v26 #3 And They Were There

by | Jul 18, 2014 | 0 comments

Reports of Meetings — ASA Annual Conference and 33rd Annual Charleston Conference

Column Editor: Sever Bordeianu  (Head, Print Resources Section, University Libraries, MSC05 3020, 1 University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM  87131-0001;  Phone: 505-277-2645;  Fax: 505-277-9813)

 

Association of Subscription Agents & Intermediaries Annual Conference“Transforming the Scholarly Landscape” — London, England, February 24-25, 2014

Reported by:  Anthony Watkinson  (Principal Consultant, CIBER Research)  <anthony.watkinson@btinternet.com>

ATG readers may not be aware that for some years now the ASA with Peter Lawson of Karger Libri at the helm and Nawin Gupta as Secretary-General (both resident in the USA) have established an international conference in England that routinely draws between 120 and 160 registrants.  February is a good time for an event as it is not surrounded by other conflicting conferences and seminars: it is a boring time in London!  It is also an event that, like the Charleston Conference, brings together librarians, vendors, and publishers and because of the special position of agents and intermediaries presents new perspectives on much discussed topics — see the title.

The organising committee were very fortunate in getting Y.S.Chi of Elsevier to give the keynote.  It was probably easier to get him because he disclosed that for eighteen months now his base has been in London.  His presentations are perhaps the best from the publishing giants, and this one was no exception.  On the whole he avoided a sales pitch, but on the whole the sort of initiatives described were ones where Elsevier is in the lead.  He spoke about the evolution of publishing;  about what is new, what is changing, and what is staying the same.  “Traditional” publishing is regarded by many outside the industry as a relic but actually the traditional functions are still required by the academic authors and readers:  publishers were early into technology and are just doing their old jobs better with its help.  However, publishers have now embraced new roles and it is these that he concentrated on.  There is much to be done with content.  His company provides augmented content, no longer just content as received — “content-based experience” is delivered and dead content becomes live (interactive) content.  Publishers are also delivering solutions and tools.  Users save time because the right content is being delivered at the right time and in the right context.  Tools take traditional content and mix it with analytics.  He faced up to big data head-on and advertised the opening up of content to text and data mining.  However, readers do not know yet what they want.  Elsevier is trying out business models such as freemium, agile, bundling, subscriptions (in areas where this approach is new).  “Fail often but fail early” is a company motto.  There was a lot more and there were some good questions and answers.  A librarian suggested that the real challenge was opening up from open access.  Chi projected that we are moving to a multiple-option world but insisted that someone has to pay for open.

A lot of the content of the keynote (much denser than can be recorded here) was echoed in the next session on transformation from a publishing perspective.  Stephen Rhind-Tutt of Alexander Street Press led off:  for him roles are becoming interchangeable.  Are agents, libraries, and publishers becoming one was his question.  His warning was that survival of any player is not mandatory.  Eileen Welch of the New England Journal of Medicine explained how NEJM was experimenting with social media.  They seemed to be a little slower than some other leading medical journals, but what they were doing showed openness to outside influences.  Actually for the moment social media initiatives were concerned with reinforcing brand and converting users to paying customers.  Rone Robbetze from Springer discussed usage and particularly what low usage means.  It all depends on the institutional context and knowledgeable interpretation.  Once we thought that comparable usage statistics would give clear signals, but (as he said) it is getting messier and messier out there.  The final speaker in this session, Greta Boonen of Wiley emphasised management and services as a constant in a changing world — for example in her view the processing of author publishing charges was not unlike the processing of journal subscription.

Dan Tonkerey provided a historical interlude on the evolution of the subscription industry (1970 to 2014), drawing upon his own knowledge of changes from the “agent years of milk and honey” leading to a decade from 1986 of consolidation (“hoovering up the smaller agents”) to the age of consortia and a difficult time for the membership, lower margins and to some extent a failure to recognise opportunities such as discovery services.

The transformation theme was continued with the institutional viewpoint.  First into the ring was Russell Burke of the University of London who concentrated on information literacy teaching.  His title was “Riding the Rapids in Armbands.”  The armbands are Web-based discovery services as mediated by librarians and the students need them.  Jill Emery followed, providing insights from her own small college, Portland State University.  You have to demonstrate value to students.  Rob Johnson, now a researcher but with a background in university finance, gave a UK perspective on “Counting the Costs of Open Access.”  Intermediaries can help librarians and researchers with transaction management, managing compliance and enabling standardisation in metadata and unique identifiers.  Finally there was a senior librarian, Chris Banks.  She has recently moved from running Aberdeen University Library to a similar (but bigger) post at Imperial College London — a world-ranking research university.  She continued the analysis of the place of libraries in the UK government scheme for enabling open access through subsidising gold — the so-called Finch process.  A library is now the node between publishers and researchers, but is this sustainable position?  Questions revealed both suggestions that libraries may be disintermediated if they do not undertake new roles but at the same time a wish not to get trapped in roles probably not appropriate such as deciding who gets government money.

The next session was on open access as part of the evolving landscape.  ASA had managed to get together a heavyweight group of speakers who did not disappoint.  Ivy Anderson of the California Digital Library (now fully recovered from her fall at Charleston 2013) explained CDC policies, experience, and insights.  For the moment CDC leans to green as easier to implement and comprehensible for researchers, but they are modelling gold scenarios supported by APCs.  In her view overall her researchers had moved to a more positive understanding of open access which was a help.  Jose Cotta from the European Commission was also highly supportive of open access.  For him and for his masters open access is not a goal in itself, but one key element in promoting better research and innovation through open digital science practices.  Much of his presentation was concerned with the EU “Horizon 2020” heavily funded research and innovation programme to help give Europe a competitive advantage.  The consultant Philip Ditchfield moved on to the role of the big pharmaceutical companies.  They produce less than they consume and in an open access environment they must be winners, but they were worried that the model might not be sustainable.  Neil Jacobs was introduced as a “thought leader” at Jisc.  The UK government organisation has lost its capitals and quite a bit of its funding.  His title was “Open Access changes Everything,” and his figures showed universities in a central position — possibly helped by agents.  He emphasised that the implications were not yet clear.  Like others he hoped for standardisation.  The final speaker was Ralf Schimmer of the Max Planck Digital Library.  For Max Planck open access is a reality and promoted to the maximum possible extent: he already has the knowledge of handling APCs which probably no one else has, and he gave some interesting statistics and some good advice.  The panel as a whole was asked when open access will become the only model.  Schimmer did not give a date, but there will be a 100% collapse of the subscription.  Libraries will stop paying.  For Cotta full open access will happen when the millennials start paying taxes.  Jacobs said that ten years ago he had predicted that complete open access would come in about ten years, so he now will anticipate ten years from now.  Ivy Anderson, however, suspected that the subscription model will remain part of a mixed economy.

The next day began with a presentation from Sheila Lambie of the Oxford Centre for Publishing Studies on the education of future publishers:  by a question and show of hands she discovered that no one in the room had a publishing qualification.  Her thesis was that publishing today in the digital age demands a new skillset, and she and colleagues are hoping to present properly qualified graduates to the industry and related industries.

The final session was on archives and aggregation.  The first contributor was Clark Morrell, the president of Rittenhouse Book Distributors:  he emphasised the importance of different players knowing their core competences.  Karsten Loechel, who heads eBooks and aggregation at the giant German bookseller Schweitzer, described working with aggregators and with publishers and how relationships are changing and becoming more important.  Finally Peter Burnhill, the director of EDINA at the University of Edinburgh concentrated on the scholarly record and in particular the work of the Keepers Registry which aims to track who is archiving and preserving what.  Dr. Who came into his presentation somewhere.

The meeting ended with a conference summary by the consultant Mark Carden, who was chair of the conference committee.  He got together some of the more complex, not to say unintelligible, slides and ended with questions about the inevitability of everything.  There were opportunities even for agents.  He was followed by an equally sceptical panel. Attendees went away feeling that they had at least learnt to be open minded on the basis of quite a bit of new information.

 

Issues in Book and Serial Acquisition, “Too Much is Not Enough!” — Francis Marion Hotel, Embassy Suites Historic Downtown, Courtyard Marriott Historic District, Addlestone Library, College of Charleston, and School of Science and Mathematics Building, Charleston, SC — November 6-9, 2013

Charleston Conference Reports compiled by:  Ramune K. Kubilius  (Northwestern University, Galter Health Sciences Library)  <r-kubilius@northwestern.edu>

Column Editor’s Note:  Thank you to all of the Charleston Conference attendees who agreed to write short reports that highlight sessions they attended at the 2013 conference.  All attempts were made to provide a broad coverage of sessions, and notes are included in the reports to reflect known changes in the session titles or presenters, highlighting those that were not printed in the conference’s final program (though some may have been reflected in the online program).  Please visit the Conference Website, http://www.katina.info/conference, for the online conference schedule from which there are links to many presentations’ PowerPoint slides and handouts, plenary session videos, and conference reports by the 2013 Charleston Conference blogger, Donald T. Hawkins.  Visit the conference blog at: http://www.katina.info/conference/charleston-conference-blog/.  The 2013 Charleston Conference Proceedings will be published in partnership with Purdue University Press in 2014.

In this issue of ATG you will find the third installment of 2013 conference reports.  The first two installments can be found in ATG v.26#1, February 2014 and v.26#2, April 2014.  We will continue to publish all of the reports received in upcoming print issues throughout the year. — RKK

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2013
LIVELY LUNCHES

 

A Foray into Digital Library Publishing: The British Virginia Project at VCU — Presented by Kevin Farley (Virginia Commonwealth University)

Reported by:  Julia Hess  (Helen K. and James S. Copley Library, University of San Diego)  <jihess@sandiego.edu>

Farley shared his experience collaborating with university faculty and Virginia Historical Society staff to publish an obscure set of early sermons, the significance of which had not been recognized until recently.  Because the collection was so small, it would be difficult to have them published under the traditional model, so they decided to publish them digitally.  The goal of the project was to provide open access to the documents and annotations without sacrificing the high standards of a traditional scholarly edition.  Farley emphasized the importance of collaboration between different departments and organizations involved in the project and suggested that libraries should begin to take up the role of publisher more often, taking the initiative to provide access to collections like these sermons that might not be available any other way.  His presentation provoked discussion about the major challenges that libraries face moving into the publishing world, especially regarding distribution and metadata creation.

 

Devising New Collection Policies in Academic Libraries: Let’s Be Smart — Presented by Diane Bruxvoort (University of Florida);  Steven Carrico (University of Florida Smathers Libraries)

Reported by:  Jennifer Carroll Giordano  (University of New Hampshire, Dimond Library)  <Jennifer.carroll@unh.edu>

The speakers described their need to update their collection policy to support the current focus on buying just in time rather than just in case, with a focus on supporting the current mission of the university rather than developing a collection for the ages.  They are focused on writing SMART policies: STRATEGIC, MODIFY, ACCENTUATE, REVISE allocation of materials budget, and TARGET collection building that supports their current needs.  The speakers then went on to describe several PDA programs that the University of Florida Libraries are participating in and how it has been necessary to include these purchasing models into their new collection policy.  They also described the decrease in purchasing of print books, the decrease in purchases through their traditional approval plan, and the streamlining of their gifts process with a newly written, much stricter gifts policy.  Their new plan will feature an umbrella plan written by the Collections Staff with individual liaisons writing their subject plans to fit within the umbrella policy.  The new policy will be posted on a publically accessible libguide.  There were many questions and lots of discussion about collections philosophy, print vs. electronic, allocations, educating users, and changing roles of liaisons.

This session proceeded as advertised in the conference program.

 

Digital Humanities and Collection Services— Presented by John Russell (University of Oregon Libraries)

Reported by:  Roger Press  (Academic Rights Press)  <roger@academicrightspress.com>

In his interesting introduction, presenter Russell stated that the issue to solve is:  How to read a million books?  The linked data of the online world enables researchers to produce images by color density, so the million books can be represented as a composite.  This creates an overview rather like a Rothko painting, and the outliers become visible.

Moretti of Stanford is doing work on this.  Folger Library has used this technique to analyze genre in Shakespeare.  Computer power is showing what researchers have expected, but is now beginning to show additional detail and new insights are expected.  The key is for data to be high quality OCR so that it is machine readable and can be manipulated.

The example of Tolstoy was used where InteLex cleaned up the texts, and made vast amounts of his writing available (91 volumes to be precise).

Another example is Bamboodirt.org which provides tools for linked data and the semantic Web so that researchers can interrogate large data sets.

Copyright is as usual an issue, because it is hard to work out what can be done with the data.  There is a need for canned licenses, so that we can let 1,000 flowers bloom.  The Google book deal was cited, where that massive level of digitizing and searching was determined to be consumptive use, whereas lower levels of usage would have been tolerated.  Usually search is not classed as consumptive, and libraries are continually being exposed to the boundaries of new ways of handling data.

 

eChaos: Managing Too Much in a Transitional World —Presented by Helen Aiello (Wesleyan University);  Melody Hamilton (Connecticut College);  Elizabeth Hansen (Connecticut College);  Lorraine Huddy (CTW Library Consortium);  Lorraine McKinney (Connecticut College)

Reported by:  Veronica Fuller  (SLIS Student, University of South Carolina)  <fullerv@email.sc.edu>

In this lively lunch discussion, the five speakers explored the ways they and their attendees cope with the many platforms and vendors of the eBook environment.  In an ever-changing collection world, librarians must recognize other options such as embracing the “just in time” model by using DDAs (demand-driven acquisitions) and short-term loans (STLs).  Some ways of dealing with eChaos is to make purchases based on ratios, look for college funds that have some flexibility, create new funds for STLs, and use price caps.  With various platforms, universities are re-thinking their allocation processes in order to help selectors and faculty.  Collections and acquisitions librarians must do the best they can at the moment with the information they have.  eChaos has its challenges for users as well.  For example, faculty cannot have instant access to e-content because it takes one to two business days to receive it.  Users have to juggle multiple vendors and platforms for e-content.  It can be confusing for them with so many different ways to search for eBooks.  This session was “as advertised.”  I thought the session would have worked better with fewer presenters and more explanation regarding DDAs and STLs.

 

How to Thrive in the Digital Reference Revolution: New Models for Publishing, Collection Development, and Information Access — Presented by Geraldine Foudy (University of Maryland, College Park);  Peggy Fulton (Paratext, Reference Universe);  Nancy King (Credo);  Alistair Morrison (Elsevier)

Reported by:  Justin Davis  (SLIS student, University of South Carolina)  <davisj59@email.sc.edu>

The digitization of collections was a common thread throughout the conference.  This session focused on reference collections in particular.  The four panelists divided the time equally among themselves, leaving adequate time for Q&A.  Attention was given to the chronological development and history of reference services.  Regarding the electronic age, the aggregators were especially concerned to show how their respective interfaces and searching functions have improved over the years.

The Q&A session was lively and full of opinions.  Some audience members seemed concerned with recent changes to traditional reference services.  The demise of traditional reference librarian roles, like ready reference, were discussed and also debated.  The Ownership vs. Access debate, another common theme in the conference, was discussed by some of the panelists and was of special concern to the audience members during the Q&A.

 

I Hear the Train A Comin’ – LIVE — Presented by Greg Tananbaum, Moderator (ScholarNext Consulting);  William Gunn (Mendeley);  Lorraine Haricombe (University of Kansas)

Reported by Ramune K. Kubilius  (Northwestern University, Galter Health Sciences Library)  <r-kubilius@northwestern.edu>

The annual I Hear the Train A Comin’ – LIVE session this year was held in the Gold Ballroom.  Tannenbaum served as moderator and host to the low-key “sit-down” conversation on a pre-determined topic.  Haricombe and Gunn provided their perspectives, without notes or PPTs, on posed questions regarding Open Access.  Where we are now?  Gunn: We’re not there yet, but will be (need manifestations of mandates in a practical way, need altmetrics standards à la COUNTER);  Haricombe: We’re in a healthy place (DOAJ, policies, global community, OA week/celebration).  Library roles?  Haricombe: Libraries should leverage their trusted capital (distinctive competencies, infrastructures in place);  need to provide mission-driven support.  Gunn: Researchers don’t always care about policies, help researchers work better (to spend less time looking for papers and writing, more time on research).  What is an ideal relationship of library and researcher?  Gunn: Researchers often use library services (without going to the physical building).  Libraries carried the OA ball for a long time, dragging faculty along.  Now faculty want to cross the end zone with the libraries.  Haricombe: Faculty often declare “I had no idea you could do this.”  Let’s gather success case studies.  Game changers?  Haricombe: Myths about OA (can be used for promotion and tenure), and peer review (can be done by citizen scientists).  Gunn: Altmetrics (shows how much research was re-used).  When is OA a success?  Tananbaum: Is success 30% gold OA?  In accelerating science, it’s difficult to achieve consensus when information is behind a pay wall.  Haricombe: It’s the end game (success case studies).  Gunn: Change the system (now rewards for research and publication are for novel research, with no incentives for “robust” research, i.e., reproducible, where code is shared and data is all shown).

 

Not So Fast!  Research Preferences for Print or E-books—Presented by Janice Adlington (McMaster University);  Wade Wyckoff (McMaster University)

Reported by:  Amy Lewontin  (Northeastern University)  <a.lewontin@neu.edu>

The speakers described their university library at McMaster University (Hamilton, Ontario) as a mid-sized ARL library, and also mentioned that the McMaster model is known for “student-focused learning.”  The two speakers described the initial impetus for the survey on eBooks that they conducted, based on anecdotal evidence, as “users don’t want eBooks.”  To explore whether they were serving the needs of their advanced researchers, they invited all faculty, graduate students, and upper-level undergraduates to complete a short, seven-question survey (no questions were mandatory) identifying their format preferences and their experience using eBooks.  They received over 1,100 responses, including submissions from one third of their faculty.  Unsurprisingly, the preferred format, based on their results, is still that users prefer print over “e.”  Yet, the survey showed that many of their respondents said they do use both formats and found eBooks “convenient.”  Adlington (Head of Collections & Information Resources Librarian) and Wyckoff (Association University Librarian, Collections) felt they learned much from their faculty and students, such as the need to pay attention to usability and navigation, as well as downloading.  They also discussed the differences in use between the disciplines, and mentioned that for now, they would, based on their survey results, continue with print, for their humanities books.  Adlington and Wyckoff encouraged attendees to discuss the same issues at their, based on their own library’s use of eBooks, and a lively discussion ensued about better user education and the need for eBook platforms to improve.

 

Rompiendo Barreras: Reorganizing Technical & Digital Service in a Small Academic Library — Presented by Jonathan Harwell (Rollins College);  Sharon Williams (Rollins College)

Reported by:  Lynn McKiernan  (SLIS Student, University of South Carolina)  <mciernl@email.sc.edu>

The presenters from Olin Library at Rollins College, shared an approach that worked for them when they merged two library departments into one.  The library underwent a major renovation.  The main floor became a popular hangout, and opened 24/7.  They integrated new books, a café, an IT help desk, and a tutoring/writing center.  The library ended up creating the Digital Services & Systems Department.  The department included ILL, technical support, e-resources, and serials.  This new department joined the Technical Services Departments workspace.  This was a major transition with staff feeling unsettled and uncertain about their future in the library.  This led to tension, problems with morale, and respect among staff.  There was employee turnover in Technical Services and staffing changes.  The priority was to create a collaborative and enjoyable work environment, with respect and a sense of community.  New standards were set to look ahead positively to changes, have mutual respect for all colleagues, and implement zero tolerance for any disrespectful communication.  They re-envisioned the office space and opened up the environment or Rompiendo barreras, which means “Breaking down barriers.”  The process is ongoing, and ideas continue to surface.  Positions have been completely revised, and turnover continues.  However, they now have a fresh team which feels valued and safe.  No one has been there long enough to be tied to a routine or space.  They are now able to focus positively on each other and with sharing new ideas.  Olin Library received the ACRL Excellence in Academic Libraries Award for 2013.

 

Who Will Do Non-Profit Scholarly Publishing in the Future, and How? — Presented by Sandy Thatcher, Moderator (formerly Penn State University Press);  Kathleen Fitzpatrick (Modern Language Association);  Bryn Geffert (Amherst College);  Michael Miyasaki (American Psychological Association);  Cyril Oberlander (SUNY College at Geneseo);  Tyler Walters (Virginia Tech)

Reported by:  Chris Diaz  (University of Iowa Libraries)  <christopher-diaz@uiowa.edu>

Digital technologies have given rise to non-traditional scholarly publishers.  Led by Thatcher, this session provided an overview of new developments in publishing activities from academic libraries, individual scholars, and traditional publishers.  Walters, Dean of Virginia Tech Libraries, presented an update on the first-year activities of the Library Publishing Coalition (LPC), a network of library publishing initiatives at various colleges and universities.  Walters shared highlights from the Library Publishing Directory, LPC’s first publication, which documents the membership and activities of the LPC (Available at www.librarypublishing.org).  Geffert, Librarian of the College at Amherst College, discussed Amherst College Press, an experimental, library-led publisher of Open Access (OA) monographs in the humanities.  This press is stated to be unencumbered by author fees and comprised of a Head Editor funded through an endowment, two Associate Editors salaried by the library, and freelance copyeditors and designers.  At the time of the presentation, Amherst College Press was in the fundraising and hiring phase.  Oberlander, Library Director of SUNY Geneseo, discussed a hybrid publishing model that includes OA for books online and print-on-demand at a marginal cost.  Similar to LPC’s Library Publishing Directory, Oberlander served as the Principal Investigator for the Library Publishing Toolkit, a grant-funded publication for librarians interested in such projects (Available at www.publishingtoolkit.org).  Fitzpatrick, Director of Scholarly Communications at MLA, addressed the increasing number of scholars publishing their scholarship on the Web.  Growth in this practice is expected to change the standards of scholarship, as scholars are the ones responsible for such standards.  Miyazaki, Training Specialist at PsycINFO and APA, shared the diversity of publishing options offered by APA Publishing and cautioned about the hidden costs of the work that publishers do.  When asked about the role of publishers in an increasing digital and autonomous environment, Fitzpatrick noted the importance of managing the peer-review process but reminded the audience the direct scrutiny of scholarship is the work of scholars, not publishers.

 

You Can’t Have Too Much Electronic Resources Staffing — Presented by Shade Aldebumoye(Auburn University);  Nadine Ellero (Auburn University);  Paula Sullenger (Auburn University)

Reported by:  Margaret M. Kain  (University of Alabama at Birmingham, Mervyn H. Sterne Library)  <pkain@uab.edu>

Responding to the changing library acquisitions functions and the growth of electronic resources, Sullenger, Aldebumoye,and Ellero conducted a lively discussion about their efforts to develop a cohesive team to handle this vast area.  These Auburn colleagues brought a variety of acquisitions experience to the table; from the self-taught veteran to the experienced cataloger turned e-acquisitions.  Like many other Libraries, they started with no written policies or procedures, and little to no cross training of personnel.  The Core Competencies for Electronic Resources Librarians released by NASIG in July, 2013 were used to develop a plan for cross-training.  Using a spreadsheet of the job skills;  each team member marked their level of knowledge and comfort beside each skill;  areas where additional training was needed were identified.  The goal was to have two strong names by each job skill and responsibility.  The results of the cross-training have been very positive;  providing team members the opportunity to develop new skills and documentation provides the procedures are consistent.

 

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2013
AFTERNOON CONCURRENT SESSIONS 1

 

Breaking New Ground: A Demand Driven Ebook Model in a Multi-type Library Environment — Presented by Kate Cunningham-Hendrix (University at Buffalo (SUNY) and Pilot Participant);  Sheryl Knab (Western New York Library Resources Council)

Reported by:  Pamela Bobker  (SLIS Student, University of South Carolina)  <bobker@email.sc.edu>

In this informative session, Knab, Executive Director for the Western New York Library and Cunningham-Hendrix, Collections Project Manager at University at Buffalo (SUNY) Libraries, gave an overview of the first phase (August 2012 – May 2013) of the NY 3Rs E-book initiative.  Working with Ebook Library (EBL), the NY 3Rs E-book Pilot goal was to test a New York State multi-type consortia model for facilitating eBook access in a demand-driven environment and to test access/purchase models that would meet the needs of current participating libraries and future participating libraries as well as publishers.  The consortium is comprised of academic and public libraries, each contributing to the funding.  After a title was loaned seven times by the group, a purchase was triggered at five times the list price.  The group would then own the title and it would be available for all to use up to 1,625 times per year.  The pilot project was considered a success, as it is an efficient and economical way to provide eBooks to patrons.  Phase 2 of the program began July 1, 2013 and involves a new business model, featuring a tiered cost-sharing program.

 

Discovery and Collections:  When Too Much is Definitely Not Enough — Presented by Ron Burns (EBSCO Information Services);  Andrew Perry (SUNY Oneonta);  Robert Zylstra (MacEwan University)

Reported by:  Amy Lewontin  (Northeastern University)  <a.lewontin@neu.edu>

The speakers all addressed the interesting question of the impact of discovery systems on collections.  Perry (Head of Library Technologies Milne Library, SUNY Oneonta) spoke about his university’s use of the EBSCO Discovery System at a small school, primarily undergraduate-based.  He described the effort to minimize their library catalog, over the promotion of their EDS system.  By loading multiple types of records, for eBooks, and other digital collections, “all integrated,” users were able to get “vastly” more than they used to.  The speakers also addressed the need for new workflows to integrate the variety of material into the new system.  Zylstra (Campus Librarian, MacEwan University) referred to what is happening with discovery systems, as the “breakdown” of silos of information.  There was a demonstration of an app created by MacEwan University that allowed the user to do multiple library operations, such as conduct a search in EDS, place a hold, and create an interlibrary loan.  Burns (Vice President of Global Software Services, EBSCO) was the last speaker, and he mentioned an important point about discovery systems: they don’t cover 100% of your collection, at least, not yet.  He also let the group know that things do get buried in discovery systems, but he described how much you can learn about the way your system is being searched, and how that usage can help inform collection decisions.

 

Effective E-browsing: Access, Discovery, and Connections— Presented by Nina Clements (Penn State University, Brandywine Campus);  Kate Joranson (University of Pittsburgh);  Steve VanTuyl (Carnegie Mellon University)

Reported by:  Margaret M. Kain  (University of Alabama at Birmingham, Mervyn H. Sterne Library)  <pkain@uab.edu>

Browsing is an essential component of discovery; Clements, Joranson, and VanTuyl discussed how the lack of effective e-browsing has frustrated many scholars who want to explore related information without losing their research trail.  Shelf browsing has changed with the migration to electronic resources;  there are dwindling print resources and print reading rooms.  Discovery is a complex mix of browse and search;  the influx of electronic resources has moved information so that browse and search functions of information now appear to be the same.  Visual proximity is a key aspect to both print and electronic browsing.  It is important to remember that librarians are not gatekeepers but serve as guides and provide the tools for discovery.  Librarians and scholars want to reclaim browsing as a separate tool and an important part of the discovery process.  Librarians, vendors and developers need to work together to provide the tools that allow scholarly users the ability to e-browse.  It is important to redefine the bread crumb trail as materials encountered by mistake or chance will point the user to paths of inquiry, and access to materials facilitates discovery.

 

Engaging Students through Social Media — Presented by Beth McGough (Proquest);  Danielle Salomon (UCLA)

Reported by:  Sarah Pettus  (SLIS Student, University of South Carolina)  <pettuss@email.sc.edu>

The presentation began with McGough discussing the ways in which university students are using social media in regards to research.  She found that many students use Facebook and Twitter to ask questions, share, and collaborate.  Graduate students were more likely to use LinkedIn and Google+ and all around students were less likely to reach out to librarians via social media.  Librarians can bridge that gap by establishing a presence on Facebook and Twitter, posting regular updates, and by “following” and “liking” prominent individuals and academic/student organizations.  Librarians can also expand information literacy by teaching students how to use applications like Drop Box and Google Drive.

Salomon is the Teaching and Learning Services Librarian at UCLA and uses Instagram to reach out to her students.  She uses the account to promote the library, events, and the library collection.  Either she or a student intern will try to post at least once a day.  If she wants to repost a photo from another account she always will ask in the comments for permission.  She explained how the application works and how to use the hash-tags like #ucla or a tag that pertains to the image.  Students have come to really enjoy the library’s presence on Instagram.

 

Individual Article Purchase: Catching the Wave of the Future or Getting Pounded on the Reef — Presented by Doug Bates (Tennessee Tech University)

Reported by:  Justin Davis  (SLIS Student, University of South Carolina)  <davisj59@email.sc.edu>

This presentation explained an alternative to maintaining expensive journal subscriptions at an academic library.  Bates very methodically presented the reasons and chronological details of his library’s transition to an individual article purchase model using Get it Now.  The reasons for the shift were well explained, as were the pros and cons to various solutions to the problem of rising journal subscriptions.  Bates included numerous tips and information as to how he communicated with concerned administrators and faculty members during the process.  A downside to the presentation was that, as of the conference presentation, only about two months had passed since the individual article purchase model was implemented at Tennessee Tech University.  This left only inconclusive details as to its overall success.

 

Is ILL Enough?  Examining ILL Demand After Journal Cancellations at Three North Carolina Universities — Presented by Kristin Calvert (Western Carolina University);  Rachel Fleming (Western Carolina University);  Janet Malliett (Winston Salem State University)
NOTE: William Gee (East Carolina University) did not present in this session.

Reported by:  Calida Barboza  (Ithaca College)  <cbarboza@ithaca.edu>

The research presented in this session was designed to mitigate concerns about potential interlibrary loan (ILL) demand resulting from journal cancellations at East Carolina University, Western Carolina University, and Winston Salem State University.  This research confirms earlier findings that showed marginal impact on interlibrary loan after cancellation projects.  In the discussion of their results, the presenters wondered if the increase in total journal use they saw after the cancellation project at Western Carolina University could in part be attributed to the implementation of a Web-scale discovery service and/or user satisficing.  They asked what implications the results of this study have for collection developers, publishers, and database providers.

 

It Can Be Done!  Planning and Process for Successful Collection Management Projects — Presented by Pamela Grudzien (Central Michigan University);  W. Lee Hisle (Connecticut College);  Fran Rosen (Ferris State University);  Patricia Tully (Weslyan University)

Reported by:  Jennifer Carroll Giordano  (University of New Hampshire Dimond Library)  <Jennifer.carroll@unh.edu>

Four different collection management projects, all of them involving withdrawing large numbers of items, were described by four academic libraries.  There were central themes running through all of the projects including: the importance of planning and developing a good tool to use to identify candidates for withdrawal (all worked with outside services to develop this tool), the importance of communicating the project to campus community and inviting faculty to provide feedback, the importance of managing faculty feedback and expectations, and finally, the importance of finding a balanced approach to weeding local collections while maintaining cooperative agreements regarding retention of last copy/copies.

This session proceeded as advertised in the conference program.

 

That’s all the reports we have room for in this issue.  Watch for more reports from the 2013 Charleston Conference in upcoming issues of Against the Grain.  Presentation material (PowerPoint slides, handouts) and taped session links from many of the 2013 sessions are available online.  Visit the Conference Website at www.katina.info/conference. — KS

 

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