Session Description

Reframing academic libraries requires contracts—for eresources but also for software, services, consortial memberships, and more. This workshop delivers a crash course in negotiating services and contracts favorable to your library.


Consortia, negotiation, contracts, wordsmithing


May 12th, 10:15 AM May 12th, 11:15 AM

What’s in a Contract? Wordsmithing Service Agreements for Better Outcomes

Jost Room

As more and more academic libraries outsource technology services and enter into cooperative consortial schemes with other organizations, librarians push into a minefield of contractual negotiations, obligations, and liabilities more complicated and consequential than the typical eresource licenses is. A poorly wordsmithed license may result in loss of access to journals, let's say, whereas becoming entangled in troubled consortia, watching an essential technology go offline during finals week, or getting audited by a vendor without contractual safeguards or recourse can produce much greater financial and administrative burdens. This presentation will deliver a crash course in negotiating service contracts favorable to libraries, focusing on legal terms and implications rather than traditional library clauses such as interlibrary loan or course reserves. Coverage will include contract terms and language to incorporate or avoid, guidance on wordsmithing vendor contracts, and excerpts from real-world contracts that participants will be able to workshop during the session. This engaging interactive session will add value for any librarian, administrator, or technologist who negotiates or manages any contracts of any kind.


To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.