[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

E-resource licensing and virtual reference

I've given presentations at two conferences within the past week
(International Coalition of Library Consortia, and Illinois Library
Association) where a main topic of discussion involved the use of licensed
e-resources to serve a user from another library, during a virtual
reference session. Generally, the discussion involved collaborative
virtual reference projects (i.e., where two or more libraries band
together to provide virtual reference services to their collective group
of users).

Basically, the scenario is this: you are working the virtual reference
desk, and a user connects from an institution other than your own. Can you
use your licensed e-resources to help this user? For example, can you
search a full text journal article database and e-mail articles to this
user? Can you help the user by providing them with information from a
licensed database?

The consensus was that this should be no different than serving a walk-in
patron who asks for help at the physical reference desk. With most vendor
licenses, it is OK for a walk-in user to make use of licensed e-resources.
But when it comes to providing virtual service (e.g., via a virtual
reference service) the licensing terms and conditions are less clear.

What do you all think? I am especially interested to hear what e-resource
vendors think about this.

Bernie Sloan
Senior Library Information Systems Consultant
University of Illinois Office for Planning and Budgeting
338 Henry Administration Building
506 S. Wright Street
Urbana, IL  61801
Phone: (217) 333-4895
Fax:   (217) 265-0454
E-mail: bernies@uillinois.edu