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Negotiations for Law Libraries

To assist ALLA members to prepare for negotiations and build negotiation skills we have collated a list of resources. 

Negotiation Skills Bibliography Sept 2018

A bibliography of websites, blogs, books and journal articles compiled by Robin Gardner was provided following an ALLA(Vic) lunchtime training session, Get Ready to Negotiate - A Panel Discussion held in September 2018

The bibliography can also be found on the ALLA website under Podcasts and Papers 


David Whelan - Explorations with information and technology

This blog has several articles on negotiation. 

An extract for example from the article A Working Relationship

The relationship is important.  It’s important to treat the people you buy or license things from in the same way you want to be treated.  Interpersonal skills 101.  But it’s still business.  I think sometimes libraries can put themselves at a disadvantage because they see themselves as having to accept something without having a countervailing position.


Negotiating contracts - not fun, but necessary

Susannah Tredwell

4 Jan 2016

SLAW- Canada's Online Legal Magazine


At the 2014 Special Libraries Association conference there was a session on “Win-Win Contract Negotiation”. During this session one of the speakers stated that if you didn’t like what the vendor was offering, you could always walk away. The audience’s reaction was that walking away was not always a realistic option in the library world. So if walking away if not an option, how can law librarians approach negotiations to get a result they’re happy with?


Negotiations in Law Libraries (2011) Private Law Libraries Special Interest Section, American Association of Law Libraries

This AALL Resource Guide was created to help guide law firm decision-makers and librarians through the steps of negotiation to achieve mutually satisfying results. It will help you to:

Prepare for the negotiation process by completing an eight-step checklist.

Keep the lines of communication open.

Work through difficulties to achieve the desired results.

Strengthen your negotiation skills.


Building Your Licensing and Negotiation Skills Toolkit

Claire Dygert & Heather Barrett (2016) Building Your Licensing and Negotiation Skills Toolkit, The Serials Librarian, 70:1-4, 333-342, DOI: 10.1080/0361526X.2016.1157008

This journal article reports on a half-day workshop on licensing and negotiation following the 30th Annual NASIG Conference.

Abstract: The advent of electronic resources brought about the need for license agreements between libraries and publishers. Many librarians today are new to licensing and negotiating with publishers, or have received limited training and education. Based on her years of licensing and negotiation experience, Clair Dygert of the Florida Virtual Campus (FLVC) provided librarians with practical advice and tools for working with licenses and negotiating with publishers, as well as encouragement for entering into these new areas. She included examples taken directly from FLVC's licensing guidelines and negotiation proposals and encouraged attendees to use those documents in creating their own local documents. She also drew on the book Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In by Roger Fisher and William Ury to describe principled bargaining as the most effective and constructive method of negotiation.


Tactics and Terms in the Negotiation of Electronic Resource Licenses

Brown, Kincaid C. "Tactics and Terms in the Negotiation of Electronic Resource Licenses," In Electronic Resource Management in Libraries: Research and Practice, edited by H. Yu and S. Breivold, 174-192. Hershey, PA: Information Science Reference, 2008

Kincaid C. Brown University of Michigan Law School,

Available at:

A book chapter: Abstract

This chapter introduces the reader to the realm of electronic resource license agreements. It provides the reader with an overview of basic contract law as it relates to electronic resource licensing. The chapter then discusses the electronic resource license negotiation process as well as license agreement term clauses. The aim of this chapter is to provide librarians with an understanding of basic licensing concepts and language in order to aid librarians in the review and negotiation of their own license agreements. The author hopes to impart lessons and tips he has learned in reviewing and negotiating license agreements with a number of publishers to further the awareness and understanding of licensing in the library community

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