Board extends library periodical subscription

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The contract with EBSCO is in the sixth year.

By REBECCA SALINAS

rsalinas191@student.alamo.edu 

The district board of trustees approved the purchase of periodical databases with EBSCO Information Services for the Alamo Colleges libraries during the regular board meeting Sept. 18.

The contract with EBSCO Information Services costs about $287,900 annually.

Library Director Eileen Oliver said the EBSCO purchase had to be approved by the board because it costs more than $50,000.

District rules require any purchase in excess of $50,000 has to be approved by the board.

“It’s nothing new,” Oliver said. “We’ve been subscribing to databases that are provided to us via EBSCO for many years.”

The library has had a contract with EBSCO for five years.

EBSCO provides more than 40 databases, such as Academic Search Complete.

Oliver said the library does not receive print periodicals anymore, but many now are online in databases.

Databases allow students and employees to search through hundreds of academic articles and journals.

Professors prefer students use databases instead of search engines because they are more reliable.

Oliver said she expects the annual board approval to continue.

She said librarians select databases based on what students need most for their classes.

This year, the library’s material budget is $469,000, which Oliver said “held steady” from the previous year’s budget.

“We’re kind of maintaining this year,” Oliver said.

The minute order states that services include electronic and print resource access, as well as management to more than 375,000 periodicals, manuscripts and journal listings.

Students will be able to search the database by title, ISSN, language, publisher and subject.

The minute order states library staff will, “spend more time assisting students by reducing the administrative tasks associated with ordering, maintaining and renewing e-resources, subscriptions and publishers’ license terms.”

The Ranger reported in March that the college library did not repurchase databases cut in 2010-11.

For fiscal year 2011-12, this library had a budget of $450,000, which was spent on books and other material; $135,000 of that was spent on books for general circulation.

Because of budget cuts last year, the library’s budget plummeted to $330,000 from $620,000 the previous year.

A total of 25 databases were cut in the 2011 and 2012 fiscal years, equaling $79,153.34.

Among the cuts were NewsBank, which cost $17,340 and EBSCO’s PsycArticles, at a cost of $10,598.

Gov. Rick Perry cut state agency budgets by 10 percent in 2010, but the college was instructed to cut an additional 2.5 percent in January 2011.

In 2011, the state deficit grew to $27 billion from an original estimate of $15 billion.

Databases can be accessed at www.alamo.edu/sac/library. Off-campus access requires a Banner ID.

For more information, call the reference desk at 210-486-0554 or visit the library website.

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