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Event Details

Negotiation Skills for Librarians

Negotiation Skills for Librarians

Negotiation skills are critical to your library's future

Electronic resources continue to bring major change to the provision of teaching and research information, hugely impacting the role and responsibilities of information professionals.

The rise of the licence, the demise of the ‘list price’, tailored deals, new rights and responsibilities, new users, and new ways of delivering, using and sharing information are all part of the evolving complexity.

At the same time, some things have not changed: publishers still seek to maximise usage, market presence and income, whilst libraries and consortia seek to best serve their users within the constraints of rising costs and pressured budgets.

In order to navigate these challenges- and make the most of the considerable opportunities - negotiation has become a fundamental part of the content acquisition process.

It follows that libraries and consortia need library staff with strong negotiation knowledge and skills.

This course has been created to fulfil this critical professional development need, informing and empowering librarians and information managers, growing their confidence and skills, and enabling them to gain the best from every negotiation.


This professionally facilitated course is designed to develop knowledge, skills and confidence in library staff who negotiate with publishers and other vendors for electronic resources.

The course is highly practical, delivering skills and knowledge which academic librarians and consortia members can apply immediately to on-going and future negotiations, both new deals and renewals.

Participants will:

  • Learn proven, highly practical negotiation skills and knowledge which they can use immediately in their professional life.
  • Learn The Four Cornerstones - four key strategies which underpin all successful negotiations.
  • Practice The Seven Habits - intelligent negotiation tactics which will help get the best deal possible, on pricing and on terms.
  • Apply these skills and knowledge to resolve realistic negotiation situations.
  • Share negotiation questions, challenges and concerns in a confidential and supportive environment.
  • Build confidence in relation to publisher negotiations.

If you are participating in the ALIA PD Scheme, you may claim 30 points for this activity in the Assessed Short Course category.


Week 1: Introduction & Overview

30 March. Webinar time 6-7pm AEDT

  • Course overview and learning goals.
  • Negotiation context and basics.
  • Common negotiation challenges.
  • The three main negotiation styles.
  • Perspectives: building confidence.
  • Week 1 Homework – What’s your perspective?

Week 2: Negotiation Strategy: Four Cornerstones

6 April. Webinar time 5-6pm AEST (N.B. Daylight savings time has now ended)

  • Introduce Four Cornerstones - key strategies which will strengthen and support your negotiations.
  • Explore how each cornerstone contributes to negotiation success.
  • Consider how you can incorporate these strategies further into your negotiation process.
  • Week 2 Homework: Exploring the Four Cornerstones.

Week 3: Negotiation Tactics Part 1

13 April. Webinar time 5-6pm AEST

  • Share three key tactics you need to employ for effective negotiations.
  • Explore how each supports you in each stage of the negotiation process.
  • Embed each of these tactics into your negotiation process.
  • Week 3 Homework: Integrating Negotiation Tactics 1-3.

Week 4: Negotiation Tactics Part 2

20 April. Webinar time 5-6pm AEST

  • Share four further key tactics you need to employ for effective negotiations.
  • Explore how each supports you in each stage of the negotiation process.
  • Embed each of these tactics into your negotiation process.
  • Explore the impact on negotiations of not deploying these tactics.
  • Week 4 Homework: Integrating Negotiation Tactics 4-7.

Week 5: Principles into Practice

27 April. Webinar time 5-6pm AEST

  • There is no webinar in Week 5: delegates undertake the Principles into Practice Challenge.
  • Working in groups (by phone, Skype, FaceTime etc.), students will apply knowledge and skills from the course to resolve a series of realistic mini negotiation scenarios.
  • Week 5 Homework: Sharing findings from the challenge in a private online learning environment.

Week 6: Bringing It All Together

4 May. Webinar time 5-6pm AEST

  • Review key learning from the Principles Into Practice Challenge.
  • Sharing best practice: six powerful questions to support you during the negotiation process.
  • Your key learning from this course.
  • Course feedback.

5 May. Webinar time 5-6pm AEST
An optional bonus webinar designed to build awareness, knowledge and skills about how our mindset impacts our confidence - and negotiation outcomes.


Negotiation Skills for Librarians has been developed for serials and acquisitions librarians and consortia members involved in the acquisition of electronic resources in academic institutions or on behalf of academic consortia.

Written at an introductory-intermediate level, the course is for those who are: new to negotiations or who have some negotiations experience and are seeking a ‘refresher’ and/or additional tips, skills and knowledge. It will also benefit those being trained to undertake purchasing roles in the future.

The course focuses on journals and other serially published content (although much of the learning is transferable to eBook and database acquisition).

Although the primary focus of the course is on e-resources acquisition in an academic environment, information/knowledge workers in public libraries and corporations are welcome. Equally, although the course is designed primarily for those new or relatively new to publisher negotiations, more experienced negotiators are welcome.

Participants report many practical benefits from variants of this course, including:

  • immediately saving their organisations money (often many thousands of dollars)
  • greater confidence when dealing with vendors
  • achieving more affordable, sustainable agreements
  • securing better licence terms
  • greater understanding of which areas can- and should - be negotiated
  • stronger sense of the areas they want to influence
  • greater confidence about the negotiation process as whole
  • serving teaching and research more effectively
  • enhancing the value and impact of the library


  • This course is delivered through six weekly live webinars (recordings will be made available if you are unable to participate live).
  • These live sessions will feature key skills and knowledge sharing plus group discussion and coaching.
  • Structured weekly homework exercises.
  • Discussion forums in the private learning environment.
  • Optional weekly 'buddying' sessions.
  • Opportunities to raise your own negotiation issues.
  • Practical handouts and other resources.


Sarah Durrant is a very experienced trainer and coach from the UK, and comes highly recommended to ALIA. She has conducted this course for hundreds of our library peers in the USA, Middle East and Europe.

Prior to coaching and training Sarah enjoyed a 23-year career, including management and executive level positions, in academic publishing, where she worked with publishers, university libraries, and technology companies. From 2002 she spent five years in international development, in part as a trainer.

She is a Certified Professional Co Active® Coach (CPCC), and also an Associate Certified Coach (ACC) and member of the ICF (International Coaching Federation).

More information

p. 1800 020 071

e. training@alia.org.au

N.B. To access the course at member prices please ensure you are logged in first. Institutions registering staff under the institution's ALIA membership should ensure those staff are listed under their membership before registering, or member pricing will not be applied to those individuals.(Go to My Profile/My Memberships/Members tab)

Cancellation Policy
Registrations up to 3 weeks prior = full refund
Registrations between 1-2 weeks prior = 50% refund
Registrations cancelled 1 week prior or later = no refund
Registrations can be transferred to other individuals at no cost (in the same registration category).

Contact training@alia.org.au for information.

Event details

Where: Online

When: 30 March - 5 May

Registrations Open: 11 Jan 17 12:00 AM

Registrations Close: 24 Mar 17 11:59 PM

Cost: $1,295 members, $1,620 non-members

Places Available: 6

Register now and secure your attendance

Registrations are closed