Founded in 1972, Health Sciences Library Association of New Jersey (HSLANJ) is a non-profit organization with the goals of encouraging the professional development and advancement of librarianship and improving the quality of library services provided by health care organizations in New Jersey.
The Group Licensing Initiative, formed in 2002 under the umbrella of HSLANJ, researches, approves and establishes relationships with vendors, negotiating all pricing and assisting members with licensing needs. The National Network of Libraries of Medicine, Mid-Atlantic Region (NNLM/MAR), and Southeastern/Atlantic Region (SE/A) fully recognize and endorse the HSLANJ Group Licensing Initiative as the lead organization capable of assisting libraries in their efforts to utilize multi-dimensional electronic resources.
The Group Licensing Initiative is managed by medical librarian/consultant Robert Mackes and guided by a committee comprised of members from different-sized health facilities in the region served. There are more than 100 participants, representing a wide variety of hospitals and medical institutions, but linked by one common bond: the need for high-quality, cost-effective electronic resources.
To our knowledge, the HSLANJ Group Licensing Initiative was the nation’s first group licensing consortium specifically for the benefit of hospital libraries. Hospitals throughout New Jersey and Delaware successfully linked through initial efforts nearly a dozen years ago. Still gaining momentum, the group expanded into additional mid-Atlantic markets such as Pennsylvania and New York thanks to funding support from NNLM/MAR beginning in 2010. The group is currently welcoming participants from the SE/A Region thanks to funding support from the NNLM/SE/A.
I believe we were the first participant in Pennsylvania. At the time I was a new librarian in the medical field and the prices were mind-boggling. Learning about consortiums and getting the most for the dollar, then learning about it and making it a reality was a blessing.
-Kris Kalina, MLS, Memorial Medical Center/Conemaugh Health System, Johnstown, PA
By utilizing “group purchasing power,” participants have access to a menu of electronic resources from which to choose. The prices of all titles have been negotiated down as low as possible by the Group Licensing Initiative—much lower than individual librarians could possibly achieve. Combined with a “one-stop shopping” approach, Group Licensing ultimately saves members both time and money. It is often described as a “consortium.”
Offers are generally made available to participants every spring and fall, with hundreds of titles discounted according to the number of participants.
Acquiring books, journals and databases electronically expands a medical facility’s access campus-wide, 24/7 and encourages wider usage of clinical resources. Resources are generally accessed via passwords or IP authentication with a hospital’s computer system, and remote access to electronic resources is also possible.
Medical materials come to life, via audio, video, interactive applications and relevant links when accessed electronically, rather than the static text and two-dimensional graphics found in traditional hard-copy materials. Additionally, electronic resources can also enrich a hospital’s online services such as newsletters, conference reports, email links, discussion groups and more.
Group Licensing is working together for the benefit of all of us--because when you work together to make things more affordable it benefits everybody. It really does work out because you’re able to get better pricing so it benefits our team members and guests at every hospital. Nowadays you see so many organizations competing against each other, but with the Group Licensing program it’s the opposite—we’re all working together.
-Catherine M. Boss, MSLS, AHIP, Coordinator, Library Services, Booker Health Sciences Library, Jersey Shore University Medical Center, Neptune, NJ
The Group Licensing Initiative is guided by the following committee members:
GLI Project Manager: Robert T. Mackes, MLS, AHIP
Co-Chair: Barbara S. Reich, MLS, AHIP, Hackensack University Medical Center, Hackensack, NJ
Co-Chair: Robin Siegel, MLS, AHIP, CentraState Medical Center, Freehold, NJ
Catherine M. Boss, MLS, AHIP, Jersey Shore University Medical Center, Neptune, NJ
Jeannine Creazzo, MLS, Saint Peter’s University Hospital, New Brunswick, NJ
Sharon L. Hrabina, BSed, MLS, Hazelton General Hospital, Hazelton, PA
Jan Orick, MLS, AHIP, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, TN
Karen Roth, MBS, MLS, AHIP, BayCare Health System, Clearwater, FL
Amy Stone, MLS, ECRI Institute, Plymouth Meeting, PA
Deborah Thomas, MLS, AHIP, Greater Baltimore Medical Center, Baltimore, MD
In the words of a medical librarian...
The most rewarding thing is the collegiality that we get from working as a group, the networking and access to Robb Mackes who is such a great problem solver. To have to negotiate on our own is clearly not as strong as having the Group Licensing Initiative negotiate on our behalf, and skillfully. I don’t have to negotiate with twenty vendors on my own.
-Robin Siegel, MLS, AHIP, Medical Librarian, Benjamin Weinstein Medical Library, CentraState Medical Center, Freehold, NJ