This following e-mail went out on NEBASE-L and CatExpress-L on October 10, 2008.
As some of you may already be aware, OCLC has decided to make major changes in its relationships with both its members and the existing networks. At a special meeting of network directors, OCLC revealed its new Partner Program and timeline. Under the program networks may submit proposals to become Partners within the limits of three basic levels: Billing, Marketing, and Training. All telephone and e-mail support of OCLC’s products and services will be taken over by an OCLC Support Center. The changes will take effect July 1, 2009.
What does this mean for NEBASE?
OCLC’s requirements and expectations are high for each Partner level, but the compensation for our small network would be much lower than what we currently receive. Therefore, after reviewing OCLC’s requirements and crunching the numbers, we have determined that it wouldn’t be financially sustainable for NEBASE to pursue a partnership with OCLC at any of the proposed levels.
NEBASE staff will continue to handle your OCLC renewals, ordering, billing, support, and training through June 30, 2009.
What does this mean for NEBASE members?
NEBASE members will have the option to go directly to OCLC for billing, ordering, etc., or they may go through a Partner. If Nebraska libraries choose to go through a Partner rather than OCLC, there will be no membership fees or additional costs charged by the Partner above the OCLC pricing with the exception of training registration fees. As we do not know yet which of the other existing networks will be OCLC Partners, at this time we cannot make recommendations to our members as to what will be their best option. When we have more information, we will pass it along.
After July 1, 2009, if Nebraska libraries wish to participate in group discount purchases of OCLC products such as CatExpress or WebDewey, the Nebraska Library Commission will handle the coordination of such purchases as it would with any other vendor.
Elections will not be held as usual in the spring of 2009 for NEBASE Advisory Council; the current members will continue to serve through June 30, 2009.
If you would like more details about OCLC’s Partner Program, feel free to contact Devra Dragos, or Christa Burns. Or, if you are attending the NLA/NEMA Conference in Lincoln next week, look us up at the Nebraska Library Commission booth.