Letter from the President
By John Taylor, Orange Coast College & CCL President
Hi all. Welcome to Fall 2022 where most of us are mostly back on campus after more than 2 years away. On my campus we are 80% on campus and 20% online. It’s great to see students wandering around, and the long lines at Starbucks are back. And we now provide references services in person and on ine with no increase to resources (some things don’t change). I’m beginning to learn just how much work the CCL does for all the libraries in the state and I’m more impressed than ever with all that is happening to make it safe to be a librarian at a community college in California. The CCL has always been a private 510c6 corporation, but this year we took on the role of being the vendor for the Chancellor’s Office to manage the LSP while we subcontract the work to the Community College League of California (CCLC). We truly appreciate all the work that Amy, Caroline, and Pawel at the CCLC do to keep the LSP and all the work groups moving forward successfully.
Another significant event this fall is that the statewide Ebsco database contract will expire. We have found a group of librarians who are representing us in that RFP process (Megan Kinney SFCC, Jeff Karlsen SCC, Walter Bulter SMC, Lori Cassidy OCC, with Amy Beadle and myself participating). The review of the questions has been completed and the RFP is scheduled to be published today. We are on schedule to determine the replacement vendor by November and to have a new contract in place by Christmas. Please be aware that the money to support this process did not increase beyond the $1 million per year that we have been spending. It is unrealistic to think that our new contract will be as robust as our current databases. We will do our best for you.
We are already in discussion with the Foundation for California Community Colleges to renew the contract with ExLibris (now Clarivate) which will expire in December 2023. The Chancellor’s Office has instructed us that the Foundation will negotiate the next renewal of the contract, it will reside with the Chancellor’s Office and be paid through their fiscal agent. At that time the Chancellor’s Office will be responsible for the full payment directly. Until then we may have to continue paying independently and be reimbursed as we did last year (but we hope to change this to direct payment as quickly as possible). We look forward to building a process that will work into the future indefinitely.
This will allow us to know how to plan for the future and the funding beyond Alma and Primo. We are currently planning a presentation to the Chancellor’s Office on how to spend the unallocated funds. Our top recommendation is to pay for OCLC for all colleges, with consideration on EZ Proxy (or similar software), Alma Digital and LibKey. If our recommendations are accepted, the Chancellor’s Office will write a contract directly with the selected vendor(s) and it would work much like our current relationship with Canvas (and what our future relationship with Alma and Primo will be). When we succeed it will fundamentally change the landscape for community college librarians in California. Then we will work on improved resource sharing, digital content, OER and the list goes on.
So welcome back to a fall semester that is going to be good work done for the benefit of our students as we build a better future for all of us. Please be aware that the Chancellor’s Office is releasing $115 million in support of OER, creating and sharing textbooks for our students to bring down the cost of attending college. This isn’t directly library related, but we should be aware and involved as much as possible because this will change the nature of college textbook expenses for all our students. What will our Reserve Circulation staff do when every student has every textbook they need for free?