Cancellation of LearningExpress Statewide Contract

January 19, 2023

Hi Folks, 

The message below from Buzzy Nielsen, my supervisor, went out on OSLIST but not on the OASL listserv. I'm sending it to both listservs so I can add a clarification.

For those on either of the listservs, I want to highlight the fact that we will continue to have access to LearningExpress Library (LEL) through October 31, 2023. That means you will have full access through this school year (and a bit into next school year). For example, LEL’s AP test preparation materials will still be available when needed this spring. In May, I will add a note in the LearningExpress section on the OSLIS Find Information pages (elem, sec) indicating that statewide access to LEL will end on November 1, 2023. 


Jen Maurer
School Library Consultant
State Library of Oregon 

From: AL-Directors On Behalf Of NIELSEN Buzzy * SLO via AL-Directors
Sent: Thursday, January 19, 2023 12:28 PM
To: Public Library Directors announcement list; Tribal Library Directors announcement list; Academic Library Directors announcement list; OSLIST; Kids-Lib; OYAN
Subject: [AL-Directors] Cancellation of LearningExpress statewide contract 

Hi Oregon library folks, 

Library Support & Development Services at the State Library of Oregon wants to give the library community notice that we intend to cancel our statewide contract to LearningExpress Library. Libraries will no longer have access to this resource effective November 1, 2023, unless you choose to subscribe individually. We plan to shift the funds we save from the cancellation into programs that help support library access for communities that are underserved; assist libraries’ efforts around equity, diversity, inclusion, and antiracism (EDIA); and position libraries as key institutions helping close the digital divide. 

LearningExpress is one of two suites of resources we subscribe to for Oregon libraries as part of the Statewide Database Licensing Program (SDLP). Once cancelled, LearningExpress will no longer be available through your library’s individual account, via the Libraries of Oregon portal, or on OSLIS. This decision does not affect our subscription to the Gale/Cengage suite. 

We based this decision primarily on changing priorities communicated to us by the library community during the recent planning process to create our Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) 2023-27 Plan. During the extensive data gathering, we heard loud and clear from you about where we should focus our time and resources in the upcoming five years: breaking down systemic barriers; closing the digital divide; supporting students, youth, and lifelong learners; building relationships to foster community; and ensuring that libraries have the training and resources you need. 

Most of Library Support’s work, including statewide databases, is funded by the $2.6 million of federal LSTA money we receive annually. For context, that is approximately the budget of an Oregon public library serving around 50,000 people. We use those funds to support the over 1,600 academic, public, school, special, and tribal libraries in Oregon. LSTA monies fund nearly all our significant programs: statewide databases, Answerland, OSLIS, Northwest Digital Heritage, our consulting staff, continuing education, and more. 

Alas, this small (but mighty!) level of funding means we can’t do all the things. To focus on our new priorities, we have to shift funds from other programs. Statewide databases currently account for a third of our LSTA funding, by far the single largest portion of the LSTA budget. It’s one of the few places from which we can shift funds without getting rid of entire programs. While LearningExpress’ academic, career, and computer test and skills resources are undeniably valuable, its usage statewide is much lower compared to other State Library-provided databases and programs. Also, as colleges and universities reduce their reliance on standardized testing for admissions, some of LearningExpress’ resources will become less useful. 

We have great plans for these freed-up funds, though! As I mentioned, these monies will be directed toward projects to help Oregon libraries break down systemic barriers and close the digital divide. Pending State Library Board, Governor, and legislative approval, these funds will be used to 

  • Hire a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Consultant to support libraries around EDIA and access for underserved communities;
  • Expand the work of Northwest Digital Heritage;
  • Provide new mini-grant programs; and
  • Digitize content for and about tribal communities in Oregon.

Some of you may be interested in having a LearningExpress subscription on your own or within your consortium. We are announcing this cancellation early to give you a chance to build that expense into next year’s budget. If you are interested in that option, please reach out to the contacts from EBSCO listed below. Again, libraries' access to the state subscription will end on November 1, 2023. More information about LearningExpress is on EBSCO’s website

Schools & Public library contacts 

Jason High
Regional Sales Manager
(503) 327-9773 

Jonathan Dobson
Account Executive
(978) 414-0714

Academic library contacts

George Dragich
Regional Sales Manager
(978) 414-0388

Bob Nickerson
Account Executive
(978) 414-0524 

I’m sure this announcement may come as a surprise to you, so please feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions, comments, or concerns. As all of you know, it’s never easy to stop providing a service to your community. Nonetheless, I speak on behalf of all Library Support staff in saying that we’re really excited about the new directions you’ve pointed us in to better support all of you. Thank you all for making Oregon libraries great! 


Buzzy Nielsen, MPP, MSI (he/him/his)
Program Manager, Library Support & Development Services
State Library of Oregon