The Future of the Big Deal

October 18 and 19, 2011
Hosted by Rebecca Kemp and Rob Van Rennes

The economic downturn has forced many libraries to take a hard look at their “Big Deal” packages and reconsider whether it makes sense to continue with this type of purchasing model. Some have advocated for ending the large publisher packages as a cost-savings measure while others have argued that the vast amounts of content and the predictability of set pricing is too important to end. In this e-forum we hope to foster the debate on the pros and cons of the Big Deal in an effort to help familiarize librarians with the issues as they make their own assessments on the continuation of their publisher packages. Please join us for what we hope is a lively discussion on this current hot topic.

Topics will include:

  • The advantages and disadvantages of current library Big Deal packages.
  • The case for maintaining a Big Deal if certain modifications or improvements can be made.
  • Information librarians should possess before negotiating with publishers.
  • Considerations librarians should be mindful of when contemplating ending publisher packages.
  • The potential difficulties in extracting your institution from a Big Deal.
  • Alternative business models that could replace the Big Deal.
  • Pay-per-view access to non-subscribed titles: a viable alternative to the Big Deal?
  • Advice on canceling a Big Deal and unexpected consequences.
  • The impact of canceling on faculty and other users.
You must be a subscriber to view the archive. Learn how to subscribe and manage your subscription. It's quick and easy.

Who Should Attend

Anyone with an interest in the topic can benefit from this session and is welcome to participate.


Rebecca Kemp is the E-Resources Acquisitions Librarian for University Library at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and she was previously the Serials Coordinator Librarian at University of North Carolina Wilmington from 2004-2009. Her current responsibilities include reviewing e-resource licenses and managing e-resource acquisitions workflows. Rebecca has served on state and national committees that provide continuing education in the field of e-resource and serials librarianship, and she has spoken at several venues about various aspects of e-resource management, including MARC record services, e-resource usage statistics, and the presentation of e-resources in online catalogs.

Rob Van Rennes is an Acquisitions Librarian at the University of Iowa where he oversees the Electronic Resources staff. He is currently serving as the chair of the ALCTS CRS Acquisitions Committee and is actively involved with the North American Serials Interest Group (NASIG). Rob holds Bachelor degrees in History and German from the University of Northern Iowa and a MA in Library and Information Science from the University of Iowa.


How to Register

You must be a subscriber to view the archive. Learn how to subscribe and manage your subscription. It's quick and easy.

Tech Requirements

Email account with an Internet connection.




If you have trouble subscribing to the discussion list or have questions, please contact Or, contact e-Forum Coordinator, Kristin Martin,