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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
March 5, 2002
CONTACT: David L. Gray
Director, Communications & Public Information
Gale Awarded Contract to Provide Statewide Electronic Databases
BOSTON: The Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners (MBLC) is pleased to announce that a statewide electronic database contract has been awarded to The Gale Group for the following predominantly full-text (with images) commercial databases:
General Reference Center Gold
Health Reference Center Academic
Health and Wellness Resource Center
Expanded Academic ASAP
General BusinessFile ASAP
Business and Company Resource Center
Contemporary Literary Criticism Select
Biography Resource Center
Info Trac Kids, Junior and Student editions
Info Trac OneFile
All Massachusetts regional member libraries (public, academic, school and special libraries), as well as regional and automated resource sharing network headquarters will have access to the databases. Any resident with a Massachusetts library card will be able to logon to the databases from anywhere that they have access to the Internet. Academic and K-12 campuses will have campus-wide access.
Since March 1997, the MBLC has provided access to several Gale databases through funding provided under the Strategic Plan for the Future of Libraries in Massachusetts. These databases serve as the centerpiece of a coordinated statewide program that aims to ensure stable access to the broadest mix of content, long-term sustainability, and mechanisms for expansion. Keith Michael Fiels, MBLC Director, says, "one of our primary goals under the strategic plan has been to reduce the tremendous inequities that exist in library services within the Commonwealth. Thanks to funding provided by the legislature and governor, every library in the Commonwealth, no matter how small, can provide its users with access to information on almost any topic and make millions of articles available instantly." The cost for the project will be shared jointly by the MBLC and the six Massachusetts Regional Library Systems.
The contract award is the outcome of a procurement process that began with the release of a Request for Proposal (RFR) by the MBLC on September 5, 2001. Librarians, given the opportunity to test drive a number of vendor's products as part of the procurement processes comment: "Gale products are tremendously useful and user friendly. Even the academic products are approachable for the average public library patron. The health and business resources cannot be matched." "This is the best set of databases. This should be at the top of the list. We use these databases daily, as do our patrons."
The initial contract period will run for 24 months, from July 2002 to June 2004, and can be renewed for one two-year period followed by a single one-year period.
The Board of Library Commissioners (mass.gov/mblc) is the agency of state government with the statutory authority and responsibility to organize, develop, coordinate and improve library services throughout the Commonwealth. The Board advises municipalities and library trustees on the operation and maintenance of public libraries, including construction and renovation. It administers state and federal grant programs for libraries and promotes cooperation among all types of libraries through regional library systems and automated resource sharing. It also works to ensure that all residents of the Commonwealth, regardless of their geographic location, social or economic status, age, level of physical or intellectual ability or cultural background, have access to essential new electronic information technologies and significant electronic databases.
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