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

Monday February 28th, 2011

List of programs:


Databases on the Go: Creating a Mobile Database Site

[View this presentation at Vimeo]

Mary Walker, electronic resources librarian, Wichita State University

Monday, Room 204, 9:50-10:35

reported by Rebecca Rosenberg

During this first-day presentation, Mary Walker, electronic resources librarian at Wichita State University introduced the audience to the logistical details of implementing a mobile database site and later a mobile library website.

First, Ms. Walker stressed the importance of providing mobile access in a world where 67% of Americans use cell phones to access the Internet. With a mobile library website or database, information professionals can be ready to assist users who want to work, learn, and research anytime and anyplace. Databases are an essential part of a library’s mobile website, helping students save time by allowing them to do pre-research, such as downloading citations, which allows more time for actual research and analysis when the student arrives at the library.

Even if your library does not yet have a mobile library site, you can create a mobile database site. Some of the major providers of mobile database access include EBSCO, IEEE, Wilson Web, and USA.gov. Ms. Walker highlighted some things to consider when setting up your mobile database site, such as:

  1. Organization of mobile access points for Apple versus non-Apple products, and ways of making the distinction clear to the user.
  2. Using other libraries as examples for inspiration (Rice, University of New Mexico, and Dartmouth were mentioned).
  3. Considering the number of links to include and the subsequent amount of scrolling required.
    Potential bugs such as incompatibility between varying displays and resources for testing different gadgets.
  4. Ways to facilitate discovery of new mobile databases such as blogs, listservs, colleagues and vendor newsletters.

Wichita State University library first created their own mobile database and then later a mobile library website. She highlighted possible resources for creation of a mobile site, including two open-source software options-Mobify (http://mobify.me/) and Mobile Site Generator, found at (http://www.hiddenpeanuts.com/msg/), and also the Viewport metatag. Mobify and Mobile Site Generator are said to be fairly intuitive and can be navigated by someone with minimal HTML coding experience, while the Viewport option, as it is nothing more than a metatag, assumes that the user has some basic coding and website creation experience.

In the case of Wichita State University, the Electronic Resources librarian and the Systems librarian collaborated on first using the mobile site generator, and then using the metatag to apply changes and improvements.

Every step of the process was elaborated in detail, and augmented with screenshots of the mobile site generator pages and sub pages, as well as examples of the mobile site and mobile library.

Finally, Ms. Walker reviewed the importance of using analytics to track usage over time, and discussed possible improvements to the current mobile sites. Mobile internet access is not going anywhere, and it will be expected more and more of libraries, who can learn from the experiences of WSU and others.


ROI: Why Oh Why? How to use Return on Investment Data to tell Your Library’s Story

[View this presentation at Vimeo]

Doralyn Rossman (Montana State University)

Monday February 28th, 9:50-10:35am, Salon ABC

reported by Andrea Ogier


In her session, ‘ROI: Why Oh Why: How to use Return On Investment Data to tell your Library’s Story,’ Doralyn Rossman offered an overview of ROI evaluations and how they can be used to tell a Library’s story to various groups. ROI evaluations are based on both quantitative and qualitative data, though the exact metrics and measurements used will differ from library to library.

She suggested that while ROI can help libraries identify areas for improvement in data collection and help inform decision-makers during tough budget-related decisions, it is a tool that should be used in conjunction with other tools– not as a decision-making metric on its own. The basics of ROI lie in a standard equation: value in terms of money. However, she showed that depending on the library’s priorities, value could be measured a number of different ways, including use (how often is an item used or circulated), impact (what is a library trying to achieve, and how do they know if they’ve achieved it), alternate comparison (value in comparison with other similar, more costly services), customer satisfaction, and the production of commodities such as services, facilities, and resources.

She then showed that there are a number of different metrics to use when calculating library value from a business perspective, including but not limited to benefits/cost (ex: number of articles / cost per article) and perceived benefit/perceived cost (ex: service and resource use / user time, cost, effort). Rossmann stressed that the pieces of these equations must have strong correlations or relationships in order to be connected to library value. Quantifying the correlation between things, setting up the equations, gathering the data, and analyzing the return on investment will take time and effort but will aid libraries in telling their story to their administrators and administration.

Depending on the priorities of a library and its administration, a number of different quantitative and qualitative metrics can be used to tell a number of different stories. Rossman’s examples of these stories include: cost avoidance for users, reduced cost of course materials, quick access to research materials, increased faculty publishing articles, increased grant activity, time saved by researchers, staff time investment and institutional savings, attracting faculty, retaining students, savings in time and money to the user, and furthering the mission of the administration. The underlying library values are financial good, societal good and environmental good in support of an institution’s goals.

Rossman also included profiles of a few libraries and institutions using ROI, including the University of Tennessee and the Cornell University Library Research and Assessment Unit. She also noted LibValue’s bibliography on ROI and a recent ACRL publication entitled ‘The Value of Academic Libraries: A Comprehensive Research Review and Report.’ Nearing her concluding remarks, Rossman noted that libraries should try to use information that has already been collected, even from other sources if available, as this will lessen the burden on a library. This information can come from different sources: usage reports, financial records, institutional data, observation, interviews, focus groups, security and/or testing. In a perfect system, the data would be collected before it is needed, but more often it is collected at the time of use or as a follow up. It also may need to be collected on a cyclical schedule. In her conclusion, Rossman reasserted her main point, that ROI uses both quantitative and qualitative data to tell a story.


Using the Social Design Model to Enhance Electronic Browsing and Article Linking in Online Journal Databases

Jacqueline Radebaugh, Columbus State University

Monday, Room 204, 11:00-11:45

reported by Rebecca Rosenberg

Ms. Jacqueline Radebaugh of Columbus State University discussed her research involving the theories of Social Informatics, as it relates to the research process in scholarly work. The findings expressed in her presentation were adapted from a faculty research forum in which she hoped to open up a dialog with faculty about their use of online journals.

As a librarian attempting to provide environmentally sound online access to content, she faced unexpected complaints from faculty and students who were displeased with the elimination of certain print journals. Her course of research explores this reluctance to research using electronic journal articles.

The Social Design Model is a balance of creative change, the use of technology, and the various social structures within which they both occur. According to the Social Design Model, research is a conversation, as exemplified by many reported methods of researching, such as using the citations of others, also known as citation chasing, relying on the tacit knowledge of colleagues, or simply browsing the stacks to find information in the casual way known as berry picking.

Often, accessing journals happens in one of two ways: browsing or searching, which could also be seen as a subject heading versus keyword distinction. Radebaugh highlighted browsing as a complement to the more traditional search process, especially when the chosen search terms or subject headings prove to be inadequate. Things that obfuscate the use of proper search terms might include abstracts, which require the user to intuit the language of the author before having read them, and the user’s general lack of knowledge of Boolean operators or the appropriate controlled language to bring about the desired results.

A close look at the search paradigm revealed that is does not adequately reflect the social process of research. However, electronic citation chasing can provide a digital form of social knowledge discovery, as long as access is ensured. Ms. Radebaugh suggested the use of a digital object identifier or doi in conjunction with the open URL to facilitate e-citation chasing through seamless access, stating that using them in tandem easily averts some of the common barriers to access.

Though she did acknowledge some improvements being made to faceted browsing features offered by vendors such as EBSCO, there was still a disconnect found between the way that people actually search and the way that current databases are organized for searchability.


Making Data Work: Telling Your Story with Usage Statistics

Michael Levine-Clark (University of Denver), Jamene Brooks-Kieffer (Kansas State University Libraries), John McDonald (Claremont Colleges Library)

Monday February 28th, 11:00-11:45am, Salon ABC

reported by Andrea Ogier

The three presenters in this session each offered suggestions for telling library stories with usage statistics, with a focus on how to tailor a story to affect an audience.

Jamene Brooks-Kieffer’s presentation ‘Telling Data Stories: Tips for communicating beyond the spreadsheet’ began with the suggestion that a spreadsheet is not a tool of effective communication when asking subscription questions. When using the data from a spreadsheet to tell a story, we should put the data into a form that people can understand. Anyone with interest in the library is a potential audience for a data story–the key is finding the story that our audience needs to hear. The right details for the intended audience will increase the story’s impact. The right outlet for a story depends on who we want to reach–it’s important to find out where our intended audience is listening, and try to reach them there. Finding the right mix of audience, scope, and outlet will go a long way towards effective communication.

John McDonald spoke on how to tell the right data story. He suggests that it is important to first decide which story we wish to tell even before approaching the statistics. He offered an example of a story graphic that had the opposite effect of what he intended, showing how he adjusted the graphic to tell the story that he wanted to tell without being accusatory or inflammatory. He urged us to consider our audience when deciding how to represent our data, and to choose our statistics and images wisely. Working with others who may be involved with the data may be a good way to refine and build an effective story.

Michael Levine-Clark’s presentation ‘The Right Data for the Right Audience: Strategies for Effective Communication’ asked: what is the right way to present data? How can we tell a story that makes sense? Levine-Clark suggests that the right way to tell an effective story is based on audience, context and format. Using an example of a library renovation project involving storage decisions, he argues that data must be tailored to meet each audience’s needs–each audience group of stakeholders in any project has different concerns and needs. Each group needs a different story about the same data presented in different ways. In the example of the new storage facility, the faculty generally wanted to be reassured that the materials they needed would not be sent to storage, while the administration needed to be convinced that there was some justification for keeping the materials in the library since they were spending money on a storage facility. The Board of Trustees needed justification for spending time and money on the storage facility itself and needed to be reminded about the importance of paper collections and the need to browse collections within the library. As Levine-Clark showed, each group needed a different story about the same data, so it is important to know exactly how our audiences will consume the information we give them.


Promoting Electronic Resources at the Point(s) of Need

Teri Oaks Gallaway, Library Systems and Web Coordinator, Loyola University New Orleans

Monday 2:05pm–2:50pm (Room 204)

reported by Jared L. Howland

Teri Gallaway presented many ideas that should prove useful to any librarian interested in promoting library services to their users. She works at Loyola University New Orleans is a medium-sized academic library with 12 faculty and 20 professional staff. Many of the promotional ideas presented pertained to promoting academic library services to undergraduate students but were flexible enough that the principles could be applied at any library.

The first tenet of promotion is to create a marketing plan. Marketing plans are met with greatest success when all library staff are involved in creating it. Involving the community to which you are promoting your services is also a great way to start thinking creatively about ways to market your library and its services. The “Four Ps” control the shape of your marketing plan:

  1. Product
  2. Price (in a library context, this is usually thought of as the convenience library services provide versus alternatives—in other words, the value the library provides users)
  3. Place
  4. Promotion

All four Ps must coordinate with one another to send users a consistent message. Other things to consider when creating a marketing plan is the current market, SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats), creating a graphic identity, having an action plan and considering your organizations current goals and objectives.

A key aspect of a marketing plan is Promotion which simply educating users of your library services. However, it requires a huge amount of coordination within your organization to be successful. Creating a do-it-yourself promotion toolkit can make pulling together a promotion much easier. A toolkit includes the following elements:

    1. Identifying various promotional channels. Just a few examples include your library homepage, BlackBoard or other teaching/course tools, social networking tools, your library catalog to make sure resources are found easily, library instruction sessions and table tents.
    2. A sample promotional campaign including templates. If one promotional channel is your library homepage, have HTML code that can be reused for various campaigns. If your channel is a BlackBoard course, have several library-related announcements/service explanations written up that can be used each semester.
    3. Include contact information for person that needs to be involved in the promotional campaign. For example, for placing something on your library’s website, record the library’s web administrator’s contact information along with how much lead time you must give this person in order to have the promotion started at the appropriate time.
    4. All marketing plans and promotional toolkits should be curriculum and/or library service initiated. You should be selective in choosing promotional outlets and be focused in what you present to users. Large-scale, generic campaigns should be avoided because they are rarely successful.


16 Schools, $150,000 and 9 days: Experimenting with the Patron Driven Acquisition Model in a Consortial Environment.

Kate Davis, Scholars Portal; Lei Jin, Ryerson University; Colleen Neely, OCUL/Carleton University; Harriet Rykse, University of Western Ontario

Monday, February 28th, 2:05-2:50pm, Salon AB

reported by Andrea Ogier

OCUL, a consortium of 21 university libraries located in Ontario, Canada, began a pilot Patron Driven Acquisitions (PDA) program in order to find out if PDA programs were a feasible option for consortia. Sixteen of the OCUL institutions participated in the program. Each school contributed a monetary amount relative to the size of the school; total contributions equaled $150,000. The model for the pilot hinged on “unique page views:” 25 unique page views in one e-book would trigger a purchase of 4 copies shared across the 16 institutions, and the process would continue until all of the money was spent.

The initial title list included 90,000 e-books in either English or French, all published within the last ten years. This collection was narrowed down to almost 38,000 titles to which the libraries did not already have access in some other way. Also excluded were titles from non-academic publishers and publishers from whom e-book collections had already been purchased. In August, the records were distributed to each consortia library and loaded into each catalog; although the titles were available, they were suppressed until launch. Any e-book triggered before the launch did not count as a purchase; however, the money quickly ran out a few days after the launch. When the dust settled, the libraries found that they had purchased 467 e-book titles (each allowing four simultaneous users) that were shared among the 16 partnered libraries. They also found that patrons triggered books throughout all 16 of the participating libraries and that 48% of titles had been triggered by more than one school. The subject distribution of purchased titles matched the distribution of titles available; Business and Economics titles topped the list. Out of the 467 triggered titles, only 167 were completely unique, and 246 were available only in print prior to the trial.

The participating schools found that both students and faculty chose well; most books that were triggered would have been bought if requested through normal channels. The institutions ended up with access to a large number of books for a good price, and they were able to acquire local load rights for a good percentage of the books. The test week worked well, as the schools needed time to load the records into their individual catalogs and troubleshoot problems. There were, however, a few unforeseen glitches: the usage counts for that week could not be separated from the trial in terms of statistics. Although the model was designed for a consortium, the trial was set up as a single institution on the publisher’s platform, leading to technical glitches.

The participating libraries agreed that it was an interesting way to add content to the libraries’ collections. However, the opinion on whether it was a good value was split between the libraries, depending on the size of the institution and the subject areas that the institution needed. There were also concerns centering on possible issues of duplication, range, and appropriateness of the content. There was a general agreement that a second trial would need to involve a few changes to the model, including securing local load rights before the trial starts, targeting of specific collections, up-front title lists to avoid duplication, and a different purchasing model that would work for all libraries in the consortia and would allow the money to be spent over a longer period of time.


Digital Libraries: An evaluation of humanities-based digital libraries for teaching and learning

Tanya Prokrym, Hesburgh Libraries, University of Notre Dame
Monday, February 28, 2011, 2:05-2:50 PM, Salon DE
reported by Kathryn Pierce

Digital libraries have had a profound impact on the conduct of research in the sciences and the humanities, but university classroom usage is less well-defined. Tanya Prokrym presented a research project that examined how digital libraries are used within the humanities. The goal for the project was to determine how to get professors to use text and image-based digital libraries. Four focus groups were held to study how digital libraries are used. Undergraduate students, graduate students, faculty members, and service librarians participated in sessions designed to clarify current perceptions and expectations of digital libraries. Participants were drawn from the humanities and represented a variety of departments, including art/art history, film and television, history, medieval studies, Celtic studies, English, and philosophy.

Prokrym described what each participant group appreciated about digital libraries and what problems they identified. Undergraduates liked frameworks that helped guide them in their research but found digital libraries generally difficult to navigate. Graduate students were interested in the delivery of a final product, such as a pdf, and appreciated the ability to import and export. The lack of standardization across digital libraries was a concern for graduate students. Professors valued the integration of text/images, but thought digital libraries took care of copyright worries. Subject librarians liked the availability of content and the historical contexts provided, but were troubled by the searching mechanism. Overall, the study found that text-based digital libraries were used fairly effectively, but image based digital libraries are not used as effectively due to interface design problems, content limitations, and navigation difficulties. Common perceptions among participants were that digital libraries required too many clicks, that it was hard to get what you are looking for, and that digital libraries privilege textual documents over images when searching.

To start a conversation on where digital libraries can go, Prokrym introduced two tools, both in Beta for now. TILE, or text-image linking environment, (http://mith.umd.edu/tile/) is a web-based markup tool for humanities texts. TILE is designed to bring text and image together, and allows for the creation and manipulation of image-based editions and digital archives. Users can annotate parts of documents by adding metadata and creating links between text and images. Data for Research (http://dfr.jstor.org) by JSTOR may have value for digital libraries. DfR is designed to increase users’ ability to search and interact with content. Users can export datasets and are provided more information about articles, such as word frequencies, citations, and key terms.

Prokrym ended her presentation with the quote from Peter Drucker that “only radical innovation can lead to significant growth.”


Head first into the PDA pool: A comparison of librarian selections vs. patron selections

Lisa Shen, Tyler Manolovitz, Erin Cassidy: Sam Houston State University

Monday, February 28, 3:10-3:55, Salon ABC

reported by Gina Bastone

Sam Houston State University’s library enacted a pilot patron-driven ebook acquisitions program with ebrary where they compared patron selections with subject-specialist librarians’ selections from the same group of titles. Students chose 637 titles and the librarians chose 8,567 titles, with 116 titles overlapping between the two groups.

The library staff did not narrow down any titles and included titles they already had in print. They loaded more than 100,000 titles into their catalog for patron selection between June 2010 and September 2010. The library did not market the program to students, so students did not know the ebooks they were viewing were not currently owned by the university. The library decided ebooks would be purchased after five unique interactions. An interaction was defined by viewing, printing, or copying.


Initially, the pilot program’s budget was $24,000, but within a few weeks, the money ran out and staff decided to extend the program, ultimately spending $53,000. The most expensive titles were encyclopedias and handbooks, and most covered science-related subjects. The least expensive were popular titles and fiction, including classics in the public domain. Of the titles chosen, the library already owned 27% in print and 8% electronically but through another vendor.

The subjects of ebooks available were organized by publisher BISAC codes, and the subjects of students’ choices were proportionate to the subjects available. Comparison of student choices by school population revealed interesting results. The schools with the highest populations – criminal justice and education – chose the fewest number of titles; whereas students from social science and humanities schools, which had smaller populations chose the most titles. Also of note, students tended to choose titles with high academic content (as defined by the vendor). Overlap between patron and librarian choices included a number of supplementary titles.

Sam Houston State has 16 subject specialist librarians, but only 7 participated in the program. Selection was quite different from their usual procedures. Due to the sheer number of titles, the librarians could not put in as much careful thought into their selections. Some had as many of 50,000 titles to consider.


Patron driven acquisitions can be a good tool for selectors who know their ebook collection needs some “beefing up,” and collection development policies should be amended to make room for these types of changes. Students from some disciplines may be more likely to use ebooks or just more likely to use the library in general. This may explain why more students from social sciences and humanities chose more titles than students from larger schools.

Lessons learned

The librarians from Sam Houston State now know to put a price cap on titles available for PDA, leaving more expensive items like encyclopedias and handbooks for the selectors to examine. Older materials should also be left out, including works in the public domain and titles that may be out-of-date, such as accounting manuals. Individual journal issues should also be excluded, and the Sam Houston State librarians found it was easy to exclude journal titles from the master list of titles. Criteria for purchase should also be revised. Proposed requirements include 10 unique pages viewed and a minimum of 10 minutes of usage in each individual interaction.

Questions (paraphrased)

Q: The study was conducted over the summer – did summer enrollment possibly affect the choices made by school/discipline? Did the researchers look at demographics at all?

A: Graduate students make up a larger proportion of the student population during the summer, which may have had some effect on the choices. Otherwise, the number of classes across disciplines was similar to the number offered in the fall semester. The researchers were not able to get any more information on the demographics of students who selected ebooks.


Q: Was there any correlation between the subject specialists’ activities and patron selections by discipline?

A: The researchers could not determine a direct correlation. The Criminal Justice specialist is very active, but they saw low participation from that school.


Q: Why didn’t the library staff remove titles already in print?

A: Sam Houston State has a lot of commuters and distance learners who need access to electronic resources. It was also too difficult to line up the titles available for selection with those already in the catalog.


Q: Is the library staff keeping usage statistics?

A: They are, but the titles have been integrated so recently that they do not have any data to report on. However, many titles had more than the five interactions required for purchase.


Is the Bloom off the ERM Rose? Rethinking and retooling our electronic resource management strategies

Susan Davis, State University of New York at Buffalo

Monday Feb. 28, 3:10-3:55, Salon DE

Susan Davis discussed the implementation of an ERMS at her institution, SUNY New York at Buffalo. When the library began implementation of an Innovative Interfaces, Inc. (III) ERMS over five years ago, expectations were high. Many people hoped that the ERM could solve all problems related to electronic resources. They hoped to use it to track license terms and trials, collect usage statistics, provide better information to users, and produce useful reports. The ERMS was capable of performing these tasks, but it did still require human labor (perhaps more than expected). Some other problems that were encountered included the following: many of the systems that SUNY Buffalo used were proprietary and did not talk to one another (which cut down on the effectiveness of the ERMS); SUSHI was not yet in wide use; and it was difficult for librarians to say what was needed from the ERMS because needs change so quickly in the electronic environment.

After six years, they decided to create a Task Force to examine and improve the use of the ERMS in their institution. The steps planned for the Task Force were to conduct a needs assessment, conduct an environmental scan (“to determine the current state of development and implementation of ERMS”), get vendor demos and price quotes, determine institutional priorities, and make recommendations.

Once the Task Force completed their environmental scan of the way the ERMS was being used in their institution, they considered the options: keeping their current system while making changes in the way they used it, changing their ERMS provider, scrapping the use of an ERMS entirely and moving to other options, or outsourcing some or all of the services provided by an ERMS. Davis mentioned that as they considered their options, they had to keep in mind that open source options have a cost too (in management and human resources). They have not yet made a final decision, but Davis pointed out that when implementing an ERMS at an institution, librarians must be realistic about what it can really do!


You’ve flipped: The implications of e-journals as your primary format

Kate Seago, University of Kentucky

February 28, 2011, 4:50-5:35 PM, Room 204

reported by Kathryn Pierce

Between 2005 and 2010, the University of Kentucky shifted its journal collection from primarily print periodicals to predominantly online only subscriptions. Kate Seago presented the reasons behind the move, the challenges of the change, and the organizational ramifications for the university library.

The University of Kentucky is the largest state-assisted school in the state and the library functions as the regional depository. In 2005, 78% of the journal collection was in print format. As of 2010, 95% of the serial subscriptions were electronic only.

What were the motivations for the shift to e-journals? Budgetary constraints required librarians to choose either print or electronic while the library and the university simultaneously faced space limitations. With no room to grow on the single campus in Lexington, the library had to give up space for other university purposes. The staff was also responding to user demand. Librarians found that when patrons had to choose between print and electronic journals, they mostly selected the online format. Finally, the University of Kentucky is beginning to offer a lot of online classes, with course materials on Blackboard. Moving from print plus electronic to e-only has addressed budget issues, spatial limitations, and the increasing need for online content.

There were several challenges in the shift that required some organizational changes. In 2005, the acquisitions staff was separated into serials, monographs, and electronic resources. The majority of the staff worked on print monograph and print serials and had not done electronic resources acquisition. Seago consolidated acquisitions, migrated federal document check-in to acquisitions, and added permanent staff for electronic resources. Instead of relying on student staff, she added a library technician to update acquisitions and cataloging records and centralize license documentation for e-purchases. One technician position was moved to cataloging and metadata instead of monograph acquisition and a senior technician was added to electronic resources.

The key to making the shift and changing the staff has been providing good training materials and good documentation and to build in task flexibility. Student staff are still utilized and Seago has increased their responsibilities. The library began using student assistants for journal check-in. The senior technician created an internal access database to track information on e-resources, including licenses, renewals, packages, platforms, logins, and passwords. In 2011, the internal database was unveiled and is beginning to be used by staff. Workflows are continually evolving. Some of the challenges the library still faces are assessing package versus individual titles, canceling online titles, balancing access and ownership, and initiating a digital shift in the monograph collection.


Do Students Want Mobile Library Services and are Librarians Ready to Deliver?

Angela Dresselhaus and Flora Shrode, Utah State University

Monday 4:50–5:35pm (Ballroom AB)

reported by Jared L. Howland

Mobile services is a hot topic in all technology circles. The questions for librarians remain, however, of what tasks do patrons want to be able to perform from a mobile device and what are librarians currently offering or will be offering to patrons. Angela Dresselhaus and Flora Shrode, from Utah State University, presented the results of a study the conducted both with students and with librarians to get a better feel of the current and future mobile landscape in libraries.

Angela and Flora sent the survey to around 30,000 students and had an 11.9% response rate resulting in just over 3,000 students sampled. The first question they asked was how students were currently using library electronic resources to establish a baseline. They were interested to discover that usage of electronic resources did not vary very much between disciplines (arts, humanities versus sciences). Over 40% of students owned a smartphone and 30% owned mobile devices such as iPod Touches or other devices that come without monthly service fees.

Of those with a mobile device, 44% used it for academic purposes. This could include library services but also included things such checking BlackBoard and other course-related materials. They again looked for differences between disciplines and did not find any significant differences other than business and engineering students tended to use mobile devices more frequently than others.

When asked, hypothetically, if they owned any mobile device of their choosing would they use it to access library content over 71% responded that they would use a mobile device to access library content and services. When asked what library services they would like to have mobile access to, 18% responded the library catalog, 12% responded everything and 10% said articles. It was interesting to note that most wanted to be able to discover content on mobile devices but wanted to access that content for deeper research at a late time on a non-mobile device. Another interesting finding was that many students said they would have been using library mobile services had they known they existed hinting at the need for libraries to better promote and advertise current mobile offerings.

A similar survey was also distributed through various listservs to librarians to ask about current and future mobile offerings. Responders broke down demographically as follows:

  • 82% from academic libraries
  • 12% from public libraries
  • 5% from special libraries
  • and 0.4% from school libraries

When asked what mobile services are being offered currently, almost 53% of those that were offering mobile services said they offered library catalog searching. 47% offered database access and 47% offered other types of assistance (chat, text, IM, etc). When asked what should librarians be offering patrons, 71% stated they thought libraries should offer all services in a mobile environment. Only 3% of respondents expressed concerns that students had not desire to perform research on a mobile device.

There are many mobile apps available for use right now by any library. A few examples include the WorldCat app (available for Android and as a Web app for any web-enabled smartphone), Gale’s AccessMyLibrary app available for Android phones and iPhones, Naxos’ Music Library app for Android phones and iPhones, and SirsiDynix’s BookMyne app available for iPhones and as a Web app for web-enabled smartphones.

In addition to device-specific applications, there are many web-based mobile services available for patron use. These include all EBSCOhost databases, RefWorks, IEEE Xplore and JSTOR. Examples of good library implementations include Ball State University and North Carolina State University. A common theme among well-designed mobile sites is short text with icons that are easy to identify.

As your library dips its toe into the mobile pool, there are a few things to consider. The implementation team should come from a large cross-section of your library staff. Performing an environmental survey to discover what your community wants and needs, find out which devices students are currently using and which ones they struggle with and why will give a lot of useful information in the planning stages. As you plan, investigate what services are already being provided by vendors and what other libraries have already done (http://www.libsuccess.org/index.php?title=M-Libraries).


Buzz session: Usage Data and Assessment

Leslie O’Brien, Director of Technical Services and Collection Management, Virginia Tech (lobrien@vt.edu)

Monday February 28th, Room 203

reported by Jane Gruning

This session focused on usage data and the way that it is gathered and analyzed in libraries. Many participants noted that their institutions collect COUNTER data for electronic resources through a service. One problem that was discussed was that the vendor’s count may not agree with COUNTER data if the vendor is not COUNTER compliant. The moderator noted that usage statistics are often valued primarily for determining cost per use of resources. There was a general agreement on this point, and many individuals noted that their institutions use COUNTER data to determine which online journal subscriptions will be cut, if cuts are necessary. High cost, low use journals are often the first to be cut. The moderator then posed the question of what other kinds of value, besides cost per use data, are provided by usage data? Several participants said that they look at usage data to examine usage trends over time, and that this is helpful when they are testing out a new database or journal. This led to discussion of the necessary length of time for testing new resources, and several participants suggested that large research institutions needed to test resources for a longer period of time than did smaller liberal arts schools. Others mentioned that in the case of expensive data sets, the library may have to approach the particular college that uses that data set to begin paying for it themselves (at least one participant mentioned that this had been done successfully at her institution).

The discussion also touched on the pros and cons of journal aggregators. Participants mentioned the loss of back issues and the lack of journal ownership for the library as negatives, as well as the fact that there is no guarantee of availability for particular journals. However, the general consensus seemed to be that because of costs, most of the participants’ institutions were headed in this direction despite the negatives. More than one participant, however, did mention that their institutions had decided to drop consortium journal packages and instead subscribe to individual titles, and do pay per use for other resources.


Buzz session: Make it yourself! Academic library as publisher of print and online product

Patty French and Wendy Robertson
Monday, February 28, 4:00-4:45, Salon DE
reported by Gina Bastone

Patti French

Publishing in a Digital Institutional Repository
You can self-publish a number of materials through a Digital Institutional Repository – peer reviewed journals and articles, student journals, monographs (including updated monographs that may not be re-published through traditional outlets). These repositories have the potential to bring together all the important intellectual work that a university produces, and they can make university libraries more relevant. Repositories can help brand the school and the library, enhance discoverability, and facilitate preservation. Repositories also play a vital role in the open-access movement, taking research back from the publishers.

Ms. French presented a few examples of schools successfully integrating their repositories. At the University of Nebraska, a faculty member tried to publish a dictionary of invertebrate zoology 10 years ago, but no one wanted it. The repository posted it online, and now it’s one of their most downloaded items. An emeritus faculty member was able to publish an updated monograph on cranes and other birds. He found a new excitement for his research, and the library was happy to bring attention to his work.

Universities can work with centers, institutes, and non-academic communities to bolster their repositories. Another successful example is a collaboration between the University of Massachusetts Amherst and local cranberry growers to create a site called Cranberry Station.


Wendy Robertson, University of Iowa

Enhancing Existing Content by Transforming Books to Digital
See this URL for screenshots not available on the conference thumb drive:

Moving books to digital formats is not as simple as it seems. Those overseeing repositories need to evaluate functionality and figure out what print features to retain and what to adapt.

The Biographical Dictionary of Iowa was not originally well structured for a digital format. Initially, it was in the form of a PDF, but this proved to be too long and unwieldy. One librarian learned XML, and they were able to integrate full text searching into the digital format. Each entry has its own page, making it easier to read and cite than the PDF version.

At the University of Iowa, the repository had to collaborate with other departments to accomplish their projects. They had a close relationship with the University press, which made it easier to gather monographs for digitizing. They also found some best practices from working closely with programmers:

  • provide the programmers with structured data with clear relationships and unique IDs
  • create a prioritized list of functionality
  • make mock-ups for how data is to be presented

Discussion and Questions (paraphrased)

Q: The University of Iowa has a press and existing relationships. For institutions that don’t, what are some suggestions?

A: See what can produced in-house and what’s already been done. Look to departments with less money, like humanities and arts. They will have fewer demands and expectations. Also, contact faculty emeriti who would like to update their books and research.

Comment: Put things up that are copyright-free, such as state and government documents.


Q: It’s hard to get faculty on board without citation and recognition. What do you do about that?

A: Put in features that let faculty track the success of their publications. For example, send automatic download counts to their email addresses. Find existing, established faculty to champion your repository. Get someone who is excited about it and have them speak at department meetings. Established faculty will be easier to convince because they have less to lose and want their older work noticed. Also, get your provost and other high stakeholders involved. To recruit younger faculty and graduate students, put on copyright roadshows to educate them on author’s rights, reminding them why self-publishing through the repository is attractive.

Comment: If you’re looking to digitize a book still under copyright by a publisher, just ask the publisher if they’re willing to work with you. You may be surprised – some may allow you to put up the digitized content for free!


Buzz session: Off campus access to licensed electronic resources

Monday Feb. 28, 4:50-5:35, Salon DE

reported by Jane Gruning

This Buzz Session focused on the difficulties of providing off-campus access to licensed electronic resources. The first presenter talked about the problems encountered at her institution when switching to a new authentication system for off-campus access. The library did not have good communication with IT or control over the appearance and design of their website. The setup that IT created for the authentication process was difficult for users to find, and had too many options for authentication. The library decided to put a “key” icon on every library webpage that linked to the authentication page, thus making it easy for users to find, and then using a cookie to identify users once they had logged in. They also decided to feature just one authentication option to reduce confusion.

Another participant suggested an alternate solution: adding a prefix to all direct links to eResources for off campus users that routes users to a login screen. It may also be useful to direct them to the location of their username and password information.

A participant from Cornell responded that they were fortunate to have plenty of programmers on campus, one of whom set up a system that loads new resources easily into the EZ Proxy system. Some resources, though, do require help from a programmer if it is more difficult to load.

The main authentication options discussed were EZ Proxy, VPN, and PassKey. All electronic resources are not compatible with each option, so many institutions use one program as the primary authentication program and another as backup to ensure that all resources are accessible.

Another topic of conversation concerned troubleshooting these issues; staff must be able to access resources from an on-campus computer that appears to be off campus. Options mentioned by participants included dedicating an IP address to appear as off-campus, using a mobile router, and using Tor (onion routing). Participants mentioned that the last option will slow computer speed, but should not be a big problem when just checking access.