About Marvel!

Thousands of magazines, newspapers and reference books are now available online in all libraries and schools, and from any Internet- connected computer anywhere in the state of Maine.

What is MARVEL!?
MARVEL! provides every resident of Maine with access to a collection of full text and abstracts from magazines, newspapers and reference books that are credible, reputable resources. MARVEL! also provides students, business people, public library patrons, and higher education students and educators the ability to search a number of resources at one time for needed information. The print value of the resources provided in these databases would be in excess of $500,000 per library!

One example of cost savings is as follows:

  • Maine has 214 schools (public and private) that contain grades 9-12.
  • If one of these schools were to purchase just the EBSCO resources contained in MARVEL!, it would cost that school $16,800.
  • If all of these 214 Maine schools purchased just the EBSCO materials on their own, the total cost would be $3,595,200.

The collaboration between the Maine State Library, the University of Maine, the State Legislature, and MTEAF (Maine Telecommunications Educational Access Fund) that funds the state-wide licensing of these resources for every library and resident of Maine is a truly cost-effective service that can benefit every Maine citizen.

How can I use MARVEL! from home?
Remote users (from home or other non-library sites) can access MARVEL! by entering the following web address: http://www.maine.gov/marvel

Since free information can be found on the Internet, why is the state paying for Marvel!?
MARVEL! provides content that is more reliable and relevant than what is available for free via many Internet sites. The vast majority of the journals available through MARVEL! are not available for free on the Web or in any other electronic format. Consumer Reports, Time, Newsweek and U.S. News & World Report are just a few of the hundreds of popular magazines included. Many of these journals are necessities for most libraries; however, escalating costs and shrinking budgets make it impossible to subscribe to everything a library would like and needs to meet patrons’ needs.

Where does the money come from for Marvel!?
Funding comes from legislation, the joint efforts of the Maine State Library, the University of Maine -Fogler Library and the Public Utilities Commission, and MTEAF (Maine Telecommunications Educational Access Fund) commonly know as state erate. This collaboration makes state-wide licensing of MARVEL! resources extremely cost efficient and provides these resources for every school, library and resident of Maine. We are indebted to the Maine State Legislature for its support.

How are resources for MARVEL! selected?
Licensing costs increase a small percentage each year. The amount of financial support for licensing has not increased since 2002, therefore adding a new database usually means that one currently subscribed to has to be dropped. Representatives from the Maine State Library and the University of Maine meet in the late spring to review requests for new titles, current usage statistics, and current vendor pricing to finalize MARVEL! contracts for the upcoming academic year. Most MARVEL! subscriptions (but not all) end on June 30 and must be renewed at or before that time.