NASIG Annual 2023

a white woman grins at the camera wearing a shirt that reads, "how can you not be pedantic about baseball?"; she is surrounded by a crowd of people watching a baseball game

“How can you not be pedantic about baseball?” –Effectively Wild

Last week was the 38th annual conference for NASIG. It was held in Pittsburgh, PA, at the same location where we met for our 34th annual. There was a smaller crowd, but as you can see above, this time we were able to attend a baseball game at PNC Park.

I’ve been a member of NASIG my whole career, attending every conference since 2002. But, just in case you are new here, or maybe need a refresher, “NASIG is an independent, non-profit organization working to advance and transform the management of information resources. [The] ultimate goal is to facilitate and improve the distribution, acquisition, and long-term accessibility of information resources in all formats and business models.”

In years past, I often took meticulous, almost transcription level notes of conferences sessions to share here. I fell out of practice with that even before the pandemic, but that certainly didn’t help. One great thing about NASIG is that all of the sessions will be included in the Proceedings, which are now Open Access and will be available in the next year.

I took quite a few offline notes for myself — a practice I’ve been trying to adopt for all work meetings now that my memory recall is declining while the number of candles on my birthday cake increases. I want to share a few highlights of things that I found valuable, and maybe you will, too.

Licensing stuff

We implemented Alma in June 2020, and until April 2022, I was attempting to handle all Acquisitions and Electronic Resources functions. I had no time for things that seemed pointless, and the license module was top of that list. There were so few default fields and I didn’t have the understanding to even look for the documentation that might have alerted me to how I could choose other (more useful) fields to be used. However, an off-hand comment at the Alma tech services user group on day one of the conference got me digging, and now I have plans to work with our Electronic Resources Librarian to flesh out the license information stored in Alma.

On day two of the conference, I attended the licensing workshop led by Claire Dygert. I was thrilled to have this opportunity, as Claire is one of my favorite NASIG people over the years, and she’s done a lot of great work in the areas of licensing and negotiation. Two things I’m taking away from it is plans to develop a template of terms we definitely want included in our license agreements, and a workflow for requesting price quotes well in advance of renewals as the opener for negotiations from a principled perspective.

Collections stuff

One of the sessions I attended on the third day of the conference was about documenting post-cancellation access to journals. My current institution has canceled relatively few journal subscriptions over the years, and I have not had a particularly thorough workflow for this. One big revelation for me was the order history tab in EBSCOnet, which I’m quite certain I’d never looked at before. No more guessing when our online subscription began based on the fund code we used (which is sometimes inconsistent)!

(I have not been great at documentation in the past, but due to the aforementioned loss of memory recall at the level I used to have, I’m working on that. I also attended part of a session about documentation in general that I peaced out on early when the first presenter was getting too much in the weeds of their particular situation. I heard the second presenter had more concrete workflows/ideas, so I look forward to reading that in the proceedings.)

My next steps will be to develop a workflow and documentation for recording this information in Alma. Possibly in conjunction with the license project I noted before.

NASIG 2013: Model Licenses and License Templates — Present and Future

“Files” by Claire Asher

Speaker: Liane Taylor

Don’t make it into a spreadsheet when creating model licences. Think creatively. Check lists, ERM records, HTML pages, etc. Does it need to be shared? Will you be copying from it to send to licencors for negotiation? Also, find out if there is standard language for IT that your institution uses. Review model licenses from the field.

LibLicense (2008) is a great site for model licenses and examples, but instead of keeping it up to date, Ann Okerson has updated NERL (11/2012), so that’s the most recent example to use. Licensing Models (10/2009) was created by John Cox to host a series of model licenses based on library type, and has been kept updated. California Digital Library licensing kit is from 2011, but is mostly kept current. Taylor has compiled how each model handled each section, and will be making it more public soon.

Things are changing, though, and we’re licensing new things that we don’t yet know how to handle them. Data, images, streaming collections, etc. When exceptions become the rule, what do we do?

If you have all of this figured out, put it out there in a discoverable way so the rest of us don’t spin our wheels reinventing your brilliance. Community! Communication! Collaboration!

Do we need to have new standard licensing language for….? Autorenewal — replace it with language about mutual written agreement. Alumni might have access three months post graduation because of the way IT is set up, which might be a license violation. New vendors might not be familiar with libraries and who our authorized users might be. New uses/rights: repository, text mining, use on website/promotional materials, rip & stream on secure server, cloud hosting/distribution of CD-ROMs.

Where do we go from here? How do we as a community keep our resources up to date? Should we have more of a shared collection of exceptions? What can we do to help each other?