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A Solution with Its Own Challenges

University of the Western Cape, Cape Town, South Africa
August 16-17, 2007



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Rochelle BALLARD and Jennifer LANG (Princeton University Library)

The Hidden Benefits of Implementing an Electronic Resources Management System

Over the past decade, the proliferation of digital products and changing modes of access have made managing electronic resources a complicated and arduous task. In recent years, many libraries have created or purchased electronic resource management systems (ERMS) to keep track of their online subscriptions and license agreements. The ability to view all information related to a particular resource without having to consult multiple files or spreadsheets is perhaps the greatest benefit of using an ERMS. Furthermore, an ERMS can help eliminate staffing redundancies and duplication of efforts, and can be used to easily generate A-Z lists for ejournals and databases. Additionally, the process of implementing an ERMS may result in other unexpected bonuses. Workflows can be examined more carefully and streamlined where necessary, cataloging problems can be identified and corrected, and most importantly, unlikely partnerships and alliances can be formed between departments within and outside the library. In this paper, the authors will illustrate the obvious and not-so obvious rewards of implementing an electronic resource management system.

Richard BURKE (Statewide California Electronic Library Consortium)

SCELC's Consortial Approach to Electronic Resource Management

SCELC, the Statewide California Electronic Library Consortium, is a group of more than 90 private academic and nonprofit research libraries throughout the state of California. The libraries in SCELC are very diverse, ranging from large secular liberal arts universities, to art schools, religiously-based colleges, seminaries, museum libraries, medical libraries, law schools, think tanks and more. The SCELC office wanted to provide a common membership benefit that would bridge the gap between the diverse needs of these institutions, and provide a common application that all could benefit from and use to enhance their management of electronic resources. SCELC partnered with Serials Solutions to develop one of the first consortial ERM systems and it went live in March 2007. This session will document that process of developing this system, and provide illustrative screenshots of the system'+s features.

In addition, SCELC developed an internal operations database called SCELC WISDOM. The WISDOM application provides complete management of all member, vendor and electronic resource subscription information, including invoicing, IP range tracking, mass email functionality, and provides a means for the rapid renewal of large numbers of subscriptions with the click of a button. The system runs in the relational database software Filemaker Pro. WISDOM provides some of the foundation for the information found in the SCELC ERMS, and provides a useful example of how to manage large amounts of member, vendor and order information at the consortial level. The WISDOM system will be briefly demonstrated in this session to provide some background to the functionality found in the SCELC ERMS.

Theodore A. FONS (Innovative Interfaces Inc.)

The Present and Future of Electronic Resource Management Systems: Public and Staff

As libraries evaluate, purchase and then implement Electronic Resource Management Systems they encounter challenges in both implementation and functional requirements. As the ERM system is implemented in a production environment, libraries soon see how well the system meets their functional requirements and determine which functional requirements are not met by the current system.  This leads to the identification of future functional requirements. These new needs reside on both sides of the end-user spectrum. Professional library staff have a need to analyze their electronic collections for comprehensiveness, title overlap, cost-per-use and other collection analysis functions.  They also have the need to automate administrative tasks like IP registration, incident reporting, trial administration, activation, renewal, sample license review and license exchange.  Library end-users and public services staff have a need to understand the full range of permissions and restrictions for electronic resource use.  They also have the need to be alerted when electronic resources have been upgraded, enhanced or when system outages are planned or are on-going. As electronic resource management systems evolve, system functionality should evolve to meet the library's needs for ease of implementation-including rapid description of the data model and ease of import of existing resource descriptions.  It should also grow to act as a collection development and analysis tool and as the source for critical access and license data for patrons wherever they access the library's electronic resources.


Electronic Communication of Licensing Terms

As the proportion of digital resources in library collections grows, libraries have increasing difficulty complying with the widely differing license terms applied to resources by their creators and publishers. The ability to express these terms in a standard XML format, link them to digital resources and communicate them to users has become a pressing need with benefits to both publishers and libraries. EDItEUR, the international trade standards body for books and journals, has developed the ONIX Publications License format (ONIX-PL), in collaboration with the US Digital Library Federation (DLF), the National Information Standards Organization (NISO) and the Publishers Licensing Society (PLS), to support the communication of licensing terms for electronic resources from a publisher to a user institution (e.g. an academic library or consortium). EDItEUR has also developed prototype publisher drafting tools that will enable publishers and libraries to choose from, and where necessary extend, a menu of clauses and terms, and create a machine-readable ONIX-PL licence without technical knowledge of XML or the ONIX-PL format.

Dalene HAWTHORNE (Emporia State University Libraries and Archives) e Jennifer WATSON (University of Tennessee Health Sciences Library)

Electronic Resource Management Systems: Alternative Solutions

Keeping track of licenses and invoices for electronic resources can be complex and time consuming. Commercial electronic resource management systems are now available, but the cost to purchase and implement them may be prohibitive for some institutions. There are alternative solutions, but each institution must evaluate its needs and weigh the benefits and disadvantages of the various alternatives before selecting a course of action. This presentation will include information about some of the options available to libraries and will include examples of how some libraries are approaching these challenges.

Ted KOPPEL (Ex Libris)

A Vision of the Future of Electronic Resource Management: Where Are We Going and How Will We Get There?

Electronic resource use continues to increase; in many research libraries electronic resources make up more than half of the materials budget. Libraries feel pressure internally to manage the many administrative aspects of e-resources, and externally, from funding agencies, to prove wise stewardship of the library budgets. At the same time, traditional models of library automation are changing, from the "silo" model to the "solution" model. Koppel will examine trends in the electronic resource environment and try to predict what we can expect in the next several years. He will look at current developments and will recommend some infrastructural changes that would enable the ERM as we know it to become a more capable and complete universal resource manager.

Kimberly J. PARKER (Yale University Library)

Tools for Mature Management of Electronic Resources Lifecycles in Libraries

The author will provide an insider look at the work and development of the Digital Library Federation's Electronic Resource Management Initiative documents. Activities leading up to the Initiative will be covered, and the dichotomy between ideal and practical approaches will be explored. Lastly, the audience will be invited to explore how their own institutional workflows support or hinder the use of electronic resource management tools.

Oliver PESCH (EBSCO Information Services)

Connecting ERMs and Usage Statistics

One of the biggest challenges, of the many challenges libraries face with e-resources, is the fact that the e-collection is neither housed or accessed from within the physical library. Unlike most print collections, where the library can control access and thus closely monitor use, the electronic content is usually in the control of an outside hosting site -- in fact many hosting sites. Libraries who want to monitor usage are required to first fetch statistical data from all of these sites (assuming such reports are provided).  Complicating things further is the way e-resources are purchased -- a journal may be found in an e-journal package as well as one or more aggregated databases; therefore getting an accurate sense of usage can be difficult as statistics from a number of hosting sites must be consolidated. Fetching, reformatting, loading and consolidating usage to provide meaningful results is both error-prone and extremely time consuming. This talk will look at how ERM systems brings provide the structure for organizing e-resources, and how standard like Project COUNTER and SUSHI help improve quality and greatly reduce the time effort of providing effective usage reports.

Dorette SNYMAN (University of South Africa)

The New World of Work: Adapting the Organization to an ERM Environment

The implementation of an ERM system requires a thorough analysis of potential organisational changes in order to establish a robust e-workflow and infrastructure for electronic information resources. The Unisa Library decided to use the workflow of the Digital Library Federation ERM Initiative as a model to analyse its own operations. An immediate finding of the Unisa analysis was that the use of the Millenium ERM system would fundamentally affect most organizational processes in the library and will ripple through almost all existing and future workflows. The library has come to the realization that only excellent management of its ERM will support strategic and operational decision making in collection management and in service quality to its clients. The paper will present the Unisa ERM workflow and customization analysis, and its planning for anticipated organizational and operational changes.

Wilhelm WIDMARK (Stockholms universitetsbibliotek)

A New Organization Built on a New Tool?

Stockholm University Library has seen a rapid increase in the numbers of e-resources in the library collection and percentage of our total acquisition budget devoted to e-resources. Our print-oriented library organization was used with minor adjustments to work with electronic media. This organization could manage the daily workload but it was hard to make any progress in the organization or administration of our e-resources. Information about licenses was in different spreadsheets and e-mails stored in diverse locations. Two key individuals held much of the information and the know-how regarding the licenses in their own heads. We planned the reorganization of our work with e-resources and also bought an ERM system, Meridian from Endeavour.

In the beginning, the new organization and the Meridian system went hand in hand, but since then the reorganization has been successful but the ERM system has not become the core tool originally envisioned. In his speech the author will talk about the reasons why the ERM system has not succeeded in becoming the main working tool. Other subjects that the author will talk about are the problems we have had as early adopters and how we see the future with our ERM system. In spite of the temporary setbacks, the author is still positive about the thought that an ERM system will be our organization's main working tool and will help us ensure quality and continuity in our handling of e-resources.

Alicia WISE (Publishers Licensing Society)

Electronic Resource Management: Its Applications for Licensing Copyright and Related Rights

Electronic Resource Management is a challenge facing librarians around the world today. It's also a challenge that faces authors, publishers, end-users and all others in the "information value chain". In this paper the application of ERM to managing the licensing of copyright and related rights will be explored. Topics covered will include legal, organisational, social, and technological. Embracing complexity and investing in international standards for automation are two of the most practical ways forward, and case studies of current international initiatives will be presented to illustrate this argument.

© 2007 Yale University Library
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