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Group Purchasing department hosted annual eResources meeting

On Thursday, September 20, we hosted our annual eResources meeting at the MCLS offices in Lansing, Michigan. Also known as the eJournal meeting, this year’s gathering included 31 librarians from 26 member academic and hospital libraries. While this meeting is traditionally attended by our academic members, we want to make clear that all library types are welcome. This year we also welcomed representatives from SAGE Publications, EBSCO Information Services and John Wiley & Sons, Inc. We spent a large part of our day discussing the upcoming three-year renewals with representatives from each of the vendors. Summaries of those conversations follow.


This group purchase began in 2007, and this is our fifth time renewing what is now the Premier package. We are renewing for a three-year term beginning in 2019. SAGE shared some historical data, which is contained in the attachment. Member libraries have several opportunities (dependent upon collective spend) within two major categories – All Access or Fixed List. The initial proposed yearly increases were too high. MCLS made SAGE aware of this before the meeting, and the libraries who were present did a great job of reiterating that fact. SAGE asked us to send a counter proposal after the meeting. As a result of our joint advocacy, we received a new lower offer from SAGE. Thanks to all who helped us educate the vendors about the current state of library budgets, and the hard choices being made in collection development and acquisitions as a result. Your efforts are not in vain!


EBSCONet and the full host of services, including SmartLinks+ and upcoming enhancements, is being offered to all MCLS SAGE Premier subscribers at no charge for their Premier content for the duration of the next three-year contract. There is no set up for libraries, as EBSCO handles it for you. SmartLinks+ works with Summon, EBSCO EDS, and Primo/WMS discovery systems. MeL content data is also discoverable, for our Michigan members. If your library choses to try out this offering, your Premier subscription will be negotiated by MCLS and billed by EBSCO, except for the $300 MCLS administration fee. Information on how to choose this option will be contained with your SAGE renewal pricing.


Wiley presented a continuation of our current model for the expiring contract. Libraries have two options – Database Model or Fixed List and will continue with the same percentage increases as the current contract. If you’re interested in switching to the database model, which provides more coverage and no title reconciliation at a very attractive upgrade fee, please contact us for more information.

Facilitated Group Purchasing Conversation – Jan Davidson

After our final vendor presentation, libraries participated in a lively facilitated discussion activity called What – So What – Now What?  They were challenged to think about what difficulties libraries are facing when it comes to purchasing eResources, what different does it make and why is that important, and now that challenges have been identified, what are we going to do about it? At the conclusion, participants voted on the top two or three action steps that they could commit to joining. The top action items were:

  • Identify deal breakers in contracts to use in negotiations and Just Say No!
  • Refuse to sign licenses with non-disclosure or confidentiality clauses
  • Be transparent with each other about pricing
  • Encourage more libraries to participate in group purchasing to bring down costs
  • Share data and analytics

Ideas and potential action items generated from that discussion will inform Group Purchasing as we work to continue the success of this program for our members.

We want to thank all of our members who were able to attend for their time and their contribution to the robust discussion. We’d also like to thank our representatives from SAGE, EBSCO, and Wiley for their generous support of lunch at the meeting. If you’d like more information about the eJournals group purchases, please contact or call Group Purchasing at (800) 530-9019 ext 401. We hope to see even more of you at the 2019 meeting!