VALE Overview and History
VALE is a grassroots organization with the goal of developing inter-institutional connectivity and collaborative library application projects among New Jersey’s academic libraries. VALE’s objective is to help institutions meet the demands of students and faculty for access to scholarly materials. Through cooperation and leveraged purchasing, and through the use of collaboration and technology, VALE seeks to provide a seamless network of access to shared electronic academic information resources throughout New Jersey. To this end, VALE is a subscribing partner in NJEdge, New Jersey’s information technology consortium for academic and research institutions. The New Jersey State Library and the New Jersey Library Association also offer enthusiastic and continuing support. The VALE Consortium provides an extraordinary level of information access to academic resources in the state.
In 1968, what was to become the Council of New Jersey College and University Library Deans, University Librarians and Directors formally organized under a slightly different name “in recognition of the need for closer cooperation” among academic libraries of public institutions in the state. Over time, this organization grew to include almost all academic libraries in the state. When VALE was formed in 1998, the Council was written into VALE’s Bylaws to provide oversight including responsibility to approve budgets, coordinate elections and approve changes to the Bylaws.
These two separate but affiliated organizations worked together to build VALE and expand consortial efforts across the state. Virtually all academic libraries in New Jersey participated in both groups. It became apparent that these two organizations were traveling on converging paths, so in May 2006, the Council decided to examine the possibility of a merger with VALE. The following month, VALE identified a merger as a strategic goal during that group’s Strategic Planning Retreat.
After a good deal of research and consultation, it was recommended that the Council and VALE merge into a single consortium with a strong, clear voice, an active and committed membership, and a supportive and visionary leadership.
The Council Constitution and VALE Bylaws were amended, and the merger was approved by both groups and took effect in June 2007. The former Council became the VALE Members’ Council carrying forward many of its same responsibilities. After 40 years and many incarnations, the Council continues to serve the New Jersey academic community extremely well.
Highlights of the past 19 years!
Two new ebook offers are negotiated on behalf of VALE members. Consortia Manager software is licensed to manage the database licensing and streamline processes. The New Jersey State Library continues to provide funding for Academic Search Premier, Business Source Premier for academic libraries.
An addendum to the VALE / NJEDge Memorandum of Understanding is signed. The New Jersey State Library generously continues to fund Academic Search Premier and Business Source Premier for member libraries. Database offerings remained stable; no new packages added in this cycle.
A Community College Caucus formed among the 2-year colleges to address matters of mutual interest. VALE becomes a Subscribing Partner of NJEDge in January 2015 and NJEDge begins serving as VALE’s fiscal agent. The New Jersey State Library generously continues to provide funding for Academic Search Premier, Business Source Premier. No new databases added.
A new strategic planning process is undertaken leading to a major restructuring of VALE committees. In preparation for the transfer of fiduciary responsibility, a Memorandum of Understanding between VALE and NJEDge signed. The New Jersey State Library maintains its support for academic library access for Academic Search Premier, Business Source Premier. Two new databases, CINAHL Plus with Full Text and CINAHL Complete added.
The New Jersey State Library continues to provide funding for Academic Search Premier, Business Source Premier and Reference USA. Digital Media Committee offers include discounted pricing for streaming content from eighteen media distributors. A Memorandum of Understanding  between VALE & NJEDge regarding NJVid is signed.
The New Jersey State Library continues to provide funding for Academic Search Premier, Business Source Premier and Reference USA. Twenty three (23) media distributors offer discounted pricing for streaming media content.
For the first time since VALE’s inception no new databases were added. Membership remains stable at 53. The New Jersey State Library continues to provide funding for Academic Search Premier, Business Source Premier and Reference USA. Digital Media Committee offers include discounted pricing for streaming content from eleven media distributors.
One new database, The Chronicle of Higher Education, is added. The New Jersey State Library continues to fund Academic Search Premier, Business Source Premier and Reference USA as part of the New Jersey Knowledge Initiative.
Three new databases are added as well as four databases previously funded by the New Jersey Knowledge Initiative. NJKI funding continues to support Academic Search Premier, Business Source Complete and ReferenceUSA. The Digital Media Committee negotiates with three additional media distributors to provide consortial pricing for streaming content. VALE celebrates its 10th anniversary at the annual Users Conference.
Three new databases are added. Partial funding for the New Jersey Knowledge Initiative guarantees database support through February 2008. Membership grows to 53 institutions.
Seven new databases are added. Funding for the New Jersey Knowledge Initiative continues to provide access to science and business databases through FY07.
Six new databases are added. A joint effort between VALE, NJLA and the New Jersey State Library successfully culminated in a $6 million legislative appropriation to the New Jersey State Library. Known as the New Jersey Knowledge Initiative (NJKI), funds are being used to license science and business databases for VALE libraries and selected small businesses. The VALE Digital Media Committee negotiates with Films Media Group to provide discounted pricing of video content for VALE libraries.
Direct funding from the New Jersey State Library is eliminated due to state budget cuts. The State Library provides access for all VALE libraries to a general database through a state negotiated contract. All other subscriptions remain member supported.
Funding from the New Jersey State Library increased o $325,000. Combined with member library payments, this brought the database subscriptions to 28. Membership grows to 52 institutions.
Subscriptions increase to 18 databases with funding by member libraries and a $250,000 grant from the New Jersey State Library. Membership rises to 49 institutions.
Funded by a second grant from the New Jersey State Library and member institutions, subscriptions to 11 databases offered to members.
VALE was created as New Jersey’s first statewide academic library consortium. Funded by New Jersey Higher Education Technology Infrastructure Bond funds, matching institutional dollars and a grant from the New Jersey State library, VALE offered subscriptions for four electronic databases to 45 members from all academic sectors.