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Licensing Electronic Resources and Licensing Classes


This page compiles resources and guides for improving the licensing of electronic resources. This page is intended to help librarians and information professionals improve their capacity for licensing resources and demystify this challenging but important part of librarianship.

    An exhaustive resource for librarians, including model licenses, licensing vocabulary, licensing terms and descriptions, a bibliography, additional resources, and more. LIBLICENSE-L discussion list and instructions for joining are available as are the archives of the list.

  • Libraries and Licensing (ALA)
    A brief guide to several of the Association’s concerns regarding licensing and libraries.

  • Licensing Electronic Resources: Marketplace and Licensing (ARL)
    A very brief but thorough overview of the issues libraries should consider when licensing for electronic resources.

  • Resources on Electronic Licensing (MLA)
    A guide to resources on electronic licensing compiled by MLA, including LIBLICENSE-L, MLA CE courses and more.

  • Shared E-Resource Understanding (SERU) (NISO)
    Sponsored by the National Information Standards Organization (NISO), SERU is an attempt to establish a statement that describes common understandings around e-resource subscriptions, allowing libraries and publishers to forgo a license by referencing the common understandings. The benefits of SERU include easier transaction of electronic resource subscriptions, rapid acquisition and minimal delay for access, and time and cost savings for both libraries and publishers.

*List complied by MAR


Librarians are from Venus, Vendors are from Mars: Strategies for developing respectful vendor relationships and strong contracts (MCR sponsored class)

Participants will learn strategies on: how to work and communicate in a language that vendors understand; how to make sure you are being understood; and learn the fundamentals of getting the best contract for your institution that also meets the needs of the vendor.

Each of the two classes is 90 minutes in length and is held live online via Adobe Connect.

Class 1 focuses on helping librarians work and communicate with vendors.
Class 2 focuses on resources for negotiating contracts and identifying contract terms important to libraries

Medical Library Association Classes on Licensing

Digital Licensing Online eCourse - Lesley Ellen Harris (America Library Association sponsored class)

The digital revolution has resulted in an important, and sometimes daunting, change in the way libraries and other organizations procure, access and store information available for internal use and for use by researchers. Before the advent of electronic resources, libraries regularly purchased and owned print copies of materials for their collections. We are now witnessing a revolution in how information is acquired, stored and accessed. Librarians have become negotiators and interpreters of legal agreements.

To meet these important new library roles, Lesley Ellen Harris and ALA Editions have teamed up to offer Digital Licensing Online, a self-paced eCourse which is designed to teach librarians how to read and understand a contract as well as how to negotiate with vendors.