Statewide Database Licensing Project

New SDL Contract Announced

The Washington State Library and the Statewide Database Licensing Project Advisory Committee are pleased to announce that ProQuest has again been selected to provide a suite of database products to the nonprofit libraries of Washington State. The package includes a periodicals collection, a collection of Washington and national newspapers, and resources for children and students. This new contract with ProQuest is set to begin on July 1, 2016.

A complete listing of the content in the new ProQuest package is available along with links to detailed descriptions of the individual components on the ProQuest Package Product Descriptions page.

The SDL Advisory Committee had a key role in the selection process, advising on the RFP itself, and subsequently assisting with the scoring, and making vendor recommendations. Feel free to contact members of the Advisory Committee, or SDL staff, with your comments or suggestions.

Request for Proposals (RFP) Released

On March 1, 2016, the Washington State Library announced the release of a Request for Proposals (RFP) for the Statewide Database Licensing (SDL) project. Proposals are solicited from firms interested in providing web-based digital products or services to nonprofit libraries in Washington State.

The RFP solicits proposals for products in several categories:

  1. Aggregated periodical databases covering a wide variety of subject areas with content that will be of interest to all types of nonprofit libraries and their patrons;
  2. Newspapers both national and local, with as many papers as possible from the State of Washington;
  3. Resources designed for children and students (both K-6 and K-12) that include at least one search interface designed for the younger researcher, and with database content appropriate for elementary reading levels;
  4. Products in other categories as described in the RFP.

The RFP is available on the OSOS web site procurements page: and via Washington’s Electronic Business Solution (WEBS):

  • The due date for Letters of Intent to Propose is March 11, 2016.
  • The due date for proposals is April 1, 2016.

For more information, or for questions, please contact RFP Coordinator, Will Stuivenga, using the contact information found at the bottom of this page.

SDL Needs Assessment

The Statewide Database Licensing (SDL) project recently conducted a needs assessment which included two surveys, one for library staff, and one for library users as well as interviews with library staff. The final report is now available in several versions:

The library audience for both surveys included all types of libraries that participate in SDL: public, private academic, and community and technical colleges, hospital and research libraries, and K-12 schools, both public and private. In the case of K-12 schools, the end user survey was intended for classroom teachers and administrators, rather than students, but college and university students were strongly encouraged to take the survey.

All library staff who are aware of the library’s electronic resources, especially research databases, were encouraged to take the staff survey, and all participating Washington libraries were encouraged to promote the user survey to their clientele, through their web sites, social media, patron newsletters, and any other appropriate media or opportunities.

A goal of the assessment it to determine if the current ProQuest package of databases continues to meet the needs of participating Washington libraries, their staff, and the citizens of the state. If you have suggestions or comments on this needs assessment process, please contact project staff and/or members of the SDL Advisory Committee.

Previous (2010) SDL Needs Assessment Survey Results

Back in 2010, in preparing to negotiate a new contract for statewide database licensing in Washington State, we created two needs assessment surveys, one for staff at libraries of all types throughout Washington, and another for the users of public libraries in Washington. The following results comprise a summary of the survey for public library staff.

This summary aggregates responses and comments from all users that took the survey. 588 library staff started the survey, with 74.1% (436 library staff) completing it.

Interested parties may download the report (pdf) and complete results (xls) below:

Electronic Resources for Library Users: Survey Report and Complete Results

This report provides a summary of the survey for public library users.

The survey was administered by providing a link and image for public libraries to put on their websites. In the interest of user anonymity, we did not collect any information about which users came from which libraries, which means that we cannot parse out data based on library size. This summary aggregates responses and comments from all users that started the survey. 1,209 library users started the survey, with 90.1% (1,089 library users) completing it.

Interested parties may download the report (pdf) and complete results (xls) below:

ProQuest Renewal for 2015-2016

Information on the ProQuest renewal for July 1, 2015 through June 30, 2016 is available on the ProQuest renewal page. The cancellation form is also located there. This is the final renewal year under the current contract.

SDL E-Mail Distribution List

One way to keep informed about the Statewide Database Licensing Project is to subscribe to the SDL project's e-mail list, WALIBSDL, or to the State Library's eNewletter, WSL Updates. To subscribe to these and other WSL e-mail lists, visit the WSL e-mail distribution lists page.

Changes in ProQuest Content

The Statewide Database Licensing (SDL) project announced content changes in the ProQuest package in January 2012. As of January 1, 2012, ProQuest lost the rights to its McClatchy newspaper titles, which included the Tacoma News-Tribune, and the Tri-Cities Herald. Content from the online is no longer available through ProQuest either.

In compensation, ProQuest upgraded the Washington Newsstand to its “Western Newsstand” product, which includes approximately 130 titles from the entire western half of the United States, with newspapers from a number of states, such as Alaska, California, Arizona, and even Oklahoma. This additional content was made available to Washington libraries on Thursday, July 12, 2012.

The Western Newsstand title list is available on the ProQuest Package Product Descriptions page.

ProQuest Provides Statewide Resources Again

The Washington State Library, the Statewide Database Licensing Project, and its Advisory Committee announced that ProQuest was again selected to provide a suite of database products to the nonprofit libraries of Washington State. The current contract with ProQuest began on July 1, 2011.

The package is similar (but not identical) to the one provided in the previous contract, and includes a periodicals collection, Washington and national newspapers, resources for children and students, and more. For a complete listing of the package contents, visit the ProQuest Package Product Descriptions page.

A document providing access instructions for the ProQuest product package is available here: ProQuest Access Instructions.

The SDL Advisory Committee had a key role in the selection process, advising on the RFP itself, and subsequently assisting with the scoring, and making vendor recommendations. Feel free to contact members of the Advisory Committee, or SDL staff, with your comments or suggestions.

ProQuest Marketing Toolkit

ProQuest has prepared marketing toolkits for Washington libraries to use in promoting databases to their patrons. There are specific toolkits for academic, K-12, public, and special libraries.

These are general tools that are intended to provide suggestions and ideas for marketing and promotion. Consequently, some of the specific examples that are cited may be for products that are not part of the Washington State package, or some suggestions may not even refer to specific products, but to generic types of resources. Please adapt these suggestions and materials to meet your specific situation. Your suggestions for improving the resources are also welcomed. Send comments to Will Stuivenga (contact information at the bottom of this page).

Other promotional materials are also available for many ProQuest databases on the ProQuest Training materials page:


Want to learn more about ProQuest? Sign up for an online class. Special online training for K-12 libraries is also available. ProQuest also provides a LibGuides site, with extensive resources available.

ProQuest trainers are also available to provide hands-on in-person training at no cost to Washington Libraries. Contact:

Jeff Cutler, B.S., M.B.A., Training and Consulting Partner
ProQuest | 2871 S. Whitworth Circle | Magna, UT 84044 USA
Office 801 250 0568 | Mobile 801 455 9775 | Voice 800 521 0600 ext 72996 | Fax 801 252 8480 and

Training for products from other vendors available through group purchases sponsored by the State Library is generally available by contacting the vendor directly. Or Will Stuivenga can provide contact information.


SDL Mission Statement

Through Washington libraries, all Washingtonians will have access to a range of electronic database products with which to address their informational and educational needs. And, Washington libraries will be able to leverage their resources to gain more cost effective access to database products.

adopted 1998


Project Description

SDL is a project coordinated by the Washington State Library to give Washington state citizens access to online commercial databases through their local libraries at a discounted cost.

With guidance from the project's steering committee, the project uses federal LTSA grant funds to underwrite expensive licenses to full-text magazine and newspaper databases. Initiated in 1998, this project pays one half the annual costs. Libraries' local funds pay the rest. Local library shares are determined by the statewide advisory committee.

Libraries participating in SDL include:

  • 24 Private academic libraries
  • 36 Community and technical colleges
  • 60 Public libraries and library systems
  • 28 Medical and special libraries
  • 23 Tribal libraries
  • Approximately 2,200 K-12 libraries via the 9 Educational Service Districts (ESDs)

The basic database package includes:

  • Access to several Washington daily newspapers, 5 national newspapers, and the Western Newsstand (about 140 papers covering the entire Western half of the United States) as well as over 6000 magazines, periodicals, and scholarly journals, of which over 3600 are available in full-text.
  • Customized database packages for different audiences including eLibrary, CultureGrams, and SIRS Discoverer for the K-12 audience as well as content intended for public library audiences and academic research purposes.
  • Remote access from homes or businesses.

SDL also coordinates group purchases of other databases purchased and funded with local library funds.


Washington State Library
PO Box 42460
Olympia, WA 98504-2460

Will Stuivenga, Project Manager

(360) 704-5217 (Will Stuivenga)
(866) 538-4996 (Toll free)
(360) 586-7575 (Fax)

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