Overview of the Consortium

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History and Overview of the Consortium 

In 1968, what was to become the Council of New Jersey College and University Library Deans, University Librarians and Directors formally organized under a slightly different name “in recognition of the need for closer cooperation” among academic libraries of public institutions in the state. Over time, this organization grew to include almost all academic libraries in the state. When VALE was formed in 1998, the Council was written into VALE’s Bylaws to provide oversight including responsibility to approve budgets, coordinate elections and approve changes to the Bylaws. 

These two separate but affiliated organizations worked together to build VALE and expand consortial efforts across the state. Virtually all academic libraries in New Jersey participated in both groups. It became apparent that these two organizations were traveling on converging paths, so in May 2006, the Council decided to examine the possibility of a merger with VALE. The following month, VALE indentified a merger as a strategic goal during that group’s Strategic Planning Retreat. 

After a good deal of research and consultation, it was recommended that the Council and VALE merge into a single consortium with a strong, clear voice, an active and committed membership, and a supportive and visionary leadership. 

The Council Constitution and VALE Bylaws were amended, and the merger was approved by both groups to take effect in June 2007. The former Council became the VALE Members’ Council carrying forward many of its same responsibilities. After 40 years and many incarnations, the Council continues to serve the New Jersey academic community extremely well. 

VALE is a grassroots organization with the goal of developing inter-institutional information connectivity and collaborative library application projects among New Jersey’s academic libraries. VALE’s objective is to help institutions meet the demands of students and faculty for access to scholarly materials. Through cooperation and leveraged purchasing, and through the use of collaboration and cutting edge technology, VALE seeks to provide a seamless network of access to shared electronic academic information resources throughout New Jersey. The New Jersey State Library and the New Jersey Library Association offer enthusiastic and continuing support. The VALE Consortium provides an extraordinary level of information access to academic resources in the state.

Year 1 1998 - 1999 (FY99)

VALE was created as New Jersey’s first statewide academic library consortium. Funded by New Jersey Higher Education Technology Infrastructure Bond funds, matching institutional dollars and a grant from the New Jersey State library, VALE offered subscriptions for four electronic databases to 45 members from all academic sectors.

A look at early plans

Year 2 1999 – 2000 (FY00)

Funded by a second grant from the New Jersey State Library and member institutions, subscription to 11 databases offered.

Year 3 2000 - 2001 (FY01)

Subscriptions increase to 18 databases with funding by member libraries and a #250,000 grant fro the New Jersey State Library. Membership rises to 49 institutions.

Year 4 2001 - 2002 (FY02)

Funding from the New Jersey State Library increased to $325,000. Combined with member library payments, this brought the database subscriptions to 28. Membership grows to 52 institutions. 

Year 5

2002 - 2003 (FY03)
Direct funding from the New Jersey State Library is eliminated due to state budget cuts. The State Library provides access for all VALE libraries to a general database through a state negotiated contract. All other subscriptions remain member supported.
VALE Strategic Goals 

Year 6

2003 - 2004 (FY04)
Three new databases are added for a total of 31. The general research database remains available to VALE libraries through the State Library. Membership remains at 52 institutions. VALE celebrates its 5th anniversary at the annual Users' Conference. 

Year 7

2004 - 2005 (FY05)
Seven new databases are added. The general research database continues to remain available to VALE libraries through the State Library. 

Year 8

2005 - 2006 (FY06)
Six new databases are added. A joint effort between VALE, NJLA and the New Jersey State Library successfully culminated in a $6 million legislative appropriation to the New Jersey State Library. Known as the New Jersey Knowledge Initiative, funds are being used to license science and business databases for VALE libraries and selected small businesses. The VALE Digital Media Committee negotiates with Films Media Group to provide discounted pricing of video content for VALE libraries.
Visions for VALE: Strategic Planning Retreat Report 

Year 9

2006 - 2007 (FY07)
Seven new databases are added. Funding for the New Jersey Knowledge Initiative continues to provide access to science and business databases through FY07. 

Year 10

2007 - 2008 (FY08)
Three new databases are added. Partial funding for the New Jersey Knowledge Initiative guarantees database support through February 2008. Membership grows to 53 institutions. 

Year 11

2008 - 2009 (FY09)
Three new databases are added as well as four databases previously funded by the New Jersey Knowledge Initiative. NJKI funding continues to support Academic Search Premier, Business Source Complete and ReferenceUSA.  The Digital Media Committee negotiates with three additional media distributors to provide consortial pricing for streaming content. VALE celebrates it’s 10th anniversary at the annual Users’ Conference. 

Year 12

2009 – 2010 (FY10)
One new database, The Chronicle of Higher Education, is added. The New Jersey State Library continues to fund Academic Search Premier, Business Source Premier and Reference USA as part of the New Jersey Knowledge Initiative. 

Year 13

2010 - 2011 (FY11)
For the first time since VALE's inception no new databases were added.  Membership remains stable at 53.  The New Jersey State Library continues to provide funding for Academic Search Premier, Business Source Premier and Reference USA.  Digital Media Committee offers include discounted pricing for streaming content from eleven media distributors. 

Year 14

2011 - 2012 (FY12)
The New Jersey State Library contintues to provide funding for Academic Search Premier, Business Source Premier and Reference USA.  Twenty three media distributors offer discounted pricing for streaming media content. 

Year 15

2012 - 2013 (FY13)
The New Jersey State Library contintues to provide funding for Academic Search Premier, Business Source Premier and Reference USA.  Digital Media Committee offers include discounted pricing for streaming content from eighteen media distributors. A Memorandum of Understanding between VALE & NJEDge regarding NJVid is signed.