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After a year-long process of planning, evaluation, needs assessment, proposal solicitation, and content review, Minitex and the Shared E-Resources (SER) Task Force are excited to announce our intended statewide database pack

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After a year-long process of planning, evaluation, needs assessment, proposal solicitation, and content review, Minitex and the Shared E-Resources (SER) Task Force are excited to announce our intended statewide database package. In Minnesota, this collection is branded eLibrary Minnesota, or ELM. Minitex and the selected vendors must still work through the contract negotiation process, so while the package is not entirely finalized, it is our intent to license the following resources:

  • EBSCO Premier package (current) - MN, ND, SD
  • EBSCO LearningExpress Library Complete (current) - MN 
  • Britannica General Reference package (current) - MN, ND 
  • ProQuest US Newsstream, including Star Tribune (reduction from Global Newsstream) - MN, ND
  • Gale/Cengage’s Gale In Context: Middle School and Gale in Context: High School (reduction from Bronze package) - MN
  • Gale Bronze package (current) - ND 
  • Capstone PebbleGo: Animals and Biographies (new) - MN, ND 
  • Capstone PebbleGo Next: States and Native Americans (new) - MN, ND

Upon successful contract negotiation, these resources will be available beginning July 1, 2020. Look for more information from us prior to that date. The contract's length will be three years, with the option to renew for two additional single-year terms.

As a whole, the collection serves all types of libraries and library users across the lifelong learning spectrum. We filled a major gap in early literacy materials, and maintained core collections for school, public, academic, and special libraries.

Minitex began this process in 2018 with a needs assessment of our current statewide collection. The project ramped up as we convened the SER Task Force in July 2019. We solicited another round of feedback from the community in early fall 2019, via survey and conference discussions. The SER Task Force was instrumental in crafting a request for proposal (RFP) that described our intent and solicited information from vendors about our areas of greatest interest, ranging from content priorities to user-privacy practices to the logistics of implementation.

The vendor community responded admirably, and we thank them for proposing a wide variety of high quality e-resources.

We made trial access to all of the proposed resources available to all library staff in the region, and solicited the community’s feedback. Thank you to those who submitted feedback to guide our decision-making process. And a special thank you to each of our vendors for extending trial access to all of these resources as the pandemic forced us all online, with redoubled reliance on e-resources.

Amid the first weeks of the COVID-19 disruption, the SER Task Force and vendor finalists canceled in-person meetings in favor of online demonstrations and discussions. The commitment and determination of the SER Task Force during this uncertain time was inspiring, and highlighted each member’s dedication to our community. Minitex will be forever grateful to the members of this team.

I also want to acknowledge the Minitex team that led this project: Anne Hatinen, Beth Staats, Carla Pfahl, Linda Mork, and Rita Baladad. The team was helped along the way by Maggie Snow, Dana Kocienda, Paul Swanson, Sarah Anderson, and others throughout the Minitex office.

Thanks go as well to Elaine Kelash in the University of Minnesota Purchasing Office. Thanks to Jen Nelson of the Minnesota Department of Education's State Library Services and to Maya Beecham of the Minnesota Office of Higher Education. And thank you to our partners in North Dakota and South Dakota: Ellen Kotrba with ODIN, Mary Soucie and Cynthia Clairmont-Schmidt with the North Dakota State Library, Dan Daily with the South Dakota Regental Database Consortium, and Daria Bossman with the South Dakota State Library.

As the Minitex team has worked through this process, we’ve done so knowing that our current collection is strong. That there is no “fluff.” That these resources truly do serve as a core collection for all types of libraries in our region. We also knew, through community feedback, that we have gaps to fill, particularly in early literacy materials. Maintaining a strong, balanced collection while filling acknowledged gaps, with a flat budget, meant that we had difficult decisions to make. 

Many of you tested resources during the  trial access period. If you would like pricing or more information on any that were not included in our statewide collection, please contact us at cpers@umn.edu.

After contracts are finalized, Minitex will begin the implementation process, including communicating the steps necessary to incorporate these resources into your services.

Again, thank you to everyone who made this renewed statewide collection possible.

 

Update 5/26/20

Minitex will continue to provide OCLC FirstSearch/WorldCat Discovery to libraries in the region, as we do currently, to support resource sharing and research efforts. Review of this service has moved to a separate Minitex process.

 

Written by

Matt Lee
Associate Director
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