21:3 (2006:09) 21st Conference: E-Resources = E-Opportunity: Connecting Systems, Technical Services and Patrons

August 31, 2006 at 5:17 pm | Posted in Conference Reports, Tactics Sessions | Leave a comment


E-Resources = E-Opportunity: Connecting Systems, Technical Services and Patrons

Betty Landesman, Head, Collection Management Team, NIH Library; and Sharon Wiles-Young, Director, Library Access Services, Lehigh University
Reported by Xan Arch 

The two presenters discussed the growing number of electronic resources in their libraries and the different solutions employed to manage the resulting changes in staffing and workflow. Betty Landesman began the presentation by explaining that the National Institutes of Health Library provides electronic access to 91% of the journals in their catalog and 50% of the visits to their website are to e-resources. To manage this large collection of electronic resources, the library at first created an electronic resources’ team that included staff from reference, acquisitions, and serials. This team was responsible for selection, acquisition, and maintenance of e-resources in the online catalog. Meanwhile the public services department maintained an alpha list of e-resources in an SQL database. However, this duplication led to many inconsistencies between the catalog and the database.  

In 2004, the NIH Library launched a new Website and decided to move all electronic management responsibilities to the Collection Management Team in order to minimize inconsistency and streamline practices. Other changes to accommodate e-resources included an email list to report access problems, the use of approval plan classifications to assign consistent subject headings to e-resources, and the implementation of such new technologies as online approval slips to streamline processes.  

There is still work to be done at the NIH Library, including the implementation of an ERM module in 2006 and easing staff adjustment to the decrease in print resources. The most important goal for the Collection Management Team is the development of a way to output data from the library’s ILS (or possibly the ERM) into the SQL database, in order to eliminate duplicate keying.  

Sharon Wiles-Young, the second presenter, works at Lehigh University. The university has faced many of the same issues with electronic resources workflow and staffing as NIH, but has found different solutions due to the different needs of their patrons.  

Like NIH, Lehigh provides access to e-resources through the catalog but was able to use Microsoft Access and the OPAC to dynamically create an alpha list for the library’s webpage. The academic environment meant that patrons were very interested in subject- and major-specific lists of electronic resources and initially the subject librarians were responsible for creating and maintaining web pages for these lists. However, this resulted in pages of varying quality. An opportunity arose when Lehigh implemented a portal solution for the campus; the library was able to implement MyLibrary, a library-specific portal that appeared as a tab in the main campus web environment. Using this software, patrons have quick access to subject-specific electronic resources on an editable page that is customized for each major, including undeclared.  

Ongoing concerns for Lehigh’s library include training staff in SFX and the future implementation of an ERM, as well as keeping current with new technology that will further aid patrons’ searching and discovery of electronic resources.


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