This session was one of two Innovation Lightning Sessions (unfortunately they were scheduled concurrently). It featured six presentations on new ways to solve problems or new technologies in libraries. David Brennan (Co-Interim Director and Head, Technical Services & E-Resources Librarian McDaniel College led off with a presentation entitled “Capturing the uncaptured: workload data to demonstrate service”. He noted that capturing service data can be difficult because it may take more time to record a reference transaction than it takes to perform the task, so many transactions are never recorded.. Often, the data accumulates in an email so the data source could be the Sent mail folder. There is usually duplication in the data, so several sorts need to be perform to eliminate the duplicates. Brennan described a process that works; a report can be compiled in a few minutes. Click here to see his slides.
Mitchell Scott, Collection Management Librarian, St.Norbert College, addressed the problem of textbook affordability. Key players met, and an important one was the bookstore. It is important to note that they were willing to share their list of recommended textbooks. They were asked if they would use open educational resources (OER) in the next 3 years. The discussion points and answers are shown here:
There were 635 e-book records; so a Python script was written to get ISBNs and build a dictionary of vendors and their URLs. The result was that only 10(!) titles matched the required materials from list. But the bookstore had an expansive library vendor network and acquisition model for required material ebooks, so it was possible to find where to go to buy them. As a result, some faculty offered to recommend ebooks to students in place of print. For 45 courses 49 ebooks costing $7,458 could have been purchased.
Julie Kane, Associate Professor and Head of Collection Services, and Kaci Resau, Electronic Resources Librarian, Washington & Lee University, discussed technology-driven succession planning of collection services. Washington & Lee is the 9th oldest university in the US. The library has 7.5 staff members and a deep history; however, management has frequent turnover. In the past year, the library migrated from III’s Millennium platform to ExLibris’s Alma/Primo. There was also still lots of older material on cards etc. Here are some of their thoughts on the current situation:
Rigid adherence to job boundaries and decades-old personality conflicts cause inefficiencies and delays in processes. There was a need to take advantage of long-term employment and decide what to do when long-term people move on. One of the hurdles to be confronted was that HR classifications are divided between faculty and staff which deepens the divide between them. Alma allows streamlining tasks and exposes time wasted. Because everything is siloed, there was little succession planning, and people are still being slotted into a specific function. A holistic view of collection services and preparation of people for management roles is needed. Current efforts involve looking at how workflow will change using Alma, which gives flexibility in assigning roles and eliminates the need to devote large amounts of time to clerical tasks..
Paul Tavner, Head of Partnerships, Hindawi Publishing Corporation, noted that many publishers offer OA memberships, but there is considerable variation between them and much complexity. So who benefits? Common themes are discounted APCs for authors (even up to 100%), added value services, APCs paid by the institution, and promotion of authors’ works. OA memberships are offered, for example, by PLoS, Hindawi, BMC, Frontiers, and MDPI. Here are some of the benefits and challenges of OA memberships.
Opportunities are more competitive pricing of APCs, healthy competition. and rewarding of collaboration and innovation. The missing piece is a central membership clearing service with visibility of submissions, metadata across users, and funders more directly involved. ESAC and Jisc are already working on this.
Christy Shorey became The University of Florida’s Institutional Repository (IR) Manager in 2014, She attended a meeting of the US Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Association (USETDA) in 2016 where common problems of IRs and local solutions were discussed. Although there were many similar issues among the attendees, it was not possible to identify a broad community of IR managers. Created a group of IR managers. The Scholcomm Listserv, hosted by ACRL, is a general forum for the scholarly communication community, but IR topics tend to get lost in the mix. And other IR platform-based forums are often technically rather than management-oriented. So a forum designed for IR managers was created using Google Groups in 2015. Other platforms and conferences were used to announce the new forum. Every 6 months, the forum management rotates. The forum was highly successful: 55 members enrolled in the first hour after the announcement, and 140 members enrolled in the first 2 days! It now has 378 members from 300 institutions in 19 countries. Here are some examples of conversations that have occurred.
Some of the takeaways and lessons learned include:
- Evaluate existing options,
- Determine goals,
- Research options for the best fit,
- Don’t forget a Code of Conduct,
- Or sustainability,
- Reach out to people where they are, and
- Never stop reaching for your dream.
Don Hawkins blogs about conferences for Information Today and Against The Grain. He also maintains the Conference Calendar on the Information Today website and is the Editor of Personal Archiving: Preserving Our Digital Heritage, published by Information Today in 2013, and Co-Editor of Public Knowledge: Access and Benefits, published by Information Today in 2016. He received his Ph.D. degree from the University of California, Berkeley, and has worked in the information industry for over 45 years.