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August 10, 2009

More about Switch from EBSCO to Gale


Not surprisingly, the official announcement about the switch from EBSCO to Gale has generated many questions.  I’ll try to answer them here, but feel free to contact me if you still have questions after reading this.

How will I access the Gale databases?
K-12 access to the subscription databases will still be through OSLIS.  We are working to update the site by the time school starts and will post to this listserv when it is ready.  In the meantime, you can explore the databases on this transition website:

Will my user name and password change?
No.  Gale is confident that by September 1st they can implement the same authentication system we used with EBSCO.  That means that if your IP address / range was on file so that you did not have to log in from school when using EBSCO, that should still be true when using Gale.  Also, your user name and password used for remote access will stay the same.

Is this still free?
Yes.  In the past, K-12 access was partly paid by an LSTA grant that helps fund the entire Statewide Database Licensing Program and partly supplemented through ODE.  Under the current contract, the LSTA grant alone covers the cost of access to the subscription databases for all Oregon libraries.

What if my library already subscribes to some of these Gale databases?
A Gale representative should be in touch with you about a credit. 

Will there be training?
Yes.  We are developing a schedule of webinars and site trainings.  In the meantime, you can use the Guided Tour and Learn More links on the transition website:

Which Gale databases have the info I used to access through EBSCO?
On the transition site, there is a link to a document that compares what you were using in EBSCO to what you should now use with Gale.  The link is in the resources box on the left side of the screen.  Currently it is called Database Transitions Document, but we’re asking Gale to change it to something like Database Comparisons: Gale & EBSCO.

What is the transition website?
Gale set up a website giving us access to the databases before our contract starts in September:  Those who want may explore and start learning the new interfaces.  For the transition site only, no user name or password is required.  Once school starts, you will access Gale through OSLIS just like you used to do with EBSCO.

Why change at all?
The Statewide Database Licensing Program provides access to subscription databases to Oregon libraries, and vendor contracts are awarded for five years at a time.  In anticipation of the EBSCO contract ending in August, the Statewide Database Licensing Advisory Council met over the last year and a half to develop an RFP (Request for Proposal) and then to review the submitted proposals.  Any vendor that met the basic requirements in the RFP advanced to the review stage.  Over 35 librarians representing academic, public, tribal, and K-12 libraries helped evaluate the database package proposals, and Gale received the highest score during that process.  The LSTA committee (Library Services and Technology Act = federal grant money) and the Oregon State Library Board both voted to move forward with negotiations with Gale based on their having received the highest score during the review process.  The State Procurement Office was involved with the entire process because of the size of the contract, and negotiations were completed on July 31st

Hope this helps.


Jennifer Maurer
School Library Consultant
Library Development
Oregon State Library
250 Winter Street NE
Salem, OR  97301-3950