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Cooperative Database Licensing in Washington State

Information for Vendors

Guidelines for twice-yearly trials of Web-based databases:

Developed by the Statewide Database Licensing Committee, March 1999:

1. The trials are intended for web-based products. If we hear that some libraries are interested in CD versions of these products because the libraries are not yet fully web-enabled we will include such discussions in any negotiation process, but this whole process is being driven by interest in web-based products.

2. The trial period will run for six to eight weeks. Vendors will work with staff from the Washington State Library to make their products accessible from the State Library's web site. (The April 1999 trial period may be a bit shorter, or the timeline for coming to final negotiations a bit longer, since we're just getting started with this approach.)

3. The trials will be publicized only to the library community in Washington state and will be advertised as being intended for staff of Washington libraries. In some cases, library staff may seek input from their end users. (In July 1999 this guideline was modified to allow for the possibility that adjoining Pacific Northwest states might participate, if vendors were willing and if the states designated coordinators to assist us.)

4. The intention of the trials is to introduce new products or significant upgrades to existing products. There will be no limit to the frequency with which a vendor can offer products for trial. (However, there may be a limit to the interest of volunteers to serve as negotiators/coordinators for those products.)

5. The Statewide Database Licensing Committee (SDL) reserves the right to recruit or solicit vendors for trials of specialized products, for example, for trials of online encyclopedias or of national newspaper databases. All efforts will be made to be inclusive in seeking vendors with suitable products for such focused trials.

6. When it is time to license databases using centralized funding, a more competitive process will occur but it will also a include statewide trial component.

7. The State Library and SDL Committee will widely publicize the trials. Vendors are also encouraged to assist with publicity efforts.

How to participate in the trials:

Washington State Library (WSL) staff will issue invitations about a month before the trial period begins.  Invitations are sent via e-mail to representatives of vendors of online databases.  The list is developed based on prior communications with those vendors, on requests from vendors to WSL to participate, and on recommendations from staff of Washington libraries.  If a particular type of product will be highlighted during a trial, WSL will make an extra effort to identify and contact potential vendors in that field.

Vendors must reply to a dozen questions and answers will be posted on the Web.  A link will be established into the database(s), using either a CGI script or by posting the password information on the WSL Web site.  Then for a 6-8 week period, staff from libraries will be able to preview the databases and indicate their interest to the WSL.   When the trial period is over, vendors will learn how many libraries are interested, and a coordinator from the Statewide Database Licensing committee will help coordinate any group pricing that may be available.  Vendors will always receive information about the libraries and contact people that express interest in their product, even if the number is not large enough for a group discount.

How to contact libraries in Washington:

The Directory of Washington Libraries is available online at http://wlo.statelib.wa.gov/libsearch.cfm

You may also request a print copy by contacting Rebecca Jensen at [email protected] or 360-704-5246.


Contact Jeanne Crisp, Washington State Library,  [email protected] or 360-704-5255.

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