Tuesday, September 08, 2009

AVL Database Cuts Due to Funding Shortage

The picture above says it all: A world of knowledge at your fingertips by way of computer. This is what the Alabama Virtual Library (AVL) is synonymous with, and it has served many Alabamians well since its inception in 1999.

The AVL was created so that the poorest and most rural schools in Alabama would have the same access to educational information as the most wealthy districts. Sadly, because of funding shortages, the Alabama Virtual Library Executive Council had to make some difficult decisions deciding which databases to cut. Even with AVL vendors agreeing to reduce their pricing, many cuts were inevitable. Annual usage, trends, and an overlap of resources are just some of the criteria the Council used to make their decision.

As of October 1, 2009 the AVL will no longer have access to:

OCLC FirstSearch databases
CAMIO - Catalog of Art Mursum Images Online
Clase and Periodica
Electronic Collections Online
GPO Monthly Catalog
World Almanac
WorldCat Dissertations

H.W. Wilson's Biography Reference Bank

SIRS Knowledge Source databases
SIRS Issues Researcher
SIRS Government Reporter
SIRS Renaissance

Britannica's add-on databases
World Data Analyst
Annals of American History
Enciclopedia Juvenil
Enciclopedia Universal en EspaƱol

In addition to the above resources not being renewed, EBSCO's Academic Search Premier will be downgraded to Academic Search Elite.

As mentioned above, usage was an important gauge of deciding which databases had to go. Since funding to libraries and other educational institutions continues to decline, it's important for citizens to use and promote these wonderful databases available through the AVL and your local libraries. Regardless of these cuts, AVL will continue to provide excellent services to the citizens of Alabama.

If you have used the AVL databases or just want to express the importance of keeping them, please drop your representative a note thanking him or her for providing this resource.

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