May 20, 2022

Highlights From: “The Survey of Library Database Licensing Practices, 2014-15 Edition”

Recently published by The Primary Research Group.

The Survey of Library Database Licensing Practices, 2014-15 Edition:

The report looks closely at how libraries organize their database procurement and processing bureaucracy, pinpointing the number of positions devoted to digital information, and staff time spent on tasks such as procurement and invoice processing.  The report is particularly rich in data about negotiations with vendors, presenting data separately for efforts to negotiate various issues such as interlibrary loan provisions, access to archives in the event of cancellation, timing of payments, price increases, provisions for credits in the event of downtime, extent of hard copy printouts allowed, and much more.

Selected Highlights From the Report

  • The libraries in the sample spent a mean of $917,897 on database licenses in 2013. Spending by libraries in the sample on databases rose considerably in 2014 to a mean of $997,709, or an annual increase of approximately 8.7%.
  • The mean number of digital information licenses maintained by the libraries in the sample in 2013 was a mean of 68.6 with a median of 30; the range was 0 to 320.
  • 25.3% of the libraries sample had tried to negotiate over the extent of hard copy printouts allowed.
  • College and university libraries had the most success in negotiating price reductions when data shows declining use of a database; 8.33% of them said that they were often successful and another 37.5% were successful occasionally in negotiating price reductions in these circumstances
  • The survey participants used lawyers from within or outside of their organizations for contract review or disputes for a mean of only 18.58 hours in the past year.

An excerpt from the report is also available at no charge.

Learn More, Table of Contents, and Order/License Info for the Complete Report

Also Recently Published by PRG

Academic Library Use of Ebooks

Selected Highlights From the Report

  • eBooks accounted for a mean of 18.44% of titles ordered from academic presses.
  • The annual change in spending on eBooks through a model that grants unlimited patron use for a specified subscription period was 27.42%.
  • Libraries of colleges that charge more than $20,000 in tuition annually made 20.36% of their eBook orders directly from publishers
  • For libraries in colleges with more than 7,000 students, the mean increase in patron use of eBooks was 62.2% and the median increase of 25%.
  • 33.33% of libraries surveyed said that eBooks were not used for course reserve at all

An excerpt (six pages; PDF) from the report is also available at no charge.

Learn More, Table of Contents, and Ordering Info for the Complete Report

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.