Professional Development

2014 ILLiad Conference

Thursday, April 3, 2014 6:02 pm

Just to review, ILLiad is the software we use to manage interlibrary loan and ZSR Delivers requests.

Thankfully no speeding ticket this year. It was a cold, rainy trip to Virginia Beach and I opted to listen to a Scandinavian murder mystery, instead rockin’ out. (spoiler…the lady lawyer did it.)

I went to several informative sessions and enjoyed some F2F time with other librarians whom I normally only interact with over email and phone. Sharing a pint with someone makes it easier to ask them for a scan of an obscure 18th century score, or a rush loan of an international economics tome. All in the name of greasing the wheels of interlibrary commerce.

The keynote fell short, which seems to be a trend for these conferences. As you may remember, the highlight of last year’s keynote was a venn diagram. This year was no different.

My apologizes if you start singing Carly Simon (some think she was referring to James Taylor, I suspect Warren Beatty)…but I digress.

 

The best session of interest to those outside the interlibrary loan community was about assessment – how to use ILLiad to show our worth, to tell our story. The presenter compared librarians to ninjas – we swiftly move around helping other campus entities (departments, centers…) succeed. Sound familiar? The Chemistry department will have different institutional goals than the Humanities Institute. But both rely on the library for help meeting these goals. We have to be flexible, strong and everywhere at once.

One of the cool things her library is doing is using hash tags in their social media posts to highlight areas of strength and growth in the library -especially when they support overall university goals. For example:

#ZSRLearns when we contribute to cultivating students through instruction and academic enrichment

#ZSRSpaces when we initiate improvements to the living/learning environment

#ZSRExperts when librarians use their expertise to make a difference at the university level

The way we gather statistics in ILLiad and what we do with them can aid in these pursuits. At the presenter’s library, they ask students what course they will be using the interlibrary loan item for. They ask faculty if the request is for research or teaching, and if teaching for what class. This can more accurately pinpoint the areas of study that interlibrary loan supports and be especially useful for interdisciplinary courses that defy department/major (i.e. Interpreting & Translation Studies.)

This data can be shared with liaisons in the hopes of improved service and support. The presenter mentioned one conversation she had with the liaison to a department that was notorious for placing interlibrary loan article requests for items the library owned electronically. This lead to stronger education effort.

Other conference highlights included a session on creating mobile friendly web pages. This is on my G/O list for 2014. Stay tuned…..

Then there was this session covering the integration of interlibrary loan and course reserves work flows. The presenter’s situation was different but I did learn a few things of a technical nature. I was also able to make brilliant use of social media. The presenter is my counterpart at Yale. He showed this slide to explain how his boss (the head of Access Services) forced the merging of interlibrary loan and reserves staff (notice the picture of Dr. Evil.)

Now it just so happens that the aforementioned boss is a good friend of mine – a friend on Facebook. So I posted this picture to his timeline as the event was happening with the caption “Evil Architecture at Yale! THX Brad.” Lots of virtual hilarity ensued. Trust me. (then I quickly put my phone down and resumed taking notes….whew).

 

 

 

 

 

Ellen M. at 2012 ILLiad International Conference

Wednesday, March 28, 2012 3:30 pm

Braving a hail storm on our way, Anna Dulin and I attended the 2012 ILLiad International Conference in Virginia Beach, VA on Thursday, March 22 and Friday, March 23. The conference is held by Atlas Systems, the company responsible for ILLiad (Interlibrary Loan and Document Delivery) and Ares (Course Reserves). This was their 15th anniversary so Wednesday evening there was a Birthday Bash complete with a conga line of librarians. (No worries about stray pictures on Facebook or Flickr, we abstained.)

On Thursday morning, the keynote speaker was Jay Jordon, President and CEO of OCLC. He has been president since 1998 and gave an overview of the history of the growth of OCLC. I myself started working in ILL in 1999 so I could relate to the stages of development and how the OCLC interface has changed. On the subject of change, he gave examples of corporations that were not able to quickly adapt such as Kodak and Polaroid. He spoke about taking risks and quoted Wayne Gretzky saying, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” Citing the book, “The Age of the Platform” by Phil Simon, Mr. Jordon introduced OCLC’s next big venture, the WorldShare Platfom. The book tells how Google, Amazon, Facebook, and Apple have entered into partnerships with companies that could be perceived as competitors. Mr. Jordan described the concept as coopetition. The WorldShare Platform will incorporate an “App Gallery” of applications built by OCLC, libraries and OCLC partners (EBSCO, Ex Libris, Google Books, etc.) with the web services, databases and infrastructure of OCLC. Overall, it was an interesting perspective of where Mr. Jordan plans to take OCLC.

Next, I attended a session about the development of Harvard’s electronic document delivery program, “Scan & Deliver”. Because Harvard has so many libraries, they decided to create a program that would provide scanned articles and chapters to their patrons rather than sending books between libraries. Requests are placed through a “Scan & Deliver” link that appears in their combined OPAC next to eligible items. (Eligible items would include those items not checked out and not on hold for course reserves.) Clicking on the link opens a pre-populated form that is then sent to the appropriate library through ILLiad. They use the borrowing feature in ILLiad as opposed to document delivery because each Harvard library has its own OCLC symbol. The article/chapter is then delivered directly to their patron via e-mail. While many of the features of this program are similar to what we do here at ZSR the main differences are that the link is located right next to the item so the correlation and option is obvious, the service is available to students as well as faculty and staff, and they do not charge for the service.

After lunch we attended, “Taking Cloud-based Delivery to New Heights: The future of delivery from OCLC,” which was presented by Katie Birch who oversees WorldCat Resource Sharing at OCLC. Following up on the keynote presentation and with Jay Jordan in the audience, Ms. Birch solicited ideas for the WorldShare Platform App Gallery. There were many “wish-list” suggestions. One of the apps that has already been submitted maps the location of a book in your stacks guiding you there with a line to show the path to take. Another one compares your library holdings to the NY Times Best Seller List and then creates an Amazon order for missing books. It was an interesting glimpse of the possibilities of the App Gallery.

The last session I attended was, “Juggling the 3-Ring Circus of Student Employees”. Dianne Davenport of Brigham Young University spoke about her experience supervising student employees in an ILL department. While much of the advice was common sense it was good to be reminded that taking extra time to train the students well, ultimately saves time. She recommended 3 “main ingredients” to having effective student employees. 1) Quality training. 2) Feeling empowered. 3) Supervisor follow up.

On Friday we had the privilege of presenting a program outlining the communication efforts between Interlibrary Loan and Special Collections & Archives here at ZSR. Our program was entitled, Preserving and Sharing: Bridging the Gap Between ILL and Special Collections. We were pleased with the audience engagement and hope our presentation was an encouragement to other ILL departments.


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