
  • Allow the use of their data, without restriction, in any emerging technologies and tools that will enhance discoverability and usage.
  • Provide standard usage statistics that are in compliance with the latest COUNTER Codes of Practice.
  • Support the preservation and dissemination of research in institutional repositories and through other open access initiatives.
  • Embrace new business models and are willing to partner with libraries to improve content, delivery, pricing, and access.
  • Link pricing structure to suitable indices.
  • Provide detailed information that ties product development with product pricing.

Download the Manifesto

Select Endorsements:

  • New York Library Association
  • SUNY Council of Library Directors
  • Empire State Library Network
  • The Board of WNY/O ACRL
  • IDS Project
  • Connect NY, Inc.
  • New York State University and College Campuses:
    • Bard College
    • Clarkson University
    • Ithaca College
    • Utica College
    • Vassar College
  • New York State University and College Libraries:
    • Mount Saint Mary College Library
    • SUNY, College of Environmental Science and Forestry, F. Franklin Moon Memorial Library
    • Bard College, Stevenson Library
    • Clarkson University, University Libraries
    • Hamilton College, Hamilton College Library
    • Hofstra University, Joan & Donald E Axinn Library
    • Ithaca College, Ithaca College Library
    • Manhattanville College, Manhattanville College Library
    • NYS Dept. of Health, Herbert W. Dickerman Library
    • Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Rensselaer Libraries
    • Sarah Lawrence College, SLC Esther Raushenbush Library
    • Siena College, J Standish Library
    • Skidmore College, Lucy Scribner Library
    • St. Lawrence University, SLU Libraries
    • The College of Saint Rose, Neil Hellman Library
    • The Sage College, Sage Libraries
    • Utica College, Frank E. Gannett Library
    • Vassar College, Vassar College Libraries