Professional Development

Electronic Resources & Libraries conference, 2013- Chris’s take

Wednesday, April 3, 2013 4:54 pm

I had heard many good things about the ER&L Conference for several years, but I wasn’t sure if I should attend. Not long ago, I wasn’t sure what I would find rewarding, if anything, that would tie in with my current position. However, as the number of electronic resources- databases, journals and ebooks- continue to grow and behave more like serials in their design, the relevancy of this conference became clear. Also, I would like to thank Derrik Hiatt for taking the lead on registering for the online conference, which featured several sessions streamed live over the internet so that anyone could watch from their home institution. This allowed me to get a taste of the conference and see if it were a palatable one; the answer was yes.

Several unique qualities emerged from the online aspect of the conference, and it was clear that it was more than just a webinar. First of all, each presenter could be seen as well as heard. After participating in many webinars and online courses, seeing a human being presenting the material made a big difference in terms of accessibility instead of a disembodied voice. Second, presentation slides were seen in the same window as the presenters, giving a synchronous delivery to the “home audience”. The connections were stable and without significant lags, giving more polished look to the proceedings. But most of all, there was a “Twitter Wall” that presented real-time observations using the #erl13 hashtag. I’ve live-tweeted several conferences in the past, so this was a way to be interactive even though I wasn’t in the same room as those in Austin.

The sessions were decided on upon by the viewing group, and they not only represented the nature of an electronic resource but also the methods required to make them accessible to patrons. I attended three that were of particular interest to my area:

  • What Would Google Do? This session addressed the trend of discovery layers moving closer to the elusive model of Google: a single search box. Takeaways from that session included a new interface for Summon (due Summer 2013) that will incorporate topical searches, and the information that 45% of searches use three words or less according to a Summon analysis.
  • E-Resources, E-Reality. Tools used to collect information regarding electronic resources were discussed in this session. It was geared toward institutions that did not have an electronic resource management system, or ERMS, in place as a viable alternative, but it was useful to see how other schools were using existing tools to address their needs. Two interesting details emerged: the first was the use of Trello, a cloud-based service for tracking projects, as a means to track trials and licenses; while the second was the use of Yahoo Pipes as the infrastructure to push content into RSS feeds.
  • Developing TERMS. TERMS is short for Techniques for Electronic Resource Management, and they are a set of guidelines to manage, evaluate, and maintain an electronic resource throughout its life cycle. The cycle is separated into six stages with a natural progression between each one. I found this session extremely helpful for tips that should be considered at each stage, especially cancellation.
  • Moving towards Patron-Driven Journal Packages – A Case Study. This concept goes beyond the DDA and “pay per view” models into the area of journal subscriptions that were purchased at the point of need for a user. This case study addressed one library’s plan to provide service that exceeded the needs of patrons while being sensitive to the reality of a declining budgets. It hasn’t been widely adopted yet, but there was a possibility for expansion if more publishers and vendors offered this service.

In all, I found the 2013 ER&L Conference extremely worthwhile. Thanks to the organizers, a large slate of programming was available for those who were unable to attend in person, yet it was possible to have measure of involvement in the proceedings. I hope that the conference will be available in a similar format next year- I was glad to “attend” this year!

2 Responses to “Electronic Resources & Libraries conference, 2013- Chris’s take”

  1. Thanks for joining in, Chris! I’m glad you found the conference palatable.

    And thanks for mentioning TERMS. I had meant to include that in my post. For anyone else out there reading this, the TERMS website [] is a great way to get an overview of what electronic resource management entails.

  2. Really interesting post, Chris! Thanks for sharing. I look forward to the new Summon interface!

ALA Annual
ALA Midwinter
Career Development for Women Leaders
Carolina Consortium
CASE Conference
Celebration: Entrepreneurial Conference
Charleston Conference
Coalition for Networked Information
Digital Forsyth
Electronic Resources and Libraries
Elon Teaching and Learning Conference
Entrepreneurial Conference
Evidence Based Library and Information Practice (EBLIP)
Ex Libris Users of North America (ELUNA)
First-Year Experience Conference
Handheld Librarian
ILLiad Conference
Innovative Library Classroom Conference
Journal reading group
Leadership Institute for Academic Librarians
Library Assessment Conference
Lilly Conference
LITA National Forum
Mentoring Committee
Music Library Association
NCCU Conference on Digital Libraries
North Carolina Serials Conference
online course
Online Learning Summit
Open Repositories
Professional Development Center
Site Visits and Tours
Society of American Archivists
Society of North Carolina Archivists
Southeast Music Library Association
Sun Webinar Series
TALA Conference
UNC Teaching and Learning with Technology Conference
University Libraries Group
ZSR Library Leadership Retreat
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007

Powered by, protected by Akismet. Blog with