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Washington Libraries and ProQuest

This past week (Oct. 8-13) I had the privilege and pleasure of visiting several libraries on the Eastern side of the mountains. I hope to post some pictures and additional details in later blog entries, time permitting!

My trip culminated in attending the WLMA (Washington Library Media Association) conference in Yakima, where the Washington State Library as is our custom, sponsored a booth in the exhibit hall. I attended several informative conference program sessions as well as spending time staffing the WSL booth. This trip provided me with the opportunity to visit and talk with librarians, library staff, and teacher librarians along the way, in various venues and settings.

During the course of my visits, it came to my attention that information about the “new” statewide ProQuest contract, and the revised content that came with it, had somehow not trickled down, or gotten through to everyone. A number of people were not aware of some of the content that should be available to them through the Statewide Database Licensing (SDL) project’s current contract with ProQuest.

The new SDL contract with ProQuest went into effect on July 1, 2011. Under the terms of the new contract, some of the previous content was removed from Washington accounts, and some new content was added in its place.

The new content consists of:

  • SIRS Discoverer
  • History Study Center
  • ProQuest Learning: Literature
  • ProQuest Family Health (included in “ProQuest”)

All of these, except ProQuest Family Health, are specifically aimed at the K-12 audience, and the SIRS Discoverer interface and significant content are aimed at the lower grades. Material in both SIRS Discoverer and eLibrary are identified by reading level, and searches can be limited or sorted by reading level.

More recently, a larger newspaper database, the Western Newsstand (included in “ProQuest”), was added to the package, to compensate for the loss of three Washington newspapers.

Previous content that is no longer included in the Washington contract is as follows:

  • eLibrary Elementary (the standard eLibrary is still included)
  • World Conflicts Today (this content is now included in the History Study Center)
  • Ethnic NewsWatch (was included in “ProQuest”)
  • Alt-Press Watch (was included in “ProQuest”)

Unchanged content that we had previously, and still have now includes:

  • eLibrary
  • ProQuest Research Library (included in “ProQuest”)
  • ABI/INFORM Trade & Industry (included in “ProQuest”)
  • ProQuest National Newspaper Core (included in “ProQuest”)
  • ProQuest Washington Newsstand (now down to only 5 current titles; included in “ProQuest”)

You will find a complete list of the current and the previous package contents, along with the relevant links, product descriptions, title, lists, etc., on the SDL ProQuest package web page here: http://www.sos.wa.gov/quicklinks/PQ

Please note: Items listed above that are described as “included in ProQuest” are items that you access through the standard ProQuest search platform. The items NOT so described run on their own platforms, and require separate individual links for access.

If you are a school librarian, I recommend that you check your school or district’s web site, and if you do not have access to the “new” content, please make every effort to contact whoever is in charge, and ask them to add links to the new content, and drop links to the content that is no longer available. Without these links, you are not getting full value for your subscription.

If you are a public librarian, you may want to double check that your library is offering all of these resources to your staff and patrons.

Keep in mind that access to ProQuest for K-12 school (public or private) is via your local ESD. That is, while the State Library pays half the cost of the statewide contract centrally using federal LSTA (Library Services and Technology Act) funding made available through IMLS (The Institute for Museum and Library Services), the other half of the cost is divided between all of the participating libraries, and access, while inexpensive, is not free. Your school or district needs to pay its share of the subscription cost through your local ESD.

Without the participation of ALL Washington libraries, this project would not succeed. It’s the combined purchasing power of practically the ENTIRE state (K-12, public, private academic, community college, and even hospital and medical libraries) that makes this project sustainable.

Please don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions. Thank you for your participation and support!

Will Stuivenga, Cooperative Projects Manager
Washington State Library | Office of the Secretary of State
360.704.5217 | fax: 360.586.7575
[email protected]

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