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Anna at RBMS 2013

Friday, July 5, 2013 1:54 pm

That’s right, friends. You didn’t misread that title. You’re probably thinking, “Why in the world would Anna go to the Rare Books and Manuscripts Preconference?” While I do value Special Collections and performance (this year’s RBMS motif), I attended this preconference as a panelist/discussion group facilitator. Last summer, Christian Dupont, Special Collections superstar and Aeon purveyor, contacted Megan Mulder and me, seeking our participation in a discussion group about the newly approved ACRL/RBMS Guidelines for the Interlibrary and Exhibition Loan of Special Collections Materials. As I’d learned several years ago at an ILLiad Conference, Special Collections and ILL have a long history of butting heads when it comes to balancing access and preservation, and this concept of sharing rare materials is a hot topic for both groups. And so, I traveled to Minneapolis, the lone (loan?) shark among dolphins.

While the sessions were obviously geared to archivists and Special Collections librarians, I’ve found them quite interesting and relevant, as many have informed my understanding of not only Special Collections-related issues, but my understanding of providing information literacy instruction using primary sources, as well as my overall desire to be inclusive of diverse groups. The opening plenary, “Submerged Voices in Underground Performance”, addressed issues involved in collecting material from living cultures. Larisa Mann, professor of Sociology at Brooklyn College, detailed the concept of exilic performance spaces, specifically in Jamaica, which are controlled and utilized by the urban poor, but through which Jamaican music passes a rigid test; the urban poor, in this instance, determine the success of and validate music produced by peers. Mann stressed the importance of treating cultural artifacts obtained from these groups with dignity and respect, but she also advocated ensuring that our display or presentation of said materials doesn’t inscribe antisocial meanings (i.e., colonial attitudes). While I appreciated her candid discussion of these issues, I also felt a bit like a voyeur as I observed many of the rituals (through her slides) associated with this marginalized group. Those who have been invited in to the group’s exilic performance space undoubtedly would feel more comfortable viewing the archival footage, but I still felt this living culture and their space were off-limits to those who hadn’t been personally invited. I’m wrestling with this concept, so I’d love to know others’ thoughts about this.

The second half of the plenary featured Katherine Reagan (and Ben Ortiz, who moderated the session) of Cornell University Library. In 2007, Cornell acquired – from a private collector – an extensive archive of hip-hop music and film, entitled “Born in the Bronx: the Legacy and Evolution of Hip Hop”, which has now grown to encompass more than 50,000 artifacts. While this was an incredible acquisition, Cornell faced several dilemmas in accepting and housing the collection. First, how could Cornell’s Special Collections staff effectively curate a collection with the kinds of artifacts present within this collection? Second, what were the social implications of such an acquisition? Finally, how could Cornell provide access to those individuals who had created the collection? Cornell’s Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections staff found the collection beyond their expertise; however, they were still able to leverage the collection in such a way as to gain the support of many of hip hop’s earliest creators, including DJ Afrikaa Bambaataa, Grandmaster Caz, and Popmaster Fabel. As curating the collection was still a daunting task, they hired Ben Ortiz as a curatorial assistant to the collection in May 2011. Since then, Ortiz has reached out not only to the Cornell community, but also to the Bronx. He was instrumental in “giving” the collection to a larger audience, both over the airways, through exhibitions, and in developing courses at Cornell in which the archival materials are used. Through this engagement, Cornell also seeks opportunities to reach and engage students in challenged communities, in the hopes they will be interested in and attend Cornell. Cornell also includes the creators in lecturing process; initially, many of the artists and members of the hip hop community didn’t want to be lectured to by those who weren’t there (i.e. scholars). In 2012, Cornell contracted with DJ Afrikaa Bambaataa, who is currently serving a three year term as a visiting scholar, to bridge this gap.

On Monday afternoon, I also attended a session on showcasing diverse collections, “Putting Diversity into Action.” Katharine Chandler, Reference Librarian at the Free Library of Philadelphia’s Rare Books department, facilitated the highly emotional session. Many in Special Collections are concerned about not only expanding their collections, but ensuring that local voices are heard AND are part of the collecting process. In the past, members from marginalized groups have viewed elite institutions as appropriating the various groups’ identities by collecting their materials, and these groups can feel silenced as a result. Athena Jackson, of the University of Miami, recommended hiring individuals who, because of ethnicity, experience, religion, etc., were in a unique position to communicate and engage with members of a marginalized community. In building diverse collections within the academy, Jackson also suggested featuring and continuing to contribute to those collections, which serve as “undergraduate catnip”, through which students can see themselves and feel part of the campus community.

Many of you are aware of my interest in instruction, so you’ll understand why I was naturally drawn to sessions detailing Special Collections instruction and assessment. On Monday morning, I attended “Reviewing our (Classroom) Performance: Evaluating Special Collections Instruction.” Suzy Taraba, Julia Gardner, and Sarah M. Horowitz outlined their methods for assessing student learning, they emphasized the short-term, rather than long-term, effects of primary source instruction on undergraduate students. Prior to library instruction, students often overestimated their research skills (based on pre-class assessment), and Gardner, especially, is interested in comparing faculty perceptions of student mastery and students’ assessments of their own abilities. Horowitz, too, emphasized the importance of faculty engagement, as faculty and librarians can work together to create assignments reflecting the research skills students should learn in a library instruction course. All three panelists stressed that the “one size fits all” assessment/instruction approach is impractical, because instructors are teaching multiple, varied classes; as such, they need meaningful, and not general, data.

On Tuesday afternoon, I made my way to “Progressing Primary Source Literacy: Guidelines, Standards, and Assessment,” where I learned that Special Collections instructors have had limited success in matching the ACRL instruction guidelines with their courses; also, no standard definition of primary source literacy exists. Special Collections instructors often struggle with tailoring their BIs to a specific course due to faculty expectations; in one study, researchers found that faculty cared less about the practical reasons for Special Collections engagement (searching, analyzing, critical thinking, etc.) and more about the abstract (experiencing “realness,” sparking excitement in learning). There were lots of great ideas floating about during the session, and I look forward to seeing the eventual guidelines!

On Tuesday afternoon, Megan and I, along with Sandra Selts (Penn State University) and Michael Inman (New York Public Library) facilitated “Lifting the Curtain: Interlibrary Loan and Special Collections.” Since Fall 2011, Megan and I have worked to establish a satisfactory workflow through which Interlibrary Loan can request scans through Special Collections; though balancing preservation and access can be difficult, Megan and I were able to address workflow issues in both ILL and special Collections; as a result of our continuing dialogue, ILL incorporated a Special Collections-based workflow to request and track scan-on-demand requests for rare and/or archived materials. During the session, I was surprised, but pleased, to hear a number of librarians express interest in lending rare materials, provided that 1) the materials are delivered to and read within our Special Collections department (and we’ve agreed to this numerous times – thanks, Beth and Megan!) and 2) borrowing libraries can insure said rare or archival materials for their appraised value. I’m not sure ILL departments CAN do this now, but it’s certainly food for thought and [hopefully] continued discussion at the NC ILL Users Group Meeting, which will be held at ZSR in July.

 

Anna at ALA 2013

Tuesday, July 2, 2013 4:27 pm

My [second] ALA Annual conference commenced on Friday afternoon, as I attempted to catch the #5 shuttle bus bound for McCormick Place, only to find myself (and other librarians, too, but this is the “all about me” show) stuck in rush hour traffic. Despite my best efforts to arrive in time for the Opening General Session, I arrived at McCormick Place about ¾ of the way through Steven Levitt’s speech. So, I did what any other bibliophile/book hoarder would do : I headed for the exhibits. A glass of bubbly, three tote bags, and ten advanced reading copies later, I escaped the crowds and headed back to my hotel to prepare for Saturday (read: sleep).

On Saturday morning, I headed to McCormick Place for one of my annual staples: the Interlibrary Loan Discussion Group. Lars Leon spoke about some of the issues facing ILL and how the librarians (and the service) will evolve. Of course, there were concerns about the future of both the STARS group and the service, but I think ILL is uniquely positioned to identify discovery issues, provide behind-the-scenes reference assistance, and locate and provide access to “hard-to-get” publications (i.e. conference proceedings, white papers, patents, et al). I was also fascinated to hear that, while some ILL librarians/departments are being fused with Acquisitions and Reference, some are morphing into Metadata specialists (and I think this speaks to the multi-faceted environment that ILL truly is).

After eating (and running) at an EBSCO luncheon, I made my way to “The Guide on the Side: A Transformation in Database Instruction.” As many of you probably know, the University of Arizona created this tool to assist in distance database instruction, and the tool was awarded the 2013 Association of College and Research Libraries’ Instruction Section Innovation of the Year Award, as well as the American Library Association’s Office for Information Technology Policy 21st Century Cutting Edge Service Award (whew, that’s a mouthful). As I demo’d a tutorial a couple months ago, I was familiar with the JSTOR module, but not Guide on the Side’s many iterations, including staff-only versions, which University of Arizona uses to train new Reference staff and students. U of A has also developed a module for evaluating websites using the Guide on the Side, and I can see how it would be an exceptional activity within a class (active learning + built-in assessment + immediate feedback = awesome!).

The Guide on the Side presentation and discussion served as the perfect segue into the RUSA MARS Virtual Reference Discussion Group. I really like MARS – they were the most energetic and welcoming group during the RUSA 101 session I attended last year in Anaheim – and their sessions garner seasoned Reference professionals, new professionals, and many LIS students, too. I sat at a table with representation from all of these groups, so our discussion ranged from the basics (i.e. “Which virtual reference tool(s) do you use?” and “How effective are they?”) to the more complex (“How do you conduct assessment and determine if a virtual reference session is successful?”). Almost all of the librarians at my table used the Springshare platform, so it was nice to hear not only the pros and cons of the service, but how they manipulated it to do other things (like assessment).

From MARS, I landed at the ILL Hot Topics Group, though not without consulting every convention center employee for directions to the room. I do love the camaraderie that is intrinsically part of the ILL club; whenever I attend one of these sessions, I seem to know at least one person (which can be very exciting if you’re like me (an ALA newb) and aren’t involved with committees). As I arrived just a few moments before the session began, I didn’t have a lot of time for networking before the meeting came to order. One of the hottest topics, and a primary concern for ILL departments, is the practice of paying publishers for ePub articles. In most cases, these ePubs are indexed, so our patrons find them in database searches; however, they can’t access them (even if we subscribe to the print journal). Purchasing them can be an expensive practice; to give you some perspective, Wiley tends to charge $35-$40 per article, ProQuest charges $37-75, and Bentham usually charges a minimum of $65. Cost aside, ILL librarians prefer paying our lending partners – rather than the publishers – but we don’t have that option for ePubs; if we subscribe to the print journal and can’t access the ePubs, then other libraries likely have the same restrictions. This practice presents a major philosophical problem, as it undermines our ability to support our fellow resource sharing colleagues, our internal and external patrons’ research needs, and our mission (sharing IS caring).

Another topic of concern is MOOCs and their impact on resource sharing. Many public libraries are feeling the burden of requesting MOOC-related textbooks through ILL, but academic libraries may soon feel the burden of requesting and supplying the materials. (I envision a cancellation notice that reads something like, “Unfortunately, ILL is unable to supply this book, because 40,000 of your closest friends have requested the same title.”) What are our options for supplying these textbooks and course materials to our internal patrons? Maybe libraries could have a MOOC collection, perhaps as part of our textbook collection that stayed with course reserves and was accessible by all. It seems like a cool way to provide access to critical information while keeping the costs down for our own patrons. Of course, it increases costs for us (but we might end up buying it anyway if a patron requests it through ILL, and no one will lend). (As an aside: I’ll be very interested to see how Georgia Tech provides ILL – and reserves – services to students enrolled in their Master of Science in Computer Science MOOC. Maybe it will be similar to traditional distance learning ILL, maybe not.)

On Sunday morning, I stepped out of my comfort zone to attend the RUSA-BRASS Business Reference Services committee meeting and discussion group, where we discussed the use of web conferencing tools to assist in virtual committee meetings, as well as in the reference interview or personal research session. Through this session, I gained a bit more knowledge on how to locate patents, both in the U.S. and worldwide; this was especially helpful, as we receive a number of ILL requests for patents, and finding them can be challenging.

After making a final round by the big publishers and collecting even more schwag, I made my way to “Lessons for the Librarian: 10 Tips for Teaching the One-Shot Instruction Session.” The opening “act” sang a few lines from “Moon River,” which immediately got my attention, and the speakers were articulate and inspiring, and the audience was engaged (no pity laughs from us – I actually guffawed). I also love an instruction session that begins by listing learning outcomes. For those who are interested, the tips are as follows:

  1. Less is more (unless you’re me, and you’re blogging. In that case, MORE is more, amiright?!)
  2. Some students learn like you. Most don’t.
  3. If you’re not assessing, you’re not teaching.
  4. Have a lesson plan.
  5. Go with evidence, not your gut.
  6. You should not be tired.
  7. Your enthusiasm is contagious.
  8. Faculty are your friends.
  9. Integrated, not separated (i.e. deepen partnerships with faculty by weaving information literacy instruction throughout a course)
  10. Your teaching matters to your institution.

This was, by far, the BEST session I’ve ever attended (ALA or otherwise), and it was the perfect [academic] ending to my conference!

Anna at ALA 2012

Thursday, July 5, 2012 3:37 pm

As many of you know, ALA 2012 marked the first ALA Conference I’ve had the privilege and pleasure of attending. I had never attended a major professional conference other than ILLiad, so I wasn’t certain about the sheer magnitude of the conference. However, I planned thoroughly prior to arriving, and I wasn’t overwhelmed by the size of ALA or the number of sessions. The Anaheim Convention Center and the Hilton Anaheim served as the primary venues for the majority of my sessions, and scheduling sessions in close proximity helped me not only navigate the facility, but ensured I got a seat in nearly all sessions I attended.

As expected, many of the sessions I attended focused on Resource Sharing. On Saturday, I attended the Interlibrary Loan Discussion Group meeting, where presenters discussed methods for e-delivery and the changing landscape. Several ILL librarians discussed the pros and cons of scanning and delivery services, including BSCAN ILL, Relais, OCLC’s Article Exchange, and ILLiad’s Odyssey. Although we use Odyssey, I was glad to learn a bit more about the available e-delivery tools and ILL satisfaction with those. Article Exchange, in particular, seems to be popular with almost all ILL librarians, and I can vouch that it is an efficient alternative to emailing an article; from the borrowing perspective, it’s a bit more cumbersome, but still efficient if you don’t have Odyssey. Lars Leon, of the University of Kansas, also presented an ILL cost study; the study examined the resource sharing costs of both loan and article transactions and averaged the total cost per transaction by figuring the cost of request systems, management tools, shipping, equipment, debits and credits, supplied, and staffing. According to the study, the average cost per article is around $8, but the cost ranges from $3 to $14, depending on the institution. Both were interesting topics, and I hope to read Lars’ study soon.

On Saturday afternoon, I met with ILL librarians to chat about Hot Topics in Resource Sharing. Copyright and licensing woes were at the forefront of the discussion, but the future of ILL continues to be a motif. Some expressed concerns that our work is difficult to qualify, often because there are no transaction numbers for all that we do (i.e. extended Reference assistance, various un-tracked questions, phone calls, emails, et al). Atlas Systems expressed interest in creating a Knowledge Tracker (as is present in Aeon) to create a history of interactions that go beyond the bound of traditional ILL. “Get It Now” is still touted as a solution to journal embargoes, and several are using the service for both mediated/unmediated article acquisition. I was intrigued to learn that some ILL departments are being assumed into Resource Sharing and Acquisitions departments. Frankly, I see ILL as a microcosm of the library, and I’m still ruminating on our placement within a specific department or division. I think this trait (as well as our tendency to emphasize sharing) allows us to be flexible and naturally collaborative, so that we work well within almost all units.

On Sunday morning, I ventured to the OCLC Update Breakfast, where Jay Jordan discussed the WorldShare platform and the forthcoming Applications Gallery, which might have an app for integrating acquisitions into the Resource Sharing component of WorldShare. I also attended the WorldCat Resource Sharing & ILLiad Users Group session on Sunday evening; although some of the information was shared at the ILLiad conference in March, attendees were able to view the Beta version of the consolidated FirstSearch, WorldCat local and WorldCat.org interfaces. I hadn’t seen this prior to ALA, so I was thrilled to see that the effort looks pretty user friendly for both the public and resource sharing staff. This consolidation will allow for device independent searching/resource sharing and will support a consistent user experience across OCLC’s discovery offerings. The final product will include over 140 million article citations and the ability to purchase an item directly from Amazon or another vendor. Genie Powell, from Atlas Systems, noted the newest iteration of ILLiad is delayed, due to termination of 7.4 and 8.0 in mid-July. Atlas will incorporate many WorldShare features into ILLiad 8.3 (specifically, Article Exchange, which Atlas is looking to improve and better integrate).

In addition to concentrating on Resource Sharing, I attended sessions that supplement my additional job responsibilities. As I am a LIB 100 assistant, I thought it would be useful to attend several instruction sessions. I signed up for Roz’s session without realizing she was presenting, so I was pleased to see a familiar face! Roz was a great presenter, and the session as a whole challenged my preconceived notions about what critical thinking really is – according to one panlist, nearly 74% of the critical thinking literature doesn’t define “critical thinking” – and how we can encourage critical thinking through instruction. I also ventured to “Learning Styles: Fiction, Nonfiction, or Mystery?” where three panelists examined the history of learning styles, controversies associated with learning styles, and the role of learning styles in distance education. I was especially interested in knowing more about learning styles and their role in distance education, and I left the session with a greater understanding of effective course design to ensure student satisfaction and achievement.

One of the things I appreciated most about ALA was that it allowed me to feel more engaged with the profession. I attended several 101 sessions, including RUSA 101, to gain a greater understanding of committee structures and opportunities for involvement. I was also able to network with other Resource Sharing and Reference librarians by chatting with members of the MARS and STARS round tables. David Atkins, chair of the STARS Round Table, is the Head of Resource Sharing and Document Delivery at the University of Tennessee, and I was delighted to speak with him and other Resource Sharing partners about round table involvement and delivery/shipping/resource sharing concerns. I also had dinner with Atlas Systems and ILL/Course Reserves folks, which proved to be a great networking (and dining) opportunity. I’m hoping to become more involved within the profession, possibly through committee work, and I’m thankful for the opportunity not only to attend ALA Annual, but to supplement my job responsibilities with sessions that were insightful and engaging.

Anna at 2012 ILLiad International Conference

Wednesday, March 28, 2012 1:06 pm

From Thursday, March 22nd through Friday, March 23rd, Ellen Makaravage and I attended the ILLiad International Conference in Virginia Beach, VA. Jay Jordan, President and CEO of OCLC, was the keynote speaker for Thursday’s kickoff session (since Ellen will discuss his presentation in detail, I’ll say only that his goals for expanding WorldCat will revolutionize the way we search for and discover materials). Following his presentation, I ventured to “Fear and Trepidation: Entering the World of Campus Delivery for Graduate Students.” Collette Mak, of Notre Dame University libraries, facilitated the session, which focused on Notre Dame’s expansion of DocDel services to grad students. Although Notre Dame Libraries do not provide book chapter delivery services to grad students, they do deliver physical books and scan and deliver articles; physical items are delivered to the departmental library closest to the student (as opposed to their own departmental library). Since implementing the service, DocDel requests have increased by approximately 13,000 (including book and article delivery).

Pay-Per-View for article requests was a trending topic of this ILLiad conference; ILL departments are using PPV to provide on-demand access to articles (and eBook chapters), and although some libraries are relying on this service instead of traditional ILL for articles, others are using PPV when they exceed the Rule of 5. Cost per article, journal and publisher content, and mediated/unmediated options vary by vendor; some vendors offer package plans, where article tokens can cost as low as $12; some vendors offer what I call the “Costco plan”: you get articles for as low as $12, but you have to buy article tokens in bulk (at least 1,500 tokens to get the reduced price). Nathan Hosburgh (Florida Institute of Technology) assessed four of the big PPV vendors: Wiley, SciDirect, IngentaConnect, and Copyright Clearance Center’s “Get It Now.” After mostly working with Wiley in both mediated and unmediated PPV, Hosburgh indicated that Florida Tech will likely migrate to CCC’s “Get It Now,” with mediated PPV.

In a separate panel session, Heather Weltin (University of Wisconsin-Madison), Kristine Mogle (Drake University), and Kelly Smith (Eastern Kentucky University) discussed the pros and cons of CCC’s “Get It Now.” Pros include: “instant” access to articles (depending on mediated/unmediated), access to nearly 10,000 journals, fixed fee per article, and an alternative to paying royalties plus IFM when the Rule of 5 is exceeded. Cons include: cost per article, the need for exact citations/ISSNs in a request (otherwise, a tab in ILLiad won’t appear for ILL staff), and the possibility for duplicate orders and abuse through both mediated and unmediated PPV. Libraries using any of the vendors seemed to prefer mediated access, where all article requests are routed through ILL, matched against the library’s holdings by ILL staff, and then depending on local holdings, either purchased through a vendor or cancelled. The PPV model is beneficial to our patrons in a number of ways; first, access to articles occurs within minutes, as opposed to the days or weeks it could take a request to make its way through a lending string. Second, when we exceed the Rule of 5, ILL won’t pay copyright royalties as well as IFM costs assessed by lending libraries to acquire an article (both can exceed $30). Third, ILL staff aren’t sending requests for electronic journals and materials that, due to licensing agreements, lending libraries can’t send. The downside to all of this is that publishers will probably be less likely to work with libraries in allowing ILL of electronic materials, and libraries may lose all bargaining rights. As a result, ILL could become a purchase-only service, as opposed to a resource sharing service.

On Friday morning, following OCLC’s update and breakfast, Ellen and I presented “Preserving and Sharing: Bridging the Gap between ILL and Special Collections.” We discussed the history of filling ILL requests for Special Collections materials and unveiled our Scan-On-Demand ILLiad Addon, which Kevin Gilbertson created to help us streamline our request process. Our presentation generated a lot of conversation about the challenges both Special Colletions and ILL face in filling these requests. As always, we’re extremely grateful to our Special Collections staff for their willingness to fill so many of the requests we send their way, and for their time in helping to create a more efficient solution for both departments!

OCLC Resource Sharing User Group Meeting

Wednesday, July 13, 2011 5:01 pm

This afternoon, I participated in the OCLC Resource Sharing User Group Meeting, which was facilitated by OCLC and Atlas staff. The webinar was a follow-up to the User Group Meeting at ALA, but several new tools were introduced. One of the most relevant is the Lender String Report. This assessment tool is used to evaluate a lender selection in the lending string (a lending string is comprised of five lending libraries, which are manually selected by ILL staff or automatically selected by OCLC if the patron submits a Direct Request). The Lender String report, in conjunction with the Reciprocity Report, analyses the number of times a lending library says “yes” or “no” to a request. It also calculates the average fill time for that institution. We can use the information to promote or demote libraries in our custom holdings, which will [hopefully] allow for expedient arrival, processing, and delivery of requested materials.

Another feature introduced was OCLC’s new Article Exchange, which is a cloud-based document delivery service. Article Exchange does not require special hardware or proprietary software, and file size is theoretically not an issue. Lending libraries upload material to the cloud, which generates a unique TinyURL and password; staff are able to copy and paste the URL and password into an email or into the borrowing notes field on OCLC as a means of delivery. Once viewed, the article in live in the exchange cloud for five days. If the article is never viewed, it has a 30-day “cloud life.” According to OCLC staff, Article Exchange can probably be incorporated into ILLiad as an Addon. There will be no additional charge for this feature. For those who are interested, the URL is: http://experimental.worldcat.org/AE.

OCLC is also working to migrate Resource Sharing off the First Search platform. They are working with several libraries, who have volunteered to participate in the testing phase of this process. At this time, they project several major developments for ILL operations, including an expanded “buy-it” option, incorporating a variable aging of requests (which would depend on a lending library’s projected time frame to fill a request), and the creation of a dynamic lending string. By May of 2012, they hope to incorporate patron notifications, as well as the ability to alter staff roles and permissions, in the new platform.

Anna at ILLiad Conference

Monday, March 28, 2011 3:22 am

Last week, I attended the 2011 ILLiad Conference in Virginia Beach, VA, from Wednesday, March 23rd, through Friday, March 25th. This was my first experience at an ILLiad conference, and I wanted to share a few things, including updated information about the release of ILLiad 8.1 on April 12, 2011. ILLiad 8.1 will not be compatible with 8.0 because of database changes; the installation of 8.1 involves a scheduled server update in addition to the client update. For me, the most exciting change in the new release involves Odyssey support for .pdf files (which I’m hoping means fewer .pdf emails).

Katie Black, of OCLC, presented updates about the WorldCat knowledge base on Friday morning and encouraged libraries to implement Direct Request for articles when able. According to Katie, OCLC is working with Pubget to autoload Serial Solutions holdings in the knowledge base; Pubget will crawl sites to determine access to databases, and libraries would be required to supply Pubget with login information for each database. World Cat First Search is also disappearing in a few years; OCLC is developing a new platform and First Search will migrate to that platform. However, OCLC will continue to add new features in WC Resource Sharing, which can be used in ILLiad. Finally, I learned that GEBAY (Bavarian State Library), one of our preferred European lenders, will be loading their KB into WorldCat, which will result, in part, in the enhanced sharing of articles. OCLC is also exploring a method for “electronic” document delivery for GEBAY (German law prohibits electronic delivery of materials, so GEBAY sends things to borrowing libraries through the mail…you can imagine how long this takes), so we’ll see how this goes.

In addition to attending the ATLAS/OCLC headlining sessions, I attended several others, with the most memorable involving East Carolina University’s expansion of ILL services, which was facilitated by William Gee. This expansion of traditional services includes providing electronic delivery and physical book delivery services to graduate students and faculty/staff; increasing lending of DVD and Special collections materials; and creating partnerships with local agencies and educators (namely public school instructors) by lending education-related materials (including course packs) to educators in rural areas who lacked access to an education collection of ECU’s caliber. William also elaborated on their distance education lending: they provide Distance Ed students with material that is shipped at ECU’s expense; they send detailed instructions on how to return the material and advise that individuals return the materials in the original containers. They also supply a return shipping label, so the DE student does not absorb any of the cost of using the ILL services. I spoke with William before the session about DE students and Study Abroad Students/Faculty, and he indicated that they still order loans for those enrolled in SA programs; they don’t ship the materials abroad, but they do electronically send a Table of Contents and/or an Index, and the patron requests a chapter or selected pagination from that original list. William also indicated ECU ILL uses separate patron statuses to denote those individuals who are enrolled in Distance Ed or Study Abroad programs, and those requests are processed separately. This all seemed very relevant to future ZSR ILL operations, especially considering the start up of the Distance Ed Master’s in Counseling program.

Another relevant session involved textbook requests and George Mason University’s (VGM) pilot program, which involved limiting textbook requests via ILL. As a result of increasing costs related to ILL textbook requests by students, VGM began working with the University bookstore – which provided the library with book lists for each course – to purchase textbooks for popular courses. Textbooks remained on the reserves shelf for the duration of the semester, and students were limited to a two-hour checkout period. Professors expressed satisfaction that textbooks were being made available to students; ILL staff also expressed satisfaction that time previously spent acquiring textbooks could be redirected to more difficult ILL requests. This program also proved to be a cost-cutting measure; purchasing a textbook was cheaper than requesting it multiple times from various academic libraries. I’m not sure if this sort of program would be as relevant to our ILL operations, as I don’t see traditional textbooks requests dominating our ILL requests (except for the first week or two of both Spring and Fall semesters).

I also enjoyed networking with members of our NC ILL Users group and our KUDZU group; I met ILL librarians and staff from UNC, UNC-W, Tulane, and the University of Memphis. It was interesting to hear about their work flows, and in some cases, lack of resources (including lack of student and/or full-time staff). I also met Cyril Oberlander of SUNY-Geneseo, who attended the recent Conference for Entrepreneurial Librarians; he remarked that it was a wonderful conference and we are fortunate to work in a beautiful library. Yay, ZSR!

*P.S. I needed to move this post from the Gazette to the Prof. Development blog, so I apologize if you receive a Lib-l email again.


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