ProQuest Supports HBCUs during Economic Crisis

Courtesy of ProQuest | 3/26/2009, 8:05 a.m.

HBCUs to Receive Free or Low-Cost Access to the Most Comprehensive Black Studies Database

To address the impact of the economic crisis on American Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), ProQuest is offering full-year subscriptions to its acclaimed Black Studies Center(TM) free of charge or at reduced rates to all HBCU libraries. Depending each school's full-time enrollment all participating HBCU libraries will enhance their interdisciplinary research and teaching with 50 percent discounted or free access to the Black Studies Center's foundational essays, full-text journals, multimedia, historic indexes, and the Chicago Defender, a premier Black newspaper of record.

"While these challenging economic times have a broad impact, the magnitude of the burden HBCU libraries are facing requires urgent action," said Marty Kahn, CEO of ProQuest. "Black Studies Center is a cornerstone resource -- a significant foundation for HBCU libraries in ensuring research goes on uninterrupted. As a partner to libraries and students, we're committed to ensuring access to it."
"This outstanding resource will be a tremendous asset to the libraries of Historically Black Colleges and Universities at a time of great need," Janice Franklin, University Dean of Library Services, Alabama State University, and board member of the HBCU Library Alliance. "Our students and faculty will have an opportunity to access valuable information about the history, culture, and contributions of African-Americans from a single, comprehensive, knowledge resource. We are indeed grateful to ProQuest for this remarkable gift that will serve our institutions as an important research tool for scholars seeking to learn the rich heritage of African-Americans, worldwide."

ProQuest is responding to customer reports of dire financial circumstances. The New York Times reported on the financial crisis facing America's HBCUs in February of 2009. The article notes that "historically black institutions have two significant disadvantages when it comes to weathering hard times: smaller endowments, which mean heavier reliance on tuition and fees, and a higher proportion of disadvantaged students who are now facing a credit crunch when they apply for loans."

HBCUs with full time enrollment of 2,000 or less, the group at the greatest financial risk, will receive one year's free access to Black Studies Center. HBCUs with higher than 2,000 will receive 50 percent off Black Studies Center's one-year subscription price if they order by December 15, 2009. Nearly half of all HBCU libraries qualify to receive free one-year subscription access.

A finalist for a 2009 CODiE Award, Black Studies Center is a digital core collection of primary and secondary sources that record and illuminate the Black experience, from ancient Africa through modern times. Students at HBCU libraries will have access to this comprehensive resource, which includes:

- Schomburg Studies on the Black Experience
- The Chicago Defender archive, 1910-
- International Index to Black Periodicals - Full Text
- Black Literature Index

For more information, HBCU librarians may contact their ProQuest representative at pqsales@proquest.com or 800-521-0600, ext. 3344.