ER&L: When Two Become Three — adding additional staff to eresource management

Speaker: Carolyn DeLuca, Dani Roach, & Kari Petryszyn

Over the past six years, they have seen an increase in users, use, and eresources, but not in staffing. In fact, they lost staff. This is not unlike most places.

You need to illustrate the staff need story using the data you have already, both for internal and external comparison. Pie charts showing the percentage of staff dedicated to eresources versus the percentage of the budget spent on them can be poignant.

Initially, they pulled in staff from other areas to do bits and pieces, but it was decentralized and not without problems. Some of the tasks were so splintered that no one was seeing the big picture, or taking ownership.

They took the HERMES report and adopted the lifecycle workflow to redesign locally. That worked, until ebooks, which are even more complex and un-standardized.

In order to convey your needs, you must speak your leader’s language. They don’t need to hear about the problems all the time, they need to hear about the solutions. Then, when they had finally reached the point where eresources took on 70% of new acquisitions, things finally began to change. Their leaders had a soundbite.

In the spring of 2010, they lost seven positions across all departments. They had one position coming back, and because they had been pounding the pavement for years, their director decided to follow the money and put it in adding and eresources staff person. You don’t need people to leave. Space issues can also lead to staffing reorganization.

By re-centralizing the team, they are able to focus the work so that they have the right outcomes in mind. Liaisons benefit because there is one more person to troubleshoot eresources issues. Collection development gets additional assistance. Users benefit because the data is kept cleaner and more accurately.

Fit is as critical as job skills. And once that person is hired, you note only need to train them on the tools, but you also need to indoctrinate them with your philosophy so they understand why things are the way they are.

Tools & strategies: online tutorials and webinars — use the stuff that’s out there already. Talk to other library staff in order to get the big picture.

Unexpected outcomes: the effect of new eyes, fresh energy, and enthusiasm. It also freed up other staff to work on different projects.