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Alabama Virtual Library. Sue O. Medina Network of Alabama Academic Libraries for the Alabama State Department of Education 7 September 2007. Alabama Virtual Library. What is a Virtual Library ?.

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alabama virtual library

Alabama Virtual Library

Sue O. Medina

Network of Alabama Academic Libraries

for the

Alabama State Department of Education

7 September 2007

alabama virtual library1
Alabama Virtual Library

what is a virtual library
What is a Virtual Library ?
  • Core information supporting instruction and research for Alabama’s students, teachers, and citizens
  • Online access via the Internet
  • Scholarly, essential, authoritative content

everywhere but nowhere!

what is the vision for the alabama virtual library
What is the vision for the Alabama Virtual Library?
  • Every Alabamian will have access to the information resources available in Alabama libraries and other repositories as well as to a rich array of electronic information.
what is the vision for the alabama virtual library1
What is the vision for the Alabama Virtual Library?
  • Each Alabama library will serve as a gateway to make information available to all Alabamians regardless of location or time and via traditional and non-traditional means.
who created the alabama virtual library
Who created the Alabama Virtual Library?
  • Alabama’s virtual library is the result of years of advocacy
    • Sought formal endorsements
    • 1998 legislature appropriated “seed money” to develop the project
the advocacy campaign
The Advocacy Campaign
  • Developed a grassroots strategy
  • Established a consistent message
  • Trained AVL Advocates to use a consistent message
  • Established a “legislative tree”
  • Contacted newspaper editors
alabama virtual library message
Alabama Virtual Library Message
  • Equity - every citizen, student, and teacher will have access to core information needed for instruction, research, and lifelong learning
  • Economy - significant savings can be realized by negotiating state-wide licenses
  • Excellence - information content is appropriate, accurate, reliable, scholarly, and up-to-date
school library example 1998 state dept of ed survey
School library example(1998 State Dept. of Ed survey)
  • average number of print magazine subscriptions per school was 11

8000+ magazines and journals available online

  • average age of science books in Alabama school libraries was 19 years

AVL resources are current

campaign materials
Campaign Materials
  • Poster
  • Brochure
  • Postcards
  • Video
the advocacy campaign1
The Advocacy Campaign
  • 140,000 postcards
    • Distributed to librarians to obtain signatures in libraries/schools
    • Used with the brochure in presentations to PTA, Rotary, etc.
  • 80,000 postcards returned to the State House
how was the alabama virtual library established
How was the Alabama Virtual Library established?
  • Education Trust Fund; line item in APLS budget
  • No separate authorization bill
  • Funding
    • FY2000 Appropriations bill signed June, 1999
    • First databases accessible in August, 1999
    • Funding began on 1 October, 1999.
who governs the alabama virtual library
Who Governs the Alabama Virtual Library?
  • Alabama Commission on Higher Education
  • Alabama Department of Postsecondary Education
  • Alabama Public Library Service
  • Alabama State Department of Education
  • Alabama Supercomputer Authority
governor riley signing sb 393 alabama virtual library bill
Governor Riley signing SB-393Alabama Virtual Library Bill

07/29/2004 Photo Credit: Governor Staff - Kevin Glackmeyer

how are alabama virtual library funds used
How are Alabama Virtual Library funds used?
  • Information Content – licensed databases
  • AVL Help Desk
  • Training –very limited funds (printing)
  • Each state agency is responsible for supporting its constituents’ infrastructure needs


how do i use the alabama virtual library
How do I use the Alabama Virtual Library?
  • IP authenticated access via
    • academic members of the Network of Alabama Academic Libraries
    • all public two-year college libraries
    • all public school systems
    • all public libraries
  • Remote access using AVL Cards issued by Alabama public libraries, public school libraries, and two-year community colleges
how are databases selected for the alabama virtual library
How are databases selected for the Alabama Virtual Library?
  • Database Review Committee reviews products continually.
  • Databases must:

Support education purposes

Meet needs of a broad spectrum of users

Provide reliable, high-quality content

Represent good value for cost

Provide use data for management decisions

how are databases selected for the alabama virtual library1
How are databases selected for the Alabama Virtual Library?
  • AVL Council receives Database Review Committee evaluations
  • For favorably reviewed products, may refer to Database Negotiating Team for price quote and license review
  • Database Negotiating Team submits its recommendation to the AVL Council
what s next for the alabama virtual library
What’s next for the Alabama Virtual Library?
  • More content - always!
  • Federated search engine - has been suggested
  • Access to government and other high-quality advertising-free databases (e.g. PubMed)
  • Training – always an ongoing need
  • Alabama history resources: Alabama Mosaic
for more details
For More Details:

AVL Publications posted at

  • A Miracle for the Millenium: How the Alabama Virtual Library Governance Succeeds(reprinted with permission from The Alabama Librarian, a publication of the Alabama Library Association, Inc.)
  • Brochure
  • 2004-05 Annual Report
    • Annual Report
    • AVL Partners insert
    • AVL Resources insert
  • 2003-04 Annual Report
  • Postcard
  • Morgan, Josie. "Turning a Dream into a Virtual Reality of Statewide Information Sharing." Computers in Libraries. January 2001: 51-55. Academic Search Premier. EBSCOhost. Huntsville, AL. Alabama Virtual Library.19 July 2007 <>.