From print to online

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In order to improve patron access to the library's collection of electronic resources, upgrade staff competencies for working with electronic resources, and enhance workflow efficiencies, both the Technical Services Department of American University's Pence Law Library and the Information Delivery Services division at American University’s Bender Library implemented reorganizations. These two libraries, however, chose different organizational models. The law library redefined itself through a distributed model using existing staff. In contrast, the Bender Library formed a centralized Electronic Resource Management Unit to better manage access to and discovery of the electronic resource collection. The presenters will examine the successes and challenges of revising workflows, reassigning tasks, and redistributing print-based work to address the growing needs of electronic collections and diminished volume of print materials in both a centralized and distributed model. This program also provides an overview of project management techniques and how these techniques were implemented and supplemented in order to evolve the skills of the staff at both libraries. The program will also provide an overview of how a new vision and new goals were crafted; how workflows were reviewed and revised; and how jobs were rewritten and reassigned. In addition, the presenters will address shared challenges with current workflows and organizational structures. The intended audience is librarians in smaller to mid-sized libraries who do not have a librarian or department dedicated to electronic resources but who need to tackle electronic resources workflows and evolve staff's print-based skills to accommodate the needs of electronic resources.

Kari Schmidt
Electronic Resources Librarian, American University Library

Published in: Education
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From print to online

  1. 1. From Print to Online: Revamping Technical Services with Distributed and Centralized ERM Workflow Models Kari Schmidt Electronic Resources Librarian & Co-Interim Director for Information Delivery Services, American University Library, American University, Washington, D.C.
  2. 2. Technical Services Re-Organization Director, Information Delivery Services Acquisitions Cataloging Electronic Resource Management Access Services AUL, Collection Services Acquisitions Cataloging Collection Management Serials & E- Resources
  3. 3. From Serials & E-Resources To ERM: 2008-2009  Closed current periodicals desk  Lost 3 full-time positions and all student workers  Transferred serials cataloging to Cataloging Unit  Transferred serials check-in and bindery work to Acquisitions Unit  Transferred 100,000 bound serials volumes to off site storage  Access Services managed newly created open current periodicals stacks  Went from 35% of serials expenditures on print to 25% of serials expenditures on print  Implemented ERMS  Regained one full-time position: ERM Specialist Serials & E- Resources Librarian Serials Coordinator Serials Check-in Specialist Periodicals Desk Supervisor Serials Cataloger E-Resources Specialist
  4. 4. Centralized ERM: 2010-2013  Transitioned away from consortially managed ERM tools to locally managed ERMS, Open URL Resolver, MARC Record Service, EZProxy, OCLC KB, LibGuides, and Summon  11% of serials subscriptions in print  Increasingly tasked with acquiring new types of e-resources: e- books, datasets, learning tools, professional training resources  New focus on assessment, discovery, and access issues E-Resources Librarian E-Resources Management Specialist E-Resources Applications Administrator E-Resources Specialist
  5. 5. Training & Skills Building in ERM Techniques Methods • ERM “class” to underscore importance of work, where it fits in organizationally, and how it is different from traditional technical services workflows • Training through troubleshooting access issues • Training others in Technical Services via e-Resources Forums • Vendor trainings • Cross-train within the unit • Annually evaluate responsibilities ripe for delegation • Prioritize projects and focus on inter-departmental dependencies • Provide opportunities to serve on consortial/regional committees
  6. 6. Siloed ERM Workflows in Technical Services: 2013 -  ERM Unit handling 82% of the overall materials expenditures in FY13 with not enough bandwidth to systematically focus on assessment, discovery, and access issues  Cataloging overwhelmed with multiple print legacy projects mandated by Library Administration, RDA transition, and pressure to move toward metadata services for Special Collections  Acquisitions staffing levels disproportional and workflows weighted towards print acquisitions  Director of Technical Services position currently vacant
  7. 7. Print and Non-Print Expenditures, FY09-FY13 $- $500,000 $1,000,000 $1,500,000 $2,000,000 $2,500,000 $3,000,000 $3,500,000 $4,000,000 $4,500,000 FY09 FY10 FY11 FY12 FY13
  8. 8. Toward Distributed ERM Workflows in Technical Services New Initiatives  Piloting print PDA plan for titles that come for review on e-slips  Shifting licensing for e-books to Acquisitions  Piloting e-preferred Approvals plan for 7 subject areas to support of online learning programs and to analyze workflow implications  Analyzing print standing orders managed by Acquisitions to move them e-only  Acquisitions taking on some aspects of copy-cataloging to create time for Cataloging to work on metadata projects  Formalizing library systems work in ERM Unit with Academic Technology and Access Services Recent Initiatives  Shelf-ready approval plan with quality control check list  MyiLibrary PDA e-book plan  Implemented EOD and EDI in Acquisitions  Hired Digital Cataloging Specialist  Cataloging trained in MarcEdit and handling e-book collection loads  MARC record service  Implemented CORAL Resources Module to manage e-book workflows
  9. 9. Challenges  Open Director of Technical Services position  University Librarian on three year contract  Disproportional staffing levels in Technical Services  Ongoing move to storage project  Creation of Research Commons in Library  Big Data  Limited funds for training and development of staff  No overarching collection development policy  No coordinated shared collections policy with consortia

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