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Considerations for individual libraries purchasing online resources

Chapter 43 allows that a library may provide remote access to electronic resources exclusively to its patrons. This gives libraries flexibility in purchasing online resources, but there are things to consider before making any product decisions.

Patrons around the system will have access to different things.

While this statement may be obvious, there are considerations that may not be so obvious:

  • Patrons may use multiple libraries on a regular basis, but they will only be able to use the online resources of the library for which they are "cardholders" (from outside the library).
  • Pricing and remote authentication is based on "cardholders."  For LINKcat libraries, cardholders are those patrons who have selected your library as their "home" library. 
  • Patrons who use your library in person may not have access to the same resources from home because they are not your library's cardholders. 
  • Publicity available in the library must be carefully worded and disseminated to make certain that patrons understand who can have access from home.
  • Patrons may request assistance from a library on a product that the library does not own, since they may be uncertain about which library made remote database access possible.
  • Libraries may encounter more pressure from patrons to purchase electronic resources that other SCLS libraries have.

If you purchase a new electronic resource, consider notifying other SCLS libraries. SCLS will maintain a list of electronic resources purchased by SCLS libraries, and it will include any electronic resource for which SCLS is providing authentication.  Consequently, it is important for libraries to keep SCLS informed when they add a new database or cancel their subscription to a database. 

SCLS will provide authentication for electronic resources available to patrons of individual libraries.

  • For LINKcat libraries, "Home Library" will be used as the linkage between a patron and a library.
  • If your library is planning to purchase or subscribe to an electronic resource, and wants SCLS to provide authentication, it is crucial to discuss the purchase with SCLS staff BEFORE signing the contract. Some products will not work with our method of authentication and/or may require additional costs.
  • We will continue to provide training and support for electronic resources purchased for system-wide use. We do not intend to do so for electronic resources purchased by individual libraries or groups of libraries.
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