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Next Generation Workflows for Next Generation Libraries


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Next Generation Workflows for Next Generation Libraries

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Presented at the OLA 2011 Superconference in Toronto by Rick Anderson (University of Utah) and Karen Calhoun (OCLC).
Abstract: In these budget-challenged times, redesigning workflows is on library and special collections managers' minds more than ever. One new workflow innovation is PDA (patron driven acquisitions). The speakers present an evidence-based case for process redesign and suggest what library and special collections managers might do to create efficiencies and free up substantial staff time for new initiatives.

Presented at the OLA 2011 Superconference in Toronto by Rick Anderson (University of Utah) and Karen Calhoun (OCLC).
Abstract: In these budget-challenged times, redesigning workflows is on library and special collections managers' minds more than ever. One new workflow innovation is PDA (patron driven acquisitions). The speakers present an evidence-based case for process redesign and suggest what library and special collections managers might do to create efficiencies and free up substantial staff time for new initiatives.


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Next Generation Workflows for Next Generation Libraries

  1. 1. Rick Anderson, Scholarly Resources & Collections, University of UtahKaren Calhoun, VP Metadata, OCLC<br />Convenor: Moira Davidson, Lakehead University <br />Next Generation Workflows for Next Generation Libraries<br />OLA Super Conference 2011, Session #320, February 3<br />Metro Toronto Convention Centre<br />
  2. 2. Let Them Eat... Everything:Embracing a Patron-Driven Future<br />Rick Anderson<br />Associate Director<br />Scholarly Resources & Collections<br />
  3. 3. Toward Greater Sanity in Scholarly Communication<br />Less sane<br />Interlibrary loan<br />Big Deals<br />Subscriptions<br />Approval plans<br />Reference/Bib instruction<br />Redundant cataloging<br />Print runs<br />More sane<br />Article purchases (document delivery)<br />Wikipedia<br />Shared cataloging<br />Ease of use<br />PDA (for books)<br />Print on demand<br />
  4. 4. Up through the 19th century, a library was...<br />“... a building, room, or set of rooms, containing a collection of books for the use of the public or of some particular portion of it, or of the members of some society or the like; a public institution or establishment, charged with the care of a collection of books, and the duty of rendering the books accessible to those who require to use them.” (OED)<br />“... a place in which literary, musical, artistic, or reference materials (as books, manuscripts, recordings, or films) are kept for use but not for sale.” (Merriam-Webster)<br />
  5. 5. (Up through) 19th-century model<br />
  6. 6. A more recent definition:<br />“... a collection of sources, resources, and services, and the structure in which it is housed; it is organized for use and maintained by a public body, an institution, or a private individual.” (Wikipedia)<br />
  7. 7. 20th-century model<br />
  8. 8. In other words, when we say library we’ve usually meant:<br />a structure, filled with<br />a collection.<br />
  9. 9. Then comes the internet.<br />Buildings start mattering much less<br />Collections are diffuse and hard to define<br />Access is available from anywhere in the world<br />Access can be purchased virtually immediately<br />Collection size is potentially limitless<br />Economies of scale make vast purchases affordable<br />... and therefore<br />Libraries can cast a huge net rather than carefully craft artisanal collections; or<br />Libraries can put off acquisition until need is demonstrated<br />
  10. 10. 21st-century model<br />
  11. 11. Today, when we say library we increasingly mean:<br />a “structure,”“filled” with<br />a “collection.”<br />
  12. 12. Game-changers in the next five years:<br />Continued budget declines (or, at best, flattening)<br />Google Books<br />Radical discoverability<br />Radical availability<br />Hathi Trust<br />Robust, trustworthy archiving with effective metadata ( = even better discoverability)<br />8 million books in 2010; 14 million by 2012<br />Patron-driven options<br />Ebook/article PDA<br />Print book POD (Espresso Book Machine)<br />
  13. 13. Espresso Book Machine: The UU Experience<br />Basic design<br />Two printers<br />Saw<br />Glue pot<br />Complications<br />Dry climate<br />Ink systems<br />Still waiting for color printer<br />What works:<br />Physical processes<br />What doesn’t:<br />Discoverability of content (metadata)<br />A certain creakiness (glue pot, etc.)<br />
  14. 14. Espresso Book Machine: The UU Experience<br />Surprises:<br />Demand for self-publishing<br />Demand for blank books (!)<br />Opportunities for commercial publishing<br />Plans for the future:<br />U of Utah Press backlist<br />Unique digital collections<br />Hopefully, more ODB content with better discoverability<br />ODB’s plans:<br />Advanced search by end of 2010<br />Adding new in-copyright content (with metadata) at a rate of roughly 10k ti/month<br />Currently working on deals with Internet Archive (1.8m titles) and Bibliolife (1.5m)<br />
  15. 15. To summarize: this is our new context:<br />Documents tend strongly to be available online<br />Documents are radically more discoverable than they have ever been (even if only available in print)<br />Print-on-demand (whether outsourced or insourced) is an increasingly available option<br />Our budgets have been/are being dramatically cut<br />Waste is decreasingly acceptable to stakeholders<br />When we try to guess what patrons will want, we’re wrong nearly half the time<br />
  16. 16. Circ Trends at the University of Utah<br />
  17. 17. Reshelving Trends at the U. of Utah<br />
  18. 18. Why we are still building collections anyway:<br />Not everything needed is available (or even discoverable) online<br />Some essential documents require physical curation<br />Watch for growing bifurcation: library as archive (special collections) vs. library as information resource (general collections)<br />Not everything can be shown to patrons before purchase and then purchased immediately upon demand<br />Budget management: easiest way to control spending is to keep control inside the library<br />
  19. 19. The Unattainable Ideal (or North Star Approach)<br />Every book ever published is easily and immediately findable<br />Any book ever published can be purchased by library for patron immediately upon realization of need (purchase or borrow)<br />Every article...<br />Every data set...<br /> This ideal does not have to be attainable in order to be useful.<br />
  20. 20. What can we do in the meantime?<br />Share. (Ugh.)<br />Books: expose everything we can and buy when the patron points<br />Ebooks (MyiLibrary, NetLibrary, EBL, Ebrary, etc.)<br />Print books (LightningSource, OUP, etc.)<br />Print books (Espresso Book Machine)<br />Journals: by-the-drink purchasing<br />Remember: patrons don’t need journals; they need articles<br />This is the opposite of the Big Deal: it’s the Tiny Deal<br />Problem: publishers don’t want to sell that way<br />
  21. 21. Contact:<br />Rick Anderson<br />University of Utah<br /><br />
  22. 22. Prepared for the<br />OLA <br />Superconference,<br />Toronto<br />3 February 2011<br />Library Process Redesign: Renewing Services, Changing Workflows<br />Karen Calhoun<br />VP Metadata, OCLC<br /><br />The Deming circle.Image: CC BY 3.0Diagram by Karn G. Bulsuk (<br />
  23. 23. Outline<br />Review of library collection trends<br />E-resources and special collections as priorities<br />Trends in special collections’ usage and management<br />Freeing up time for new initiatives<br />The principles and practice of library process redesign<br />23<br />
  24. 24. Median Circulation and Reference Transactions in North American Research Libraries 1991-2008, With Five Year Forecast<br />“65% of information requests<br />originate off-campus.” –<br />University of Minnesota <br />Discoverability report, p. 4<br />Data source: ARL Statistics 2007-2008<br /><br />24<br />
  25. 25. Percentage Change in Median Resources Per Student at ARL Libraries, 2000-2008(Compared to 2000)<br />Change in Staff, Volumes Added, <br />Monographs Purchased Per Student<br />Data source: ARL Statistics 2007-2008<br /><br />Change in E-Serials Expenditures<br />Per Student<br />25<br />
  26. 26. What Did Users Say They Want? (2002)<br /><ul><li>Faculty and students do more work and study away from campus
  27. 27. Loyal to the library, but library is only one element in complex information structure
  28. 28. Print still important, but almost half of undergraduates say they rely exclusively or almost exclusively on electronic materials
  29. 29. Seamless linking from one information object to another is expected
  30. 30. Fast forward to 2011:these trends many times stronger!</li></ul><br />26<br />
  31. 31. Open Access Repositories Gaining Visibility and Impact<br />2008-2009 Traffic<br />Compared:<br />*Social Science Research<br /> Network<br />*<br />*Research Papers in<br /> Economics<br />*British Library (<br />Sources: 15 Nov 2009 and the Cybermetrics Lab’s ranking of top <br />Repositories (disciplinary and institutional) at<br /><br />27<br />
  32. 32. 28<br />October <br />2010<br /><br />“Special collections and archives are increasingly seen as elements<br />of distinction that serve to differentiate an academic or research library <br />from its peers … however, much rare and unique material remains<br />undiscoverable, and monetary resources are shrinking at the same time <br />that user demand is growing.”—Executive summary<br />
  33. 33. Rising Interest in Digital Collections on the BnF and LC Web Sites<br />Where do people go <br />on and<br />BnF:<br />Expositions: 30%<br />Catalogue: 26%<br />Gallica: 26%<br />LC:<br />American Memory: 41%<br />Catalog: 17%<br />Legislative information <br /> (THOMAS): 6%<br />Source:, 15 Nov 2009<br />29<br />
  34. 34. Research into use and users of digital library collections <br />“The function of searching across collections is a dream frequently discussed but seldom realized at a robust level. This paper … discusses how we might move from isolated digital collections to interoperable digital libraries.”<br />—Howard Besser [4]<br />“The availability of primary sources has been crucial for the success of my teaching in history. Students have remarked what a difference it has made, and I have noticed a big difference between this course with the availability of online primary resources to those I have taught before that were based on printed resources.” –History instructor, University of California [2]<br />“Digital libraries, far from being simple digital versions of library holdings, are now attracting a new type of public, bringing about new, unique and original ways for reading and understanding texts.”—BibUsages Study 2002 [3]<br />30<br />See final slide for citations.<br />
  35. 35. Some process redesign principles for special collections<br /><ul><li>Programs not projects
  36. 36. Describing special collections—take a page from the archivists
  37. 37. Quality vs. quantity—quantity wins!
  38. 38. Discovery happens elsewhere—get exposed!</li></ul>31<br />“Special collections are stuck in an eddy, <br />while the mass of digitized books drift by <br />in the current of the mainstream. We <br />need to jump into the flow or risk being <br />left high and dry.”—p. 4<br /><br />
  39. 39. Don’t Get Further Behind! Learn from the Archivists<br /><ul><li>Item level description – Get over it!
  40. 40. Some access is better than no access - really</li></ul>David Steuart Erskine, founder, Scottish<br />Society of Antiquaries<br />
  41. 41. Meanwhile … <br />… the demands of processing the print/AV collections continue to dominate how technical services staff spend their time<br />By Ulleskelf<br />CC-BY-NC-ND 2.0<br /><br />33<br />
  42. 42. Staffing allocations = de facto priorities <br />34<br />
  43. 43. What to do?<br />How to free up time for these new priorities …<br />… while TS staffing continues to shrink?<br />35<br />The Deming circle.Image: CC BY 3.0Diagram by Karn G. Bulsuk (<br />
  44. 44. A Blueprint for Change: Innovate and Reduce Costs<br />36<br /><br />
  45. 45. Where metadata comes from (and will come from) <br />37<br />
  46. 46. Achieving efficiencies: workflow redesign principles<br />Look at the whole processas one process (e.g., selection to ordering to receipt to cataloging to shelf-ready)<br />Maximize acquisitions/cataloging collaboration<br />Capture bibliographic data as far upstream as possible (at point of selection/ordering if you can) <br />To the greatest extent possible, handle items and records only once<br />Perform work where it makes the most sense; and maximize use of students/volunteers <br />Wholly manual processes do not scale; integrate automated and manual operations<br />38<br />
  47. 47. Case study: Before and after workflow redesign for print monographs processing<br />39<br />Percent Change during this period:<br />FTE down 20%<br />Cataloging up 64%<br />
  48. 48. 40<br />Themes of the Transition in Technical Services<br />More with less<br />Streamlined workflows<br />Greater use of batch and macro strategies <br />Greater use of technology<br />Greater integration of acquisitions and cataloging<br />More cooperation<br />Partnerships with vendors<br />Outsourcing <br />New roles and responsibilities<br />E-resources licensing and management<br />Metadata services (institutional repositories)<br />Special collections / digitization projects<br />
  49. 49. 41<br />A range of outsourcing solutions being implemented by many<br />Approval plans (with records supplied)<br />Shelf ready services <br />Outsourced non-English language cataloging<br />Re-use of publisher and vendor records<br />Post-cataloging authority control<br />Batch search/record capture services<br />Record sets for e-journals and e-books<br />And now … patron-driven acquisitions (records loaded to library’s catalog or discovery service)<br />
  50. 50. What is Technical Services “Quality”?<br />Must begin with user’s needs and end with user’s perceptions<br />What does ‘quality’ mean?<br />Fast cycle time for new materials<br />Providing for easy, convenient use of library collections*<br />Being creative, responsive and flexible<br />Optimizing the library’s investment in personnel, materials, equipment, etc.<br />Balancing trade-offs <br />42<br />*A recent example = patron-driven acquisitions!<br />
  51. 51. Metadata Before and After the Web: What is a “Full” Record?<br />Productdescription& purchaseinformation<br />More like thisEditorialreviews & author info<br />Inside the bookTags, RatingsCustomer reviewsListsMore<br />Bibliographic dataLibrary HoldingsDetailsSubjectsEditionsReviews<br />+ 3 more screens<br />With thanks to David Lankes:<br />43<br />
  52. 52. What is <br />‘good enough’ <br />cataloging?<br /><br />44<br />
  53. 53. How many of you have considered or implemented changes to workflows for physical materials? For example …<br />Get most of your cataloging done as part of the acquisitions process?<br />Re-use others’ records (including publisher or vendor record sets) with minimal or no further review?<br />Ruthlessly pare down exceptions to standard workflows?<br />Do patron-driven acquisitions for print books?<br />45<br />
  54. 54. Library metadata has reached a point of discontinuous change<br />We must change how we think about it and what we do<br />Photo by: OMG Ventures<br />46<br />
  55. 55. Digital Collections Slide - Citations<br />[1] Data source for chart: University of Wisconsin Digital Collections Center. Summary Statistics.<br />[2] Quote from survey respondent as reported in Harley, Diane. 2007. Use and users of digital resources. Educause Quarterly 4, p. 12-20.<br />[3a] Assadi, Houssem, et al. 2002. Use and users of online digital libraries in France. (BibUsages project)<br />And<br />[3b] Lupovici, Catherine, and Lesquins, Noémie. 2007. Gallica 2.0: a second life for the Bibliothèque nationale de France digital library.<br />[4] Besser, Howard. 2002. The next stage: moving from digital collections to interoperable digital libraries. First Monday 7:6.<br />47<br />
  56. 56. Questions and Comments?<br />48<br />