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April 20, 2015

Representatives List

This is the first message to our new Shared Content Team Representatives! This list will be used for sharing information among the team, institutions, and me. Among them:
- Discussing issues with colleagues
- Soliciting feedback on or sending information about team activities
- Communicating meeting information 

Like today, I'll send updates every few weeks so that you know what is underway at the Alliance.


Good news: You can let your walk-in patrons use Alliance DDA titles! The Shared Content Team endorsed a policy that allows it.

Not so good news: The Alliance is nearing the end of the fiscal year, and with it comes a close eye on the e-book budget. Last year we had a surplus at the end of the year, and this year we predict a short fall due to the widespread increase in short term loan fees.

To manage the budget, the E-book Working Group took initial steps to slow costs while minimizing the impact to students. Our plan was as follows:
  • Remove titles that (full list):
    • are duplicated by the ebrary Academic Complete subscription
    • are over $200 and have not been used at all since January 2015
  • Reduce the price cap to $200.
  • Suspend new titles from joining the pool until July 1.
  • Turn off purchasing until July 1.
We will be watching our spending carefully to see if additional action is necessary.


For the last four years, the Alliance supported a consortial membership with the Western Regional Storage Trust (WEST) for the smaller institutions in consortium. Due to the end of grant funding, WEST needs to replace approximately half of its revenue in FY16.  This is being accomplished by raising membership fees and reducing costs.

WEST's new pricing model presents a collective 129% increase in Alliance costs for membership, substantially more than Council planned or can support. The budget recommended by the Board does not included funding for WEST, so I expect Council will choose to end the Alliance's consortial WEST membership when they revise and adopt next year's budget.

The Shared Content Team is working on a review of WEST benefits and implications for this decision. It will help libraries decide whether they should join WEST as institutional members. I will share their summary as soon as it is available.


July 1 Renewals: Nearly all July 1 products have been sent out for renewal decisions. The renewal decision calendar is online if you need a reminder for when we need your commitments. Invoices, unless otherwise requested, will have July 1 dates.

ProQuest's Alliance Collection:
The offer from ProQuest will remain open until June 9th. Libraries should consider 1) do they wish to subscribe to the full Alliance Collection, or 2) do they want to subscribe to one or more sub-collections.

Other offers: A few new offers will be posted in the coming weeks, with commitments due at the end of May.