37 Association of Research Libraries Research Library Issues 292 2017 Failure or Perseverance? A Case Study of a Legislative Initiative by the Utah Academic Library Consortium Peter L. Kraus, Associate Librarian, J. Willard Marriott Library, The University of Utah, and Legislative Advisor, Utah Academic Library Consortium Introduction In 2015, I was asked to help organize a legislative initiative for the Utah Academic Library Consortium (UALC). UALC was established in 1971 as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that consists of all public and private academic libraries in accredited institutions of higher education in the state of Utah. Although the two private institutional members of UALC do not receive public money for database purchases, they do qualify for price breaks on consortium purchases. The UALC board is composed of the deans and directors of each of these institutions. As the consortium notes, “UALC members work together to enhance resources provided to Utah’s higher education communities.”1 The proposed initiative was, and still is, to increase the budget allocation that all public colleges and universities in UALC receive from the state of Utah. The state legislature finalizes the budget appropriations during a six-week legislative session in late winter each year. I was asked to participate and take the lead to plan this initiative because of my involvement in local politics over the last decade. In 2014, I ran unsuccessfully for a seat in the Utah State House and I am familiar with the political players and political culture of the state. In the past, legislative initiatives by UALC were mostly informal public relations campaigns. During the late 1990s and up to the recession of 2008, these initiatives were moderately successful in educating state lawmakers as to the importance of purchasing electronic resources for academic libraries via a consortium.
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