MLS is embarking on a procurement process to attempt to bring as much online Massachusetts newspaper content as possible to member libraries. The MLS Executive Board and its Online Content Advisory Committee recommended that MLS seek all alternatives to provide access to these important resources. We have been in touch with the major content aggregators to ascertain the costs for this. It is likely that we will need to make this a true collaborative purchase by requesting that members pay part of the cost, in order to provide true statewide access. If true statewide access is not affordable, we will investigate other alternatives. If your library has access to a local newspaper online through another aggregator or directly with the paper (excluding linking to the paper’s open web site), please let me know.
MLS recently co-hosted an event with New England News Forum and Journalism That Matters on the Common Goals of Libraries and Journalism. We hope that partnerships that allow libraries/patrons to have access to important newspapers and other online local resources become more widespread. See our site for videos of the presentations.
In the meantime, we know some libraries are negotiating to provide direct access to local newspapers with various vendors. My suggestion, in addition to other contracting/licensing needs in your library, are to consider requesting the ability to receive a prorated refund (not credit) if a statewide license period overlaps with yours and that your library be licensed to use the content to fulfill interlibrary loan requests.