How long has the Group Licensing Initiative been in existence?

To our knowledge, we were the first group of our kind, specifically for hospital libraries, in the nation. The HSLANJ Group Licensing Initiative was founded in 2002 and the group has grown to include more than 100 participants.

Who runs the Group Licensing Initiative?

Medical Librarian and HSLANJ Executive Director Robert Mackes manages day-to-day operations and is the “go-to” contact. The consortium’s oversight and guidance is provided by a committee, comprised of members representing the many different sized health facilities in the region served. Additionally, The National Network of Libraries of Medicine, Mid-Atlantic Region MAR) and Southeastern/Atlantic Region (SE/A), fully endorse the HSLANJ Group Licensing Initiative as the lead organization assisting libraries in their efforts to convert to electronic resources. Funding for the expansion of membership is being provided by NNLM/MAR and SE/A.

What types of resources does the Group Licensing Initiative make available?

Ebooks, ejournals and databases are all available through an annual offer. We strive to present the most comprehensive list of current, quality medical resources possible and are always open to suggestions from participants.

If electronic resources are more expensive than print, will I be able to realize a savings by participating in the HSLANJ Group Licensing Initiative?

Initially, if you are converting from print to electronic resources, you may not realize a savings or the savings might be insignificant. However, you are gaining widespread access to electronic books, journals and databases across your medical facility’s entire campus, 24/7 and this encourages wider usage of clinical resources. The publishing industry is evolving however, and there are publishers that discount print subscriptions if an electronic subscription is also purchased.

I worry that my hospital is too small to consider participating. Will I be able to afford the resources? -OR- I worry that my hospital is too large to consider participating. Would being a part of the group really benefit me?

Currently, medical facilities of all sizes and varieties are HSLANJ Group Licensing participants. We represent hospitals and non-profit healthcare associations. Group Licensing benefits clinicians, doctors, nurses, researchers, educators, administrators, students, allied health professionals, hospital and health facility staff, and ultimately, patients and the general public.

A consortium approach to licensing makes electronic resources more affordable, although it is true that electronic journals are often more expensive than their print counterparts. The HSLANJ Group Licensing Initiative provides a level playing field to all participants, often enabling small libraries to purchase resources that would be simply unaffordable without a group discount. Also, many vendors offer a variety of licensing choices so that both larger and smaller libraries can customize their purchase according to their needs.

I am considering participation in the Group Licensing Initiative. What benefits or strengths do current participants feel were most important in their decisions to purchase through the HSLANJ GLI?

The ability to purchase materials I might not otherwise be able to afford; even more so when you’re talking about the five hospitals in my system. We are now able to consider products we couldn’t previously afford.

-Catherine M. Boss, MSLS, AHIP, Coordinator, Library Services, Booker Health Sciences Library, Jersey Shore University Medical Center, Neptune, NJ


The one big advantage for me was the opportunity to subscribe to BMJ titles--I saved $18,000 by going through the Group Licensing package in the first year.

-Susan M. Robishaw, MLN, AHIP, Geisinger Health System, Assistant Director, Health Sciences Libraries, Danville, PA


It’s expanding a colleague network in many ways, through price-sharing and resource-sharing. Working in a small library, there’s a feeling of being isolated, but sharing with the HSLANJ colleagues is very helpful.

-Beth Lewis, MLS, Director of Library Services, Talbot Research Library, Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia, PA


The cost savings is hands down the number one benefit. Without Group Licensing we would not have been able to afford some of the electronic resources that we have. The GLI always gives me an awareness of other resources as well; for example I get AccessMedicine which I might not have been aware of, otherwise. We simply would not have anything comparable to what we own without group licensing.

-Robin Siegel, MLS, AHIP, Medical Librarian, Benjamin Weinstein Medical Library, CentraState Medical Center, Freehold, NJ

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