April 11, 2007
Director, Communications & Public Information
Statewide Online Database Contracts Awarded
The Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners is pleased to announce that it has awarded contracts to Thomson Gale, ProQuest CSA and EBSCO Industries for statewide online magazine, newspaper and reference book databases to begin on July 1, 2007.
Among the Thomson Gale products will be 13 periodical, biographical, reference and news databases covering an array of subjects and 23 Gale Virtual Reference library titles. ProQuest CSA will be providing 12 Massachusetts full-text newspapers (some going back to 1980), and EBSCO, its' Literary Reference Center. (A complete list is attached.)
These resources will be available to all Massachusetts Regional Library System member libraries. All residents of the Commonwealth holding a valid library card from Massachusetts can also use these resources from any computer with Internet access. School libraries and academic libraries that are members of the Massachusetts Regional Library System will have campus-wide access, and non-profit institutional member libraries are permitted access for their offices in Massachusetts.
"For more than 10 years, through state and federal funding, the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners has provided libraries and residents across the Commonwealth access to information on virtually any topic through databases and online content instantly available via the internet" says Robert C. Maier, Director.
The licenses are based on a "Request for Responses for Statewide Electronic Resources" issued in September 2006 and a rigorous procurement process that included multiple opportunities for input and evaluation from librarians from a wide array of Massachusetts libraries representing public, K-12, academic, and special organizations, as well as staff of the Regional Library Systems and Automated Library Networks.
Both the Thomson Gale and ProQuest CSA contracts will run for two years and can be renewed for up to five years, and the EBSCO contract is for one year with a renewal for up to two years, with all subject to availability of funding.
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.