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RE: Authority to sign licenses

This reminds me, whenever we renew any product (CD or online) we must go
through our license thoroughly again before we renew.

-----Original Message-----
From: Carol Library [mailto:Carol.Cubberley@usm.edu]
Sent: Tuesday, February 23, 1999 13:34 PM
To: liblicense-l@lists.yale.edu
Subject: Re: Authority to sign licenses 

It is very clear to us at USM that only the President has the authority to
sign contracts or to delegate that authority. We have a memo signed by the
President authorizing the Dean of Libraries and the Director of Technical
Services (me) to sign contracts for library materials only. I review all
licenses, whether they require signing or not, negotiate changes when
needed, and sign them when acceptable. You probably need to find out who
actually has the authority to sign a contract for your institution. If you
need official delegation, you shouldn't have any trouble getting it, as who
else is going to want to slog through all these license agreements? If we
send one to our legal department, we never see it again.

Here is the wording of the memo that went from the Dean of Libraries to the
Vice President for Academic Affairs:

"The Library finds it increasingly needs to sign contractual agreements
with vendors for the delivery of electronic information. In fact, I fear we
have been signing such agreements contrary to University policy. Since we
need specific authorization from the President, I request that the
following statement be approved:

"By this memorandum, I authorize James R. Martin, Dean of Libraries, and
Carol W. Cubberley, Director of Technical Services, USM Libraries, to sign
Electronic Products License Agreements that govern the use of library
materials accessed electronically."

The President wrote "I approve" on the memo, signed and dated it, and
returned it to us.

Carol Cubberley
The University of Southern Mississippi


At 10:55 PM 2/20/99 -0500, you wrote:
>-----Original Message-----
>From: Jeremy Blatchley [mailto:jblatchl@brynmawr.edu] 
>Sent: Friday, February 19, 1999 2:02 PM
>Subject: authority to sign licenses
>I haven't found any discussion that specifically addresses questions of
>how libraries are deciding who on their staff has signing authority for
>licenses. We have had many internal debates going back and forth, related
>to concerns for efficiency in our processing. 
>o How easy are contracts to evaluate - are they getting any more uniform?
>My sense is no, they are constantly evolving, and we really need our legal
>staff involved.
>o How liable are individual staff members: is there any known, recorded
>instance of a lawsuit between libraries, or consortia and publishers?  I
>continue to hear of libraries that have the person doing periodical
>checkin signing licenses. It is not clear wether that person is expected
>to involve themselves in negotiating contract language.  
>o But, disregarding that, those concerned with expediting things will ask,
>how likely is it that that person will find themselves in court?  
>I'd appreciate hearing from any librarians that have worked through this,
>or arrived at a policy about it. Thanks,
>                                 Jeremy Blatchley
>                                 Serials Librarian
>                        Canaday Library, Bryn Mawr College
>                                  (610) 526-5297