Welcome to the new NERL website! Since its inception in 1996 NERL has seen tremendous growth both in its membership and in the number of resources licensed. What started as a consortium of 12 core members negotiating for few resources has grown to a consortium of 30 core members in negotiation with scores of resource providers. To reflect this growth NERL is rebranding with a new logo, and a renewed mission and vision. Why the change? At its inception all members of the NorthEast Research Libraries Consortium were, of course, in the North Eastern United States. Throughout the years institutions such as Stanford University, University of Notre Dame, Duke University, University of Miami and Vanderbilt University joined the consortium as core members. As such, the term “NorthEast” no longer correctly describes the consortium. Just as many other organizations have done – think of OCLC, JISC and NASIG- we to have gone to only an acronym – NERL.
The new NERL logo, which can be found on the upper left hand corner of the website, reflects the rebranding. The circling of the R and L now represent our focus on research libraries (and no longer on the NorthEast), and the nodes in the circle represent connections to each other and electronic resources. Along with the rebranding comes a new mission and vison:
Mission Statement: A national leader in negotiated licensing, NERL maximizes effective and sustainable access to content for its member institutions. By building and supporting alliances between higher education and the information industry, NERL serves as an advocate for the collective power and influence of academic libraries and their parent institutions.
Vision Statement: A unified force for change in the national and international scholarly communications landscape, NERL will stimulate and incubate innovative and transformative approaches to the global dissemination of knowledge.
With the changes in the scholarly communication ecosystem and the momentum within NERL it was time for the core membership to decide how it would see its mission and vision evolving over the next few years.
In that vein our core membership held a full day meeting in June of 2018 facilitated by Brian Schottlaender of re:work library consulting. The result was a document with a wealth of ideas, and new mission and vision statements. Throughout the day, we identified topics that required further engagement from the membership and establish committees to tackle these issues. The topics requiring more input were: improving communication inside and outside the organization, more effective means of negotiations, and deciding on whether NERL should pursue new types of resources. In the near future NERL will also be crafting its approach to open access and will be solidifying ways to work more closely with CRL in negotiating primary source materials.
Every few months you will see a new blog post from a NERL core member here on the landing page and a featured core member on the “Members” page. Featured as our first “Member Spotlight” is Joan Emmet from Yale University. Joan has played an integral part in NERL and we would like to shine a spotlight on her accomplishments.
Our momentum is stronger than ever and we have a lot to say about the changing nature of the scholarly world. Please stayed tuned in to our new site.