Recent developments in the newspaper business are going to force some major changes in the selection of newspapers currently available in the Ohio Web Library collection.
ProQuest has signed an exclusive contract to sell the content of 85 Gannett daily newspapers beginning July 1; the ProQuest press release about this new deal is here: http://www.proquest.com/en-US/aboutus/pressroom/09/20090407.shtml
This means 9 of the 15 newspapers in our current NewsBank "Ohio Newspapers" collection will soon be exclusive to ProQuest: the Cincinnati Enquirer, Chillicothe Gazette, Coshocton Tribune, Lancaster Eagle-Gazette, Marion Star, Port Clinton News Herald, Mansfield News Journal, Fremont News-Messenger, and Zanesville Times Recorder. NewsBank will no longer be able to provide them to us after July 1.
The loss of the Enquirer is particularly troublesome, since that is the third-largest Ohio newspaper. The Libraries Connect Ohio partners therefore contacted ProQuest to request a quote for replacement of at least some of the Gannett papers in our collection. ProQuest's official response:
"Due to business circumstances with Gannett content, we are unable to offer consortia-level discounted pricing for Gannett news titles at this time. We will reach out to individual libraries in all markets to provide Gannett title pricing."
In other words, they will not sell to the statewide Libraries Connect Ohio partners, intending instead to sell directly to individual libraries.
Meanwhile, the Libraries Connect Ohio partners continue to deal with state budget cuts and "spending controls" that will affect our ability to purchase databases next year. At yesterday's LCO meeting, we decided to rely on our current subscription to EBSCO Newspaper Source for delivery of major articles from national and Ohio newspapers, and have requested pricing from NewsBank for complete coverage of the largest Ohio newspapers (excluding Cincinnati, of course). We hope to have enough money left in our coffers to be able to afford a few of these, but probably won't know which ones until late May or June, as we fine-tune the balance of the Ohio Web Library funding between state and federal sources.
Libraries that wish to have complete local newspaper content available online to the public should take steps to purchase this content themselves after July 1, unless they are served by the Columbus Dispatch, the Cleveland Plain-Dealer, the Dayton Daily News, or the Toledo Blade (Ohio Web Library might be able to provide some of those statewide, depending on the pricing.) Christine Morris at OHIONET is willing to negotiate with vendors to arrange pricing for individual libraries. If you want to deal directly with NewsBank or ProQuest, we recommend you start by contacting Ren Dimond at NewsBank or Barbara Brazis-Lang at ProQuest.