LJ logo
About LJ | Content | Newsletters | Events | Professional Development


To continue in their mission to enrich the lives of their patrons and the community, libraries are continually challenged to manage complex workflows, work with decreasing budgets, and balance the changing needs of their patrons. Each month, Libraries Unbound focuses on a key theme in the library industry, offering insights from librarians for librarians to address best practices and different perspectives on the changing industry.

This month focuses on the value of subscription agents for academic libraries.

What Does the Right Subscription Agent Look Like for Your Library?

imageMost librarians know life is easier with a subscription agent, but not all of them are aware of how to make the most of that relationship. The majority of academic libraries use an agent in some capacity and there are many ways subscription agents contribute to the information supply chain. Agents increase efficiencies and some increase student engagement when used to purchase their e-journals and e-journal packages. Consortia also benefit from workflow efficiencies throughout the e-package management process.

Librarians understand the steps involved in journal acquisition are myriad: licensing, registration, authentication, data input, adding it to the knowledge base, making it discoverable and much more. It is a highly specialized job ...


EBSCO WEBCAST: 2017 Library Journal Serials Pricing Article

EBSCO webcastBudget planning for library materials is both a science and an art. As library collections shift increasingly to online, navigating changes in print funding and pricing models has become more complex and difficult to follow.

Since 1993, the annual Library Journal serials pricing article has been a trusted tool in library budget forecasting as well as a key benchmark for evaluating current funding. In this webinar, authors of the 2017 article shared their methodology for gathering the data and writing the article and discussed how the statistics and trends identified in the article may be applied in your library.


Five Ways Libraries Can Research the Financial Stability of Vendors


posted by Allen Powell, Insights & Research, Nov 30, 2016

Company financial stability was ranked as the most important consideration when making a vendor change or vendor consolidation by those responding to the recent EBSCO Library Budgeting and Trends Survey. In order to properly assess potential financial risk to an institution, librarians and procurement managers within the institution’s purchasing department should conduct financial due diligence. This financial investigation should be done on both current vendors and any potential new vendors under consideration. Allen Powell, executive vice president of operations and finance, EBSCO Information Services, recommends five research tactics that can be helpful during the evaluation process....

Questions to Ask When Evaluating a Subscription Agent

posted on Insights & Research, Nov 19, 2015

Subscription agents have been around for many years, but what does it take to do the job well, and what sets one agent apart from another?

An agent’s job is very specialized, and requires current technology as well as skilled staff with expertise. Overall, the agent should be one who can be entrusted with your institution’s financial resources, and an expert who reduces the administrative workload, helps with management tasks, and provides a convenient and reliable method of purchasing all types of content from all over the world. You may also find it important to choose an agent who offers not only subscription services, but also a range of access and management tools, offering a holistic solution for information management....

EBSCO Journal & E-Package Services

EBSCO is the leading provider of electronic journals & books for libraries, with subscription management for more than 360,000 serials, including more than 57,000 e-journals, as well as online access to more than 950,000 e-books. EBSCO Information Services is a division of EBSCO Industries Inc., a family owned company since 1944.


AAAS publishes six respected peer-reviewed journals—Science, Science Signaling, Science Translational Medicine, Science Advances, Science Immunology, and Science Robotics—and is dedicated to advancing science for the benefit of all people.


GOBI® Library Solutions from EBSCO, formerly YBP Library Services, offers over 13 million print and e-books to academic, research and special libraries worldwide. From streamlining workflows to partnering with library staff, GOBI Library Solutions is committed to providing the best solution for libraries’ acquisition, collection development and technical service needs.


Each month, a new theme will be added to this Libraries Unbound, and during the month, fresh content will be added to each theme.

Supply your email address below to receive updates whenever new content is added.



Do you have suggestions for themes we should be covering in Libraries Unbound? Or feedback about the themes we are covering? Or would you like to contribute materials we could add to these pages? We want to hear from you. Just take a few minutes to fill out the form below, and somebody will get back to you.