Archive for the 'management' Category

Library directors meeting

Marie Kennedy on Dec 11th 2010

Library directors meeting

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Cycling Through: Paths Libraries Take to Marketing Electronic Resources

Marie Kennedy on Nov 12th 2010

The slides from my presentation at the Library Assessment Conference, Baltimore MD, 27 October 2010.

Direct link:

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the use of our non-current print journal collection is waning: proof provided

Marie Kennedy on Oct 12th 2010

Retrieval requests of non-current journal articles from storage

Over the last six fiscal years requests for non-current journal articles retrieved from storage has dropped significantly.  The decline is most dramatic in the number of requests LMU patrons made: from 470 in FY2004-05 to 206 in FY2008-09.  The decline is also evident in the number of requests to fulfill interlibrary lending requests, though less dramatic: from 364 in FY2004-05 to 173 in FY2008-09.  It is clear that patrons overall are demanding less of our print collection.

* It is not yet known how retrieval requests for non-current journal articles will be affected by having that collection now stored locally (as of FY2009-10) instead of off-site.  As the collection was moved from off-site storage to in the basement storage area there was a six-month period when requests for journals were not filled.  In addition, as the collection moved on site the methods used to gather statistics changed.  To that end, the FY2009-10 period represented in the above graph is an estimate and only represents a six-month period.

Filed in library,management,usage statistics | 3 responses so far

Off-campus test from on campus or: How to be in two places at once

Marie Kennedy on Sep 16th 2010

When I troubleshoot patron reports of problems accessing electronic resources they will often be off campus, attempting to connect through our proxy server.  When I troubleshoot I am often on campus, within the university IP range.  One of my first troubleshooting steps is to recreate the problem the patron is having in order to see the error message for conveying to the vendor, but I can’t recreate an off-campus problem while on campus within our IP range; the IP range allows me seamless access to our resources whereas the proxy prompts you to identify yourself as an LMU affiliate by logging in with a username/password.  I have to leave campus and go somewhere else (cafe, home) in order to troubleshoot off-campus access issues.  This isn’t so convenient for me or the patron, as you might imagine.

I asked around to see how other university librarians had resolved this issue.  Here’s how they told me they handle it:

  • go off campus to a cafe
  • test on 3G network via personal iPhone
  • have a really old computer hooked up to a phone line and a modem (works to test off-campus access as well as how well an e-resource works over dialup
  • connect work computer and personal home computer through LogMeIn
  • if the university uses EZProxy, comment out an IP address so that computer always acts as if it is off campus.  That becomes the computer used to test off-campus access.
  • subscribe to a paid service, Browsercam, which gives you access via the Web to a server farm of different computer types and browser configurations

I considered all of these options and decided:

  • I’ve left campus to test things from home in the past, making sure I’ve got someone in the office I can call to change settings in the administrative end of the databases, if possible.  What a drag that is.
  • I’ve been testing via my own iPhone, but it is not a great solution if the resource I’m testing isn’t mobile ready
  • our campus phones are connected via the Internet, so connecting an old computer to a phone line would link me to the IP address
  • my home computer is connected over wireless, and LogMeIn only allows one computer to wake another computer from hibernate status if it is hard wired.  This is too bad, really, because it looks like a really nice (free) service.
  • we don’t use EZProxy here, but may consider doing this in the future.
  • Browsercam seems like the best option for a paid service because you can simulate the exact computer/browser setup that the patron is experiencing.

I’ve put in a request for the library to subscribe to Browsercam. In the meantime, iPhone over 3G is my friend.

Thanks to my pals on friendfeed and twitter for providing these ideas.

If you use something else at your institution to do off-campus troubleshooting from on campus, leave a comment.  I’d like to know what other options are out there.

Filed in library,management,twitter | 3 responses so far

pursuing the bright spots

Marie Kennedy on Aug 12th 2010

here’s a thought for us to nibble on:

To pursue bright spots is to ask the question “What’s working, and how can we do more of it?” Sounds simple, doesn’t it? Yet, in the real world, this obvious question is almost never asked. Instead, the question we ask is more problem focused: “What’s broken, and how do we fix it?”

from Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard

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two-team approach to selecting and implementing an ERMS

Marie Kennedy on Jun 10th 2010

In November 2009 I put together a team to evaluate our existing electronic resource management system (ERMS) to determine if it was satisfactory or if we needed to pursue another commercial option.  The first part of the process was completed by Team 1: Evaluation, the second part of the process is happening now by Team 2: Implementation.  Here’s a description of the charge of each Team.

Team 1: Evaluation
Team 1 will be comprised of at least one member from each department identified as a stakeholder, to broadly address electronic resource management needs throughout the library.  Team members will be selected in consultation with department heads.  The departments identified as stakeholders: Acquisitions/Serials, Document Delivery, and Reference.  Other departments may be consulted on an ad hoc basis as decisions affect their work.  The team will be led by the Serials & Electronic Resources Librarian (Acquisitions/Serials dept).  This broad group will develop a list of known commercial ERMS, create a set of criteria by which to evaluate those ERMS, and do an evaluation of the available commercial ERMS.  Our existing ERMS will be included in this evaluation.  If Team 1 determines that our ERMS is sufficient with revision, a report will be forwarded to Team 2 outlining which components of the ERMS need to be addressed.  If Team 1 determines that a different ERMS satisfies more criteria than Serials Solutions, a report will be forwarded to Management Council for consideration.

The timeline for completion of Team 1 work will be six months.

Team 2: Implementation

If Team 1 determines that our existing ERMS satisfies the majority of specified criteria, Team 2 will develop a plan to better use or expand the system through whatever mechanisms are necessary (training, reevaluation of workflows and principles involved with management of electronic resources).

If Team 2 determines that a different ERMS satisfies more criteria than Serials Solutions and Management Council approves action to make the change, Team 2 will be involved in the acquisition of the program and all aspects of its implementation.

Team 2 will be led by the Serials & Electronic Resources Librarian.  The composition of other members of Team 2 will be determined by the findings of Team 1, and will be more narrowly and technically focused.

Team 1 recommended that we move from Serials Solutions (a subscription service) to Innovative ERM (a purchased module that interacts with our library management system).  Team 2 is now in the thick of preparing for the actual implementation of that module.

Breaking this process into two steps was a smart decision, as the questions and concerns of a group charged with evaluation are very different than those of implementation.  I’ll evaluate this whole process after we complete implementation, but it feels as if we’ve made all the right steps so far.

* special note * The seed for a two-team approach to ERMS selection was planted at ER&L 2009, at the session by Sanders and White.

Filed in e-resource mgmt,library,management | One response so far