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 think it’s an excellent project and Robb is great to deal with—very responsive. His leadership is invaluable and will continue to carry the initiative forward. He creates offers that are in our best interest—it’s a testament to his management and leadership.


-Mary Jo Russell, Manager of Library Services, Vassar Brothers Medical Center, Poughkeepsie, NY


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.


HSLANJ has saved us tens of thousands of dollars. Robb (of the HSALNJ GLI) has made access to vendors much simpler because of the power of the dollars he can command. The publishers & vendors sit up a bit more when it comes to talking to us. We’re part of a hospital system but for a long time we were a small 196 bed hospital. Now having the power of HSLANJ… Vendors who wouldn’t normally talk to us will sit down and talk with us, to make things more cost effective.


-Kristina Flathers, Medical Librarian, Nemours / Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children, Wilmington, DE

The Group Licensing Initiative is guided by the following committee members:


GLI Project Manager: Robert T. Mackes, MLS, AHIP

Chair: Barbara S. Reich, MLS, AHIP, Hackensack University Medical Center, Hackensack, NJ

Catherine M. Boss, MLS, AHIP, Jersey Shore University Medical Center, Neptune, 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

Elizabeth Sosnowska, MLS, Rutgers University, George F. Smith Library, Newark, NJ

Amy Stone, MLS, ECRI Institute, Plymouth Meeting, PA


The most rewarding things about participating in the GLI… Being able to buy more resources, because they’re more affordable, plus knowing there’s technical support in the GLI consortium—the license is there and it’ll work well.


-Lisa Travis, Clinical Informationist, Emory Saint Joseph's Hospital, Atlanta, GA

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

The HSLANJ Group Licensing Initiative is funded in part with Federal funds from the National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services, under Contract No. HHS-N-276-2011-00003-C with the University of Pittsburgh, Health Sciences Library System. This project is also funded in part with Federal funds from the National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services, under Contract No. HHS-N-276-2011-00004-C with the University of Maryland Baltimore.