Friday, June 17, 2011

ALCTS e-forum: Serials, Staffing, and Workflow Day 2 Summary

Here is the June 16 summary of the two-day forum from Jennifer Sippel:

Day 2 re-cap:

Knowledge bases + OPAC
* This topic generated more questions than answers
-- How can we more fully utilize the OPAC?
-- How can we get vendors to make the product meet our needs?
-- How can we reduce duplication of efforts and get all systems to jive with one another?
* Several mentioned how nice it would be if the ILS spoke nicely with the ERM.
* Georgie Donovan suggested, "Consolidating with one vendor seems to be one of the best ways y’all have mentioned to reduce the number of knowledge bases."
* Kristin Martin asks, "One of the things that I've thought about since we started experimenting with WorldCat Local and from examining other discovery tools, is what exactly should be in the OPAC? Should we be placing all of these records into our OPAC, with every library separately maintaining records for electronic objects that are in fact stored in a central place (after all, we all point to our Elsevier journals on the same platform), or should we be working on ways to search our physical holdings in our catalog with other content, as the discovery tools are doing?... We are sort stuck in an in between place right now, where we are still trying to figure out how best to leverage our resources."
* This topic led to a side discussion regarding the user’s confusion around what is going on when linking between OPAC & A-Z list managed by ERM systems. Screen shots and accompanying advice was shared.

Print journal usage stats
* One of the most popular topics of the day!
* Scanning barcodes during re-shelving (barcode binder method) was mentioned a few times
* Making tick marks when re-shelving
* Access database to keep track of ticks
* trend was to track titles, not individual volume/issue
* One mention of including routed titles in total usage stats
* Roger Davis mentioned his open source tracking system,, which he’s happy to share.

Tracking communications/e-resource access issues
* Not a lot was said about this one; seems as if there is still some uncertainty about how to do this?
* Repeat mention of forming an e-resources team and coordinating communication between that team
* Several mentions of having a "report problem link" buttons on various interfaces that send messages to spreadsheets or documents
* One mention of SysAid to report/route problems

Documenting & assessing workflows
* Word documents & other types of manuals outlining tasks, including screen shots!
* have a back-up person trained in case main person is out (or leaves?)
* captivate videos for training
* be pro-active in order to anticipate potential problems
* Georgie Donovan shared e-resource workflow document and is coordinating an interest group around sharing of such documents/resources in some type of informal repository

ONE word of advice
* "Not claiming and then tracking the claim status!!!" --Saundra L. Ross
* "A modified (significantly reduced) print check-in processes, including ceased claiming."--Jennifer Sippel
* "Print serials have gotten easier because we have so few of them now, and we stopped claiming."--Julie Moore
* "About the only positive impact on staff is that if your staff were overqualified for print serials workflows, you now have something challenging to throw at them....I think the job prospects in this field are far better than for subject selectors and reference and instruction librarians."--Mark Hemhauser
* "You have to be willing to embrace an ever-changing environment and accept chaos (at least in the digital world)!"--Becky Torrey
* "I think the e-resources work has led to more interesting, more techy jobs in the “tech services” area of the library and gives a better impression of tech services work…." --Georgie Donovan

Impact of e-Books on serials workflow
* Christine Stachowicz did a nice job of summarizing for me: "We split the handling of e-books pretty much the same way – what acts like a monograph or is purchased like one goes through our Monographic Services Dept, while what acts like a serial (essentially, resources that involve ongoing payments) are handled by E-Resources & Serials Management."
* Susan Davis said, "I think the folks handling e-books have a greater appreciation for the struggles the e-serials folks have had all these years. In other words, "welcome to my nightmare" :-)"

And, because I couldn’t summarize it for him, Mark offered his own summary for Day 1 :)
* Mark Hemhauser’s response to claiming e-journals: "We get a report of all of our subscriptions that include an electronic component from our ILS. Then manually check each title (over a period of a few months) to see if the title has been cut off, and to find and resolve discrepancies between our holdings and our actual access. Similar to the SEESAU approach, but with less sophisticated programming and back-end configuration."

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