Licensing Electronic Resources in Academic Libraries: A Practical Handbook. By Corey S. Halaychik and Blake Reagan. Cambridge, UK: Chandos, 2018. 184 p. Paper $55.27 (ISBN 978-0-0810-2107-1).

Within overall collections budgets in many academic libraries, electronic resources account for 75 percent to 90 percent of the entire budget. Given this financial commitment, there is a clear value to having a robust practitioner-directed literature for electronic resource management. Such a literature exists, and the authors of this volume seek to differentiate themselves by emphasizing the licensing process as a critical component of electronic resource management. The partnership of a librarian (Halaychik) with a legal and procurement expert (Reagan) does afford readers with a holistic institutional overview of the licensing process.

The introductory chapter of this handbook covers license fundamentals and offers a pitch for the benefits of using a master agreement. Authors include both a sample master agreement and a mock license, both with added commentary. This is one of the most useful portions of the text, particularly for anyone new to licenses. The second chapter is a discussion of process improvement strategies and the potential benefits to a licensing workflow. While the points of this discussion are valid, this may be a longer chapter than most practitioners are looking for in a handbook on electronic resources licensing. The remaining three chapters cover the details that most readers will be seeking. These topics are licensing law, the layout and life cycle of licenses, and negotiation. The section on negotiation is one of the strongest contributions of the book. This section, coupled with the analysis and commentary of a typical license agreement, will offer the most value for readers.

This title will be of greatest benefit to newer electronic resources professionals who would like a primer and reference guide. More experienced professionals, already familiar with electronic resources and licensing, will not be able to draw much new from this volume. A key problem with this text is that Chandos Publishing does not serve the authors well in terms of copyediting. As one problematic example, the authors recommend A Manual of Style for Contract Drafting on page 95, though notes referring to an elusive “MSCD” begin as early as page 15. In structural terms, some of the introductory material and the final three chapters could be collated together to keep more of the license nuts and bolts discussions together and less redundant. On the whole, this book will have a place for some practitioners, but it does not rise to the level of must-have for every electronic resources professional.—George Gottschalk, Acquisitions Specialist, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, Illinois


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