Exploring trends, technologies, e-resource management, and digital services in libraries.

2021 Track Highlights

ER&L tracks have been molded by our program planning committees over the past 16 years.

The PPC Track Chairs have prepared the highlights within each of their tracks.

1. Managing e-Resources & Licensing

The 2021 Managing e-Resources & Licensing track offers more than 30 opportunities to learn about such a complex and varied aspect of our profession.  Several sessions will address how the COVID-19 pandemic encouraged rapid adaptation to support increased online learning and, in some cases, decreased budgets.  ERMs and LSPs remain a popular topic, with an examination of one school’s migration to  FOLIO and how record relationships in Alma affect analytics. There will be an update on Phase III of KBART and a NISO-recommended practice for video and audio metadata exchange.  Due to the pandemic, ensuring uninterrupted access to online resources is more vital than ever. Fortunately, we’re offering five separate sessions related to troubleshooting access issues and utilizing ticketing systems.  Presentations on journal pricing transparencyvendor negotiationsaccess fees, and evidence-based acquisitions will prove useful for comparing and improving various licensing strategies. These are just a select few of the valuable Managing e-Resources & Licensing sessions, and we look forward to learning with you!

Track Chair:

Erin Finnerty
Electronic Resources Librarian, Temple University

2. Collection Development & Assessment

Covid-19 pandemic pushes libraries to scrutinize their collection budget more carefully, especially for licensed e-resources, while striving to continuously fulfill users’ needs. In this Collection Development and Assessment track, we’ll hear from various academic institutions assessing collection usage and user needs, use of locally developed tools or vendor-based services, and approaches in data analysis that would allow e-resources librarians or collection development managers to make smart budget decisions. Included in this track are strategy on how to best use COUNTER 5 data, the value of moving to open access resources, use of historical data to improve workflow and show value to various stakeholders, and partnerships as part of the decision making process.

Track Chair:

Ranti Junus
Systems Librarian, Electronic Resources, Subject librarian for Library Science and Museum Studies, Michigan State University Libraries

3. Organizational Strategies

The Organizational Strategies track for ER&L 2021 will shine a spotlight on timely and traditional topics that attendees have come to expect.  Sessions will include topics related to our new COVID-19 based reality such as working virtually, budget cuts during a pandemic, and cross-training and collaborative work in a crisis.  Other sessions will focus on anti-racism in scholarly publishing; managerial mindsets; professional development; public access compliance; and balancing subject liaison responsibilities with e-resources work. The sessions in this track will give attendees a wider viewpoint and the knowledge and tools to make a difference in their home libraries.

Track Chairs:

Todd Wallwork, MLIS
Technology Systems Librarian, Northeast Ohio Medical University

Kristin Rogers, MLIS
Electronic Resources and Discovery Librarian & Assistant Professor, The University of Mississippi Libraries

4. External Relationships

At a time when many of us have settled into a remote work routine with our new feline and canine colleagues, the concept of “external relationships” has taken on a very different meaning and provides a new lens through which to view this track. As one might expect, we have sessions discussing some of the myriad collaborations that sprung up in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, pulling in team players from libraries, vendors, IT, and extra library departments. A session on increasing transparency and open communication with faculty and university administration will offer helpful information for those of us who find ourselves preparing for pandemic aftershocks in the form of collections budget cuts. We also have a session on deep collaboration between the members of a large consortium using a shared ILS, and a session discussing the vital role of accurate and timely metadata as it weaves across scholarly publishing, discovery tools, and other data partners. During a difficult and uncertain time, the 2021 External Relationships track reminds us that we can and should find strength the same as we always have … through community.

Track Chair:

Tessa L.H. Minchew
Electronic Resources Librarian, Acquisitions & Discovery, NC State University Libraries

5. User Experience & Promotion

In this year of virtual everything, a smooth user experience for e-resource discovery and access became more important than ever.  Our seven sessions reflect how libraries have dealt with challenges old and new as they help their users quickly and easily find the content they need.  This year, there is a focus on streamlining authentication, with an emphasis on alternatives to proxy authentication, to help the now constantly off-campus user.   The need for better training and sharing of information around electronic resource discovery also takes center stage, as speakers share best practices to improve your Database A-Z list (“Stop Sharing TMI”) and instruction and reference about discovery service use (“Have You Tried the Giant Search Box”).   While authentication and improving website content are topics that are not new, this track also touches on a very specific issue that arose with COVID:  how can libraries manage and market temporary content, such as the eclectic group of resources suddenly made Open Access the spring of 2020 (“Sink or Swim? The Perils and Pitfalls of Temporarily Opened Resources”)?    The User Experience and Marketing track demonstrates that though use ebbs and flows, creating accessible, easy-to-understand and easy-to-use platforms remains an essential part of the library’s mission.

Track Chair:

Kate Hill
Library Services Engineer, EBSCO

6. Scholarly Communications & Library Publishing

Track 6 is bigger than ever. Long-time interests and concerns like institutional repositories, transformative agreements, open access, and open educational resources are still part of the track but are given new interest and approaches by our speakers. Fitting open access resources into our technical processes, knowledge bases, discovery systems, and outreach will be addressed from several different perspectives. A number of speakers will present new looks at researcher identity and how libraries can provide leadership for implementation. The Track has never had so many presentations about changes in the scholarly publishing world and how open access is being integrated into the objectives and procedures of publishers. What is old is new in Track 6, but there will be lots of unique approaches to get your brain thinking about new possibilities.

Track Chair:

Steven R. Harris
Dean of Libraries, Northeastern Illinois University

7. Emerging Technologies & Trends

Tackling long-standing, as well as new electronic resource challenges has always been the hallmark of the Emerging Technologies & Trends ER&L track. This year’s crop of sessions covers vitally important issues related to secure remote access and user privacy, data bias and access inequities, and tools to both enhance and support users’ needs. Join us for both thought provoking and solution-driven presentations focused on the future of electronic resource use and delivery. 

Track Chair:

Julie L. Loder
Director of Acquisitions and Eresources, Vanderbilt University

8. Data in Libraries

Now more than ever, libraries are leveraging their digital capabilities to extract more value from their collections and underlying data they manage. This year’s Data in Libraries sessions present us with new approaches and services being applied in libraries and the lessons they have learned. Sessions in Track 8 cover automated and statistical methods for patron needs assessments and metadata enhancement, textual analysis services for research,  teaching and learning, data analytics and visualization services, and community building initiatives. Join us to learn how the presenters are applying data services for their communities and how you might apply it to your own setting.

Track Chair:

Chris Erdmann
Engagement, Support, and Training Expert, Renaissance Computing Institute (RENCI), University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill