Get the Most Information Access for Your Money

In negotiations between librarians and journal publishers, each has something the other wants. But all too often, librarians make the mistake of thinking that what journal publishers want is money—the libraries’ money.

That’s the wrong way to view negotiations, says Jamie Marie Aschenbach, head of access services at Southern Connecticut State University in New Haven. Writing in the July-August 2017 issue of Information Outlook, SLA’s online magazine, Jamie Marie says that librarians and publishers need to see their relationship as a partnership, with each striving for a win-win outcome.

“The vendors have what we want (information and databases), while we have what the vendors want (information users),” she writes. “Both parties need to work together to get through the negotiation so we can both walk away with a workable contract.”

Another mistake librarians make, she says, is focusing too strongly on the contract price at the expense of other priorities.

“Obviously, you will negotiate the price, but there is much more to address,” she writes. “Remember, you are contracting for the entire life cycle, from contract to renewal. This means the negotiation must include the level of support from the vendor, the content to be provided, and the quality of service.”

Want more advice from Jamie Marie on how to negotiate a better contract for your library and its users? Join SLA and read Information Outlook today!

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