The E-Resources Management Working Group (ERMWG) of the Triangle Research Libraries Network (TRLN) is pleased to announce the publication of the TRLN Guide to Negotiating Accessibility in E-Resource Licenses. This guide was created to help TRLN member libraries engage in conversations with vendors around e-resource accessibility. Recognizing that licensing is key to codifying the shared understandings and priorities of vendors and libraries, the TRLN E-Resources Management Working Group sought to create “a reference tool for library staff involved in licensing and e-resources management as they advocate for strong accessibility assurances in their formal contracts with service and content providers.”
While the intended audience for the document is TRLN libraries, ERMWG believes it makes sense to share beyond the TRLN community as all librarians are advocates for the needs of their users and regularly participate in conversations both internally and with vendors on how best to ensure those needs are met. This is meant to be a dynamic document. Along with the working group’s more general licensing principles, they envision updating the guide regularly to reflect the gains we have made in accessibility as well as the accessibility concerns brought about by new platforms, resources, and, most of all, user communities. It is their hope that this guide gives the necessary tools to have consistent and impactful communication with vendors as libraries strive to make their e-resources accessible to all users.
There is excitement in the TRLN community for the publication of the guide:
“I am delighted to see the publication of the TRLN Guide to Negotiating Accessibility in E-Resource Licenses, a valuable reference tool on best practices and advocacy, made available to library staff doing this critical work.” said Dracine Hodges, Associate University Librarian for Collections Services at Duke University Libraries. “This guide supports libraries having a clear alignment of strategies to encourage better design and outcomes. E-resource accessibility is imperative for a more inclusive user experience. I commend my TRLN colleagues for creating this needed contribution to the field.”Dracine Hodges, Associate University Librarian for Collections Services at Duke University Libraries
Tessa Minchew, Electronic Resources Librarian at North Carolina State University and chair of ERMWG shared
“While we view thoughtful and practical accessibility standards as a fundamental user right, our content and service providers may be trying to balance accessibility with specific business concerns. They may also just be unfamiliar with the work entailed in making a resource accessible and why it is so important to do so. Negotiating for accessibility is an advocacy and outreach opportunity. Thorough preparation for such moments is never wasted. This is why I am so excited about the release of the TRLN Guide to Negotiating Accessibility in E-Resource Licenses. The guide is a license negotiator’s dream, not only offering sample license language, but also the background information and rationale that a negotiator will need to call upon in their quest for the holy grail of all library licensing … ‘mutually agreeable’.”Tessa Minchew, Electronic Resources Librarian at North Carolina State University and chair of ERMWG
Maria Collins, Department Head, Acquisitions & Discovery, North Carolina State University and longtime ERMWG member appreciates the collaboration inspired by the guide and used in its creation:
“This TRLN Guide provides practical advice for understanding and negotiating license terms related to accessibility, an increasing area of emphasis for libraries given the predominance of electronic resources. What makes this set of guidelines unique is the support provided for the decision making process. Benefiting from collaborative effort, this guide goes beyond providing template language to providing strategies to assist with judgment calls made during license negotiations as well as ways to assess the context and priorities for your institution.”Maria Collins, Department Head, Acquisitions & Discovery, North Carolina State University