From Print to Online-Revamping Technical Services with Distributed and Centralized ERM Workflow Models


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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.


Christine Korytnyk Dulaney
Pence Law Library American Unversity

Christine Dulaney is currently Associate Law Librarian for Technical and Metadata Services at the Pence Law Library of American University in Washington, DC. In both her current position as well as in her previous position as Head of Technical Services in at the Congressional Research Service of the Library of Congress, Christine has managed staff reorganizations as these library collections transitioned from print to online formats. Christine has also held the position of Head of Technical Services at Catholic University Law Library as well as Head of Acquisitions and Serials at George Washington University Law Library. In addition, Christine has published and presented at conferences on the topic of managing technical services as well as implementation of discovery layers. An active member of both ALA and AALL, Christine participates on several committees including the ALCTS International Relations Committee as well as the CONELL committee of AALL.

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From Print to Online-Revamping Technical Services with Distributed and Centralized ERM Workflow Models

  1. 1. From Print to Online:Revamping Technical Serviceswith Distributed andCentralized ERM WorkflowModelsKari SchmidtElectronic Resources Librarian & Co-InterimDirector for Information DeliveryServices, American University Library, AmericanUniversity, Washington, D.C.
  2. 2. Technical Services Re-OrganizationDirector, InformationDelivery ServicesAcquisitionsCatalogingElectronicResourceManagementAccess ServicesAUL, Collection ServicesAcquisitionsCatalogingCollectionManagementSerials & E-Resources
  3. 3. From Serials & E-Resources To ERM: 2008-2009 Closed current periodicals desk Lost 3 full-time positions and all studentworkers Transferred serials cataloging to CatalogingUnit Transferred serials check-in and bindery workto Acquisitions Unit Transferred 100,000 bound serials volumes tooff site storage Access Services managed newly createdopen current periodicals stacks Went from 35% of serials expenditures on printto 25% of serials expenditures on print Implemented ERMS Regained one full-time position: ERMSpecialistSerials & E-Resources LibrarianSerialsCoordinatorSerials Check-inSpecialistPeriodicals DeskSupervisorSerialsCatalogerE-ResourcesSpecialist
  4. 4. Centralized ERM: 2010-2013 Transitioned away fromconsortially managed ERM tools tolocally managed ERMS, Open URLResolver, MARC Record Service,EZProxy, OCLC KB, LibGuides, andSummon 11% of serials subscriptions in print Increasingly tasked with acquiringnew types of e-resources: e-books, datasets, learning tools,professional training resources New focus on assessment,discovery, and access issuesE-Resources LibrarianE-ResourcesManagementSpecialistE-ResourcesApplicationsAdministratorE-ResourcesSpecialist
  5. 5. Training & Skills Building in ERM TechniquesMethods• ERM “class” to underscore importance of work, where it fits inorganizationally, and how it is different from traditional technical servicesworkflows• 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 materialsexpenditures in FY13 with not enough bandwidth tosystematically focus on assessment, discovery, and accessissues Cataloging overwhelmed with multiple print legacyprojects mandated by Library Administration, RDAtransition, and pressure to move toward metadata servicesfor Special Collections Acquisitions staffing levels disproportional and workflowsweighted 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$4,500,000FY09FY10FY11 FY12FY13
  8. 8. Toward Distributed ERM Workflows in Technical ServicesNew Initiatives Piloting print PDA plan for titles thatcome for review on e-slips Shifting licensing for e-books toAcquisitions Piloting e-preferred Approvals plan for 7subject areas to support of onlinelearning programs and to analyzeworkflow implications Analyzing print standing ordersmanaged by Acquisitions to move theme-only Acquisitions taking on some aspects ofcopy-cataloging to create time forCataloging to work on metadataprojects Formalizing library systems work in ERMUnit with Academic Technology andAccess ServicesRecent Initiatives Shelf-ready approval plan withquality control check list MyiLibrary PDA e-book plan Implemented EOD and EDI inAcquisitions Hired Digital Cataloging Specialist Cataloging trained in MarcEdit andhandling e-book collection loads MARC record service Implemented CORAL ResourcesModule 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