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NERL Licensing Guidelines

The following information may be of interest to members of the listserv.

Oberlin Libraries Adopt Resolution on Licensing for Electronic Resources

At the annual meeting of Oberlin Libraries held at DePauw University,
Indiana, on October 18, 2003, the group of library directors present
approved a resolution that endorsed the NERL (Northeast Regional
Libraries)  Licensing Guidelines and Principles for review of licenses for
electronic products.  Our discussion in October was preceded by a survey
of institutions to identify how many Oberlin member libraries reviewed and
amended licenses for electronic products to insure that the license
included authorized use for interlibrary loan, as well as for use by
walk-in patrons, and for use in e-reserves.  The results of the survey
were shared with members prior to the October meeting.  

Areas of particular concern included the fact that few amended or altered
licenses to protect traditional fair use practices.  Prior to the meeting,
members were asked to look at several web sites to review examples of
licensing agreements that outlined what constituted "authorized use."  
After discussion, members present unanimously approved the following
resolution: "Be it resolved that the members of the Oberlin group agree to
adopt the NERL version of criteria as outlined in the 'generic license
agreement for electronic resources' for review of licenses prior to
purchase and that we will encourage our regional networks and consortia to
adopt these criteria.  Further, to the best of our abilities whenever
possible to refuse to sign a license that does not meet these criteria."

The Oberlin Libraries is a group of 75 private college libraries.  The
NERL website:


has an example of a generic license for review along with guidelines.