I wrote a while back about my favorite MeL Databases. The Michigan eLibrary has negotiated new contracts for databases, and there are some significant changes to what will be offered starting in October. I'm happy to report that only one of my top ten has been cut!
Starting in October, MeL databases will include (those included in my top ten are bolded):
-Academic OneFile with eCollections
-Biography & Genealogy Master Index
-Books & Authors
-Business and Company Resource Center
-Gale Virtual Reference Library
-General OneFile with eCollections
-Health and Wellness Resource Center and Alternative Health Module
-Health Reference Center Academic
-Nursing Resource Center with Alternative Health Module
-Opposing Viewpoints in Context
-Small Business Resource Center
-Lansing State Journal
-LearningExpress Library (inc. Basic Computer Skills)
-Job & Career Accelerator
-Grand Rapids Press
-Traverse City Record Eagle
NetLibrary is not listed, but the titles included in that database were purchased by the Library of Michigan, so they aren't going away.
The one from my top ten list that got cut was WorldCat. I did use it and I did like it, but I can work with this cut. Between Worldcat.org and the Library of Congress, I can get most of the information I was getting from the WorldCat database. I had been using WorldCat to look up library holdings to see how plausible an inter-library loan might be, and to look up Dewey call numbers and subject headings for new and forthcoming titles (to see if they fall into the collections I select for). I also used WorldCat in some of my freelance work to find other books under the same subject headings.
I'm also happy to see that both the Grand Rapids Press and the Traverse City Record Eagle are available through NewsBank. (Were they before?? I don't even know!) I only care now because my library was subscribing to both titles in print, and they were among the subscription cancellations I just made. Anyone who was reading the print copies can still have access via NewsBank (as well as the web sites for both titles for browsing current articles.)
The new additions that I'm most excited about are CultureGrams and Opposing Viewpoints, which my library was subscribing to directly. I'm also glad to see eLibrary added, since I love eLibrary Elementary so much. I have one complaint, and that is that at least some of the companies are only offering credit to libraries who already paid for databases directly that have now been added to MeL. Many libraries would rather be reimbursed.
I know a lot of libraries are concerned about the loss of NoveList. I like NoveList, but I am fortunate to work in a library with a budget that can probably pay for it directly (especially now that we don't have to pay for CultureGrams or Opposing Viewpoints). Deals are being made with consortia around the state so that there are discount options available to libraries who still want to subscribe to NoveList. The content is largely available through Books and Authors, although the interface of the two databases is significantly different. Libraries who can not afford to subscribe to NoveList directly will still have access to Books and Authors, so their patrons do still have an option for a readers advisory-type database.
How are you all feeling about these changes?