ER&L: Evolving Organizational Structures — are we keeping up?

Speaker: Glenn Bunton

He’s not a eresource person, and he doesn’t have the answers, but he hopes this will provoke some thinking. Users drive the libraries, not the other way around.

Organizations can’t change on a dime. You have to plan long term.

We are changing from the keeper of the materials to a service organization. Our organizational structure needs to change to match that. We still have the same old technical services and public services. [I disagree. The titles may be the same, but what we do is vastly different in many ways. He did not appear to have looked very closely at functions beyond titles.]

The paradigm is shifting. First with the advent of the iPhone, and now with the increase in ebook readers. Paper books are going away, like it or not.

He definitely doesn’t know anything about what he’s talking about. He’s observing the changes, but doesn’t understand or respect them.

ER&L: Individual eJournal Subscriptions — some assembly required

Speakers: Kate Silton, Ann Rasmussen, & Quinghua Xu

Ideally, one begins a subscription to an ejournal, the publisher turns on access, and then you set up the linking. However, that doesn’t always go so smoothly for single titles or small publishers.

Just because you have a tool doesn’t mean you should use it. For activating single titles, she recommends a combination of your subscription agent reports and Excel for filling in the gaps.

When the next step in the workflow requires a response from someone else, setting up reminder triggers, either for yourself or for the other, ensures that it won’t get forgotten.

ERMes is a free alternative to commercial ERMS. It has some limitations, but it can be used to generate collection development reports.

Assume nothing. Document everything. Check in periodically.

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.

ER&L: Innovative eResource Workflow

Speaker: Kelly Smith and Laura Edwards

Their redesign of workflow was prompted by a campus-wide move to Drupal. They are now using it to drive the public display of eresources. They are grouping the resources by status as well as by the platform. On the back end, they add information about contacts, admin logins, etc. They can trigger real-time alerts and notes for the front-end. They track fund codes and cost information. In addition, there are triggers that prompt the next steps in workflow as statuses are changed, from trials to renewals.

Speaker: Xan Arch

They needed a way to standardize the eresource lifecycle, and a place to keep all the relevant information about new resources as they move through the departments. They also wanted to have more transparency about where the resource is in the process.

They decided to use a bug/issue tracker called Jira because that’s what another department had already purchased. They changed the default steps to map to the workflow and notify the appropriate people. The eresource order form is the start, and they ask for as much as they can from the selector. They then put up a display in a wiki using Confluence to display the status of each resource, including additional info about it.

Speaker: Ben Heet

The University of Notre Dame has been developing their own ERMS called CORAL. The lifecycle of an eresource is complex, so they took the approach of creating small workflows to give the staff direction for what to do next, depending on the complexity of the resource (ie free versus paid).

You can create reminder tasks assigned to specific individuals or groups depending on the needs of the workflow. They don’t go into every little thing to be done, but mainly just trigger reminders of the next group of activities. There is an admin view that shows the pending activities for each staff member, and when they are done, they can mark it complete to trigger the next step.

Not every resource is going to need every step. One size does not fit all.

Speaker: Lori Duggan

Kuali OLE is a partnership among academic libraries creating the next generation of library management software and systems. It has a very complex financial platform for manual entry of information about purchase. It looks less like a traditional ERMS and more like a PeopleSoft/Banner/ILS acquisition module, mostly because that is what it is and they are still developing the ERM components.

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).