DIY ERM (Do-It-Yourself Electronic Resources Management) for the Small Library


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Are you a lone electronic resources librarian at a small institution? Are you unable to implement an electronic resource management (ERM) system due to lack of financial or technical resources? Is your administrative information for e-resource subscriptions still recorded in a variety of physical print-outs, Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, staff wiki pages, etc., and you would like to organize it in one central location? Then this is the session for you! This program will describe the presenter's step-by-step approach to creating a homegrown electronic resources management (ERM) system using Microsoft Access 2010. The topics covered will include use-case analysis, data analysis, card sorting for database design, tables and relationships in databases, and how to use forms in Access to make the ERM database user-friendly. The presenter will also refer to free, online Access 2010 documentation that was referenced in the creation of her local ERM system. Presenter: Sarah Hartman-Caverly
Electronic Resources Manager, Delaware County Community College

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DIY ERM (Do-It-Yourself Electronic Resources Management) for the Small Library

  1. 1. DIY ERM for the Small LibrarySarah Hartman-Caverly, E-Resources ManagerDelaware County Community College
  2. 2. Agenda• Why homegrown?• Database design tools:• Use case analysis• Data analysis• Tables and relationships in databases• Card sorting• Forms in MS Access• References and Resources• Comments and questions from you!
  3. 3. Obligatory DisclaimersI am not a:Software developerInformation architectDatabase engineer++I am a Librarian
  4. 4. Why homegrown?
  5. 5. Why homegrown?Commercial Systems Open Source(Open Software)SystemsHomegrownSystemsDevelopmentImplementationSupportKnowledge basemanagementFeaturesBusiness modelCostsCompany controlsdevelopmentCommunity controlsdevelopmentYou controldevelopmentCompany/IT-drivenimplementationCommunity/IT-supportedimplementationYou areimplementationBuilt-in support (for afee?)Community (“free”) andcommercial (“fee”) supportoptionsYou are supportProfessional + crowdsourcedknowledge basemanagementCrowdsourced knowledgebase managementYou are the knowledgebaseValue-added features Developer-addedfeaturesYou are the featuresProfit-driven Functionality-driven Necessity-drivenSoftwareSupportStaffSupportStaff Staff
  6. 6. NEXT: DATABASE DESIGN TOOLSQuestions or comments?
  7. 7. Database Design ToolsThree principles of goodsystem design*:• Minimize user effort• Minimize user error• Maximize user output*(Recall my disclaimers!)CC Photo Attribution: cell105 via Flickr
  8. 8. Database Design Tools• Use case analysis• What do the users need to accomplish with the system?• Forms in MS Access• How can I make the system more user-friendly?• Card sorting• How do the users expect data to be stored (structured)?• Tables and relationships• How will that data be stored (structured)?• Data analysis• What data does the system need to store?
  9. 9. Use Case Analysis• Step-by-stepnarrative describinguser interactions withthe systemDennis, A. et al. (2012). System analysis and design.• From the users’perspective• Each use case isbased on a user goal• Event-driven model• Shows user-triggeredevents and expectedsystem responses
  10. 10. Use Case AnalysisComponents:• Actors (user(s) and system)• Trigger• Preconditions• Normal course• Alternate Courses• Postconditions• Exceptions• Summary:• Inputs and their Sources• Outputs and their DestinationsDennis, A. et al. (2012). System analysis and design.
  11. 11. Use Case Analysis• Provides real usescenarios for systemtesting Dennis, A. et al. (2012). System analysis and design.• Reveals most (if not all)functional requirements• Helpful in understandingexceptions, specialcases, and error handlingrequirements• Helpful in prioritizingfeatures and functions fordevelopment
  12. 12. Use Case Analysis: How to…Identify use cases• Ask:• Identify:Dennis, A. et al. (2012). System analysis and design.• Who? (users)• What? (goal)• When? (trigger)• How? (user-system interactions)• Main user tasks• Triggers for these tasks
  13. 13. Use Case Analysis: How to…Identify steps within ause case• Ask:• Identify:Dennis, A. et al. (2012). System analysis and design.• How does the work getdone?• How does the system getthe inputs it needs?• How does the user get theoutputs zhe needs?• Preconditions• User events• System responses
  14. 14. Use Case Analysis: How to…Identify elements withineach use case step• Ask:• Identify:Dennis, A. et al. (2012). System analysis and design.• What information doesthe user know (can theuser input)?• What information doesthe system know (can thesystem output)?• Preconditions• (User) Inputs• (System) Outputs
  15. 15. Use Case Analysis: How to…Validate the use case• Ask:• Techniques:Dennis, A. et al. (2012). System analysis and design.• What exceptions orspecial cases (alternatecourses) might come upfor this use case?• Is the user able to meetzher goal?• Role playing• Focus groups• Interviews• Workshops
  16. 16. Use Case AnalysisWhat are some examples of use cases ine-resources management?Renewing a subscriptionReporting/tracking an accessproblem
  17. 17. NEXT: DATA ANALYSISQuestions or comments?
  18. 18. Data AnalysisEntity-RelationshipDiagram (ERD)• Shows types ofinformation in thesystem and how theyare organized andrelated to each other• Still from the users’perspective Dennis, A. et al. (2012). System analysis and design.
  19. 19. Data AnalysisERD Components:Dennis, A. et al. (2012). System analysis and design.• Attributes – informationabout entities (nouns)• Relationships –associations betweenentities (verb)• Entities – person, place,event, or thing (nouns)
  20. 20. Data AnalysisERD Relationships• Show high-levelbusiness rules orlogicDennis, A. et al. (2012). System analysis and design.• Directionality ofrelationships betweeninformation• Cardinality ofrelationships betweeninformation• Modality of relationshipsbetween information
  21. 21. Data AnalysisERD Relationships, cont’d.• Directionality• Cardinality• Modality Dennis, A. et al. (2012). System analysis and design.• 1:1 (one-to-one)• 1:N (one-to-many)• M:N (many-to-many)• 0 (not required; may be null)• || (required)• Parent entity is usually:• The 1-side entity in a 1:Nrelationship• The ||-side entity in arelationship
  22. 22. Data Analysis: How to…Identify entitiesDennis, A. et al. (2012). System analysis and design.• Document analysis• Look for key nouns inyour existing ERMdocumentation(spreadsheets, licensefiles, e-mail, etc.)• Use case analysis• Identify key nouns inyour use cases
  23. 23. Data Analysis: How to…Identify entity attributesDennis, A. et al. (2012). System analysis and design.• More document analysis• What information aboutentities do you alreadymaintain?• What piece of informationuniquely identifies eachinstance of an entity (ifany)?• More use case analysis• What are the user inputs andsystem outputs?• What entities are theseinputs and outputs about?
  24. 24. Data Analysis: How to…Identify and modelentity relationships• Ask:Dennis, A. et al. (2012). System analysis and design.• How are entities associatedwith each other (in real life)?• How many instances of eachentity can participate in therelationship (cardinality)?• Can an instance of either entityin the relationship exist withoutan instance of the other entity(modality)?• Which entity acts on the otherin the relationship(directionality)?
  25. 25. Data Analysis: How to…Identify and model entityrelationships, cont’d.• NormalizationNow we are really in theweeds of database design!Dennis, A. et al. (2012). System analysis and design.• Usually reconfigure M:Nrelationships with an „intersection(or associative) entity‟ which hasa 1:N relationship with eachoriginal entity• 3 Levels of Normalization• 1NF: Remove redundant attributes• 2NF: Split off attributes that apply tomore than one entity into their ownentity• 3NF: Split off attributes that are notdependent on the unique identifierinto their own entity
  26. 26. Data AnalysisWhat are some examples of entities ine-resources management?PackagesPlatformsDatabases/E-Resources
  28. 28. Tables and RelationshipsWhat’s the point?• Avoid duplicate orredundant datastorage• Store each piece of informationonce!• Relationships betweentables in [relational]databases allow tables to‘share’ information theyhave in commonCC Photo Attribution: PhotoCo. via Flickr
  29. 29. Tables and Relationships• Identifiers becomeprimary keys – amandatory, uniquevalue for each record(instance) in the table(of an entity)• Primary keys can alsobe system-generated• Entities becometables• Attributes becomefields
  30. 30. Tables and Relationships• Primary keys of parententities becomeforeign keys of childentities• Creates a commonfield (attribute)between the tables(entities)• But you only have tostore the data once!• Instantiates therelationship betweenthe tables (entities) inthe database
  31. 31. Tables and RelationshipsWhat are some examples of entity relationshipsin e-resources management?• Which is the parent and which is the child entity?• What kind of identifier could serve as theprimary/foreign key?Vendor || [1]  Subscription 0 [N]• Vendor_ID (EIN or system-generated)Package 0 [1]  E-Resource || [N]• Package_ID (vendor-specified or system generated)
  32. 32. NEXT: CARD SORTINGQuestions or comments?
  33. 33. Card Sorting• User-centered techniquefor designing informationarchitecture• Quick, inexpensive,inclusive• Aids in discoveringentities and theirattributesCC Photo Attribution: Rosenfield Media via Flickr.
  34. 34. Card Sorting• Cards representingpieces of information aresorted by users intocategories that makesense to themCC Photo Attribution: Rosenfield Media via Flickr.• In theory, each card isa potential attributeand each user-createdcategory is a potentialentity• (Can be done online!)
  35. 35. Card Sorting: How to…Prepare a card sort:1. Select content2. Select participants3. Prepare cards (or onlinesort)CC Photo Attribution: Rosenfield Media via Flickr.• Be consistent with the levelof granularity• Document/use case analysis• May be done individually orin a group• Who will use your system?• Label each card; providebrief description if necessary• 30-100 items works well
  36. 36. Card Sorting: How to…Execute a card sort:1. Randomize cards2. Introduce activity andprovide basicinstructions3. Moderate participantsas they perform the sort• Answer questions but don’t leadparticipants4. Record resultsCC Photo Attribution: Rosenfield Media via Flickr.
  37. 37. Card Sorting: How to…Analyze card sortresults:1. Look for broad trends,and/or2. Use cluster analysissoftware• Online card sortprovides thisCC Photo Attribution: Rosenfield Media via Flickr.
  38. 38. Card Sorting: How to…Perform an onlinecard sort:•• Free study for up to10 participants• (Can be upgraded)
  39. 39. Card Sorting: How to…Analyze an onlinecard sort:•• Categories x Itemsreport under Results• Exportable to Excel
  40. 40. NEXT: FORMS IN MS ACCESSQuestions or comments?We’re in the homestretch!
  41. 41. Forms in MS AccessDisplay and edit information in a user-friendly wayBefore:After:
  42. 42. Forms in MS Access: How to…Create a Form• Establish tables, tablerelationships, andqueries first• Fields available in Formview are determined bytables and theirrelationships• Easiest method:1. Select the Table orQuery in the navigationpane2. Select Form under theCreate toolbar ribbon
  43. 43. Forms in MS Access: How to…Create a Form,cont’d.• Forms are available in avariety of formats andfeatures• Advice:1. Create TWO back-upcopies of your database• 1 is a true back-up copy• 1 is a ‘sandbox’ for youto play and experimentin2. Become friends withyour IT department!
  44. 44. NEXT: REFERENCES ANDRESOURCESQuestions or comments?
  45. 45. References and Resources• Use Case AnalysisDennis, A., Wixom, B. H., & Roth, R. M. "Use caseanalysis." System Analysis and Design. 5th ed. JohnWiley & Sons, 2012. Safari Books Online. ProQuest.Web. 4 Mar. 2013.Shacklette, J. M. (n.d.) Use case analysis: purpose andimplementation. Web. 20 Mar. 2013.
  46. 46. References and Resources• Data Analysis (ERD)Dennis, A., Wixom, B. H., & Roth, R. M. “Data modeling." SystemAnalysis and Design. 5th ed. John Wiley & Sons, 2012. SafariBooks Online. ProQuest. Web. 4 Mar. 2013.Jewell, T. D., Anderson, I., Chandler, A., Farb, S. E., Parker, K.,Riggio, A. & Robertson, N. D. M. (2004.) Electronic ResourceManagement: Report of the DLF ERM Initiative. In DigitalLibrary Federation. Retrieved from, V. (2000.) Entity-relationship diagrams (ERD). Web. 20Mar. 2013.
  47. 47. References and Resources• Tables and Relationships in DatabasesDennis, A., Wixom, B. H., & Roth, R. M. “Data storagedesign." System Analysis and Design. 5th ed. JohnWiley & Sons, 2012. Safari Books Online. ProQuest.Web. 4 Mar. 2013.
  48. 48. References and Resources• Card SortingSpencer, D. & Warfel, T. “Card sorting: A definitiveguide.” Boxes and Arrows. 2013. Web. 5 Mar. 2013.
  49. 49. References and Resources• Forms in MS AccessBrowne, A. (n.d.) Allen Browne’s Database andTraining. Web. 20 Mar. 2013., C. (2011). “Access tips & tricks.” Bright hub.Web. 20 Mar. 2013.
  50. 50. References and Resources• Forms in MS Access, cont’d.Goodwill Community Foundation. (2013). “Access 2010:Creating forms.” Web. 20 Mar.2013., M. (2011). “Advanced Microsoft Accesstips.” Bright hub. Web. 20 Mar. 2013.
  51. 51. References and Resources• Forms in MS Access, cont’d.Microsoft. (2013). “Basic tasks for an Access 2013 desktopdatabase.” Office support. Web. 20 Mar. 2013. (2013). “Access 2010: Database tasks.” Office support. Web.20 Mar. 2013. (2013). “Get to know Access 2007.” Office support. Web. 20Mar. 2013.
  52. 52. References and Resources• Forms in MS Access, cont’d.Richter, L. (2011). “A catalog of tips for MS Access.” Bright hub.Web. 20 Mar. 2013., A. (2012). “Access level I tutorials.” New perspectives onMicrosoft Office 2007: First course. Boston: CengageLearning.
  53. 53. Thank you for your attention!Sarah Hartman-CaverlyE-Resources Manager,Delaware County Community Collegeshartmancaverly@dccc.edu610-359-5218 CC Photo Attribution: samdecle via Flickr