ER&L: You’ve Flipped – the implications of ejournals as your primary format

Speaker: Kate Seago

In 2005, her institution’s were primarily print-based, but now they are mostly electronic. As a graduate of the University of Kentucky’s MLIS program, this explains so much. I stopped paying attention when I realized this presentation was all about what changed in the weird world of the UK Serials Dept, which has little relevance to my library’s workflows/decisions. I wish she had made this more relatable for others, as this is a timely and important topic.

ER&L: Library Renewal

Speaker: Michael Porter

Libraries are content combined with community. Electronic content access is making it more challenging for libraries to accomplish their missions.

It’s easy to complain but hard to do. Sadly, we tend to complain more than doing. If we get a reputation for being negative, that will be detrimental. That doesn’t mean we should be Sally Sunshine, but we need to approach things with a more positive attitude to make change happen.

Libraries have an identity problem. We are tied to content (ie books). 95% of people in poverty have cable television. They can’t afford it, but they want it, so they get it. Likewise, mobile access to content is moving to ubiquitous.

Our identity needs to be moved back to content. We need to circ electronic content better than Netflix, Amazon, iTunes, etc.

Electronic content distribution is a complicated issue. Vendors in our market don’t have the same kind of revenue as companies like Apple. We aren’t getting the best people or solutions — we’re getting the good enough, if we’re lucky.

Could libraries became the distribution hub for media and other electronic content?

ER&L: Head First into the PDA Pool

Speakers: Lisa Shen, Glenda Griffin, Erin Cassidy, and Tyler Manolovitz

They did a 16 week pilot program, and in that time, users selected about 640 titles, selecting them steadily throughout the program. The most expensive titles tended to be reference works and STM titles. The least expensive were humanities driven or public domain. STM and social sciences took up almost half of the purchases. Surprisingly, more literature titles were purchased proportionate to the number available.

They used the YBP content level to compare the patron purchases with the librarian selections. The users were still selecting academic content at a high level, although the librarian selections contained fewer popular titles. They found an overlap between the two in general and advanced academic levels, and interestingly, users selected much more supplementary material than the librarians.

Shortcomings: not all librarians participated in selecting from the thousands of titles, the duplicates were not removed (33% of the titles were already owned in print or from another ebook vendor), and the default catalog display ordered items by publication date (puts the ebook first).

In summary, PDA is a good supplement to but not replacement for traditional methods, and may be an indication of emerging research needs.

Suggestions: Set a title price cap. Consider excluding older materials, journals, duplicates, and titles from publishers with better bundle deals. Use modified triggers like 10 pages viewed, 10min of usage, or anything copied or printed.

ER&L: Buzz Session – Usage Data and Assessment

What are the kinds of problems with collecting COUNTER and other reports? What do you do with them when you have them?

What is a good cost per use? Compare it to the alternative like ILL. For databases, trends are important.

Non-COUNTER stats can be useful to see trends, so don’t discount them.

Do you incorporate data about the university in makings decisions? Rankings in value from faculty or students (using star rating in LibGuides or something else)?

When usage is low and cost is high, that may be the best thing to cancel in budget cuts, even if everyone thinks it’s important to have the resource just in case.

How about using stats for low use titles to get out of a big deal package? Comparing the cost per use of core titles versus the rest, then use that to reconfigure the package as needed.

How about calculating the cost per use from month to month?

ER&L: Here Comes Everybody ( a fishbowl conversation)

Organizers: Robb Waltner, Teresa Abaid, Rita Cauce, & Alice Eng

Usability of ERMS
Is a unified product better than several that do aspects well? Maybe we are trying to do too much with our data? Theoretically the same vendor products should talk to each other, but they don’t.

Ex Libris is folding in the ERMS tools into their new ILS. Interesting.

ERM is an evolving thing. You’ll always wish that there was more to your system. (Too true.)

Usefulness of Web-Scale Discovery
Some of the discovery layers don’t talk to the underlying databases or ILS very well. In many cases, the instruction librarians refuse to show it to users. They forget that the whole point of having these tools is so we don’t have to teach the users how to use them.

One institution did a wholesale replacement of the OPAC with the discovery tool, and they are now being invited to more classes and have a great deal of excitement about it around the campus.

Reality of Open Access
Some OA publishers are seeing huge increases in submissions from authors. Not the story that has been told in the past, but good to hear.

Librarians should be advocating for faculty to retain their own copyright, which is a good argument for OA. We can also be a resource for faculty who are creating content that can’t be contained by traditional publishing.

Integrating SERU
One publisher was willing to use it in lieu of not having a license at all.

Librarians need to keep asking for it to keep it in the minds of publishers and vendors. Look for the vendors in the registry.

Lawyers want to protect the institution. It’s what they do. Educate them about the opportunities and the unnecessary expense wasted on license negotiations for low risk items.

One limitation of SERU is that it references US law and terms.

ER&L: Making Data Work

Speaker: Jamene Brooks-Kieffer

Spreadsheets are not usable information to most everyone else. It is not a communication tool. A textual summary or data story or info graphic conveys the information found in spreadsheets in ways they are easier to understand.

Every audience has diverse needs. Consider the scope appropriate for the story you need to tell.

Data stories are created with the tools you already have. You don’t need special funding or resources — use what you already have.

Example: In order to understand how the link resolver data is different from publisher data, she started a blog to explain it to internal users.

Speaker: John McDonald

Graphics can simplify the telling of complex stories. But make sure your graphic tells the right story.

Know your audience. Showing the drop in library funding compared to market trend to faculty will get them up in arms, but administrators see it as a correction to an out of control market and maybe we don’t need all those resources.

Collaborate with other people to improve your presentation. You might understand the data, but you are not your audience.

Speaker: Michael Levine-Clark

Guess what? You need to know your audience! And spreadsheets don’t tell the story to everyone.

Take the example of moving collections to storage. Faculty need reassurance that the things they browse will remain in the library. Some disciplines want more specifics about what is going and what is staying. Architects need space planning data and they don’t care about the reasons. Administrators need justification for retaining the materials, regardless of where they end up, and the cost of retrieving materials from storage. Board of Trustees need information about the value of paper collections and being a little vague about the specifics (talking about low use rather than no use).

ER&L: ROI — Why oh why?

Speaker: Doralyn Rossman

How to use a combination of qualitative and quantitative data to tell a story.

ROI is a hot topic. People outside of the library are aware of it. Comparing yourself to other libraries is challenging because your missions are different. Showing how you contribute to the mission of your institution is much more valuable.

Methods of assessment: ROI, use, impact, alternative comparison (lib versus other service), customer satisfaction & outcomes, and commodity production (services, facilities, resources).

When you tell your story, start at the top: strategic plan, accreditation, etc. Give administrators information in the language they need to share with others. What do they need to know that they don’t know they need to know? What do they not want to know?

There are plenty of examples out there — do your homework.

Quantitative metrics: COUNTER, simultaneous users, multiple-year deals, capped inflation, staffing & workflows, reference queries, instruction sessions, citation reports & impact factor of collection, cost if purchased individually.

Qualitative metrics: relevance to curriculum, formatting efficiencies, user self-sufficiency, condition and usabilty of collection, proactive trouble shooting, MINES protocol from ARL.

Story: cost avoidance for users, reduced cost of course materials, quick access to research materials for faculty and grant work, attracting and retaining faculty/students, what would you do if they library didn’t exist, contribution to the strategic plan.

Example: University of Tennessee surveyed faculty about their grant proposal process. They found that faculty used more materials and resources than what was reflected in the proposals themselves. There is an importance of library resources at all stages in the grant process and publishing process.

LIBvalue project is a good resource. It’s generated by an IMLS grant following up on the ROI research at various institutions. Recommended reading.

If you’re not already collecting data, start now. You want a long-term study. Build it into your routines so you do it on a regular basis.

There are no cookie cutter methods. You have to know what story you want to tell, and then find the data to do that. Each situation/institution will be unique.

From the audience: Sense Maker is a good tool for capturing qualitative data.

ER&L: Amy Sample Ward – The Oldest New Frontier for Innovation

We need to work with our communities more than working for them. Regardless of who the library serves, there is no reason why it shouldn’t be the heart of the community.

When working with a community, you can’t just listen for the sake of learning. You have to be prepared to act on what you hear. In order to do that, you have to have the capacity for change. And, you can’t do all the work — you must collaborate with the community. Communication and transparency will further the collaboration and integration of the community with the work.

Identify your community. It sounds simple, but it’s more than just demographics. What do they use outside of the library? What services are they needing? The sweet spot is where the community and the library overlap in their wants. Innovation and iteration come from where those wants don’t overlap.

Identify technologies to support the work. Use the tools that your community will use, not just the shiniest.

Identify the roles. Leave the fun planning to the community leads, and be prepared to take on the cleanup work.

This sounds simple, but there are barriers that prevent success. Fear of failure prevents many things. Assuming that the differences between institutions mean we can’t learn from each other. Assuming that every member of the community already uses the library in some capacity.

Why collaborate at all? For example, freelance workers gain ideas and experience from working in shared spaces, but libraries haven’t provided those kinds of spaces as well as others. Libraries could be a social network hub. Libraries could be the repositories of community generated media.

Our work is not our goal. Our work is how we reach our goal.

Let the community drive. Stay in the sweet spot. Share the spotlight. Operate in loops. Think big.

trying out the iPad

I have borrowed an iPad from work to take notes on at ER&L next week. So far I’m learning that I can’t touch type on it, so I’ll have my head down a lot. Also, the screen is very sensitive, so I’m making typos when my fingers get too close. Will be needing to hone my hovering skills.

I’m also bringing my laptop, so I can switch to that if this gets frustrating.