Electronic Resources and Libraries is pleased to congratulate Nicolette DeMoville, one of two student travel awards to attend ER&L in Austin, Feb 22-25. Read excerpts from Nikki’s winning essay and see why we are excited to have her at ER&L 2015!
University of Alabama School of Library and Information Studies, Tuscaloosa, AL
2015 MLS Candidate
Q: How are electronic resources related to your academic and/or professional career goals, and how will attending the ER&L conference help you achieve these goals?
A: My career goal is to work as a librarian in electronic resources and/or collection management. While I get practice in these areas every day in my work as Electronic Resources Coordinator at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, living in a geographically isolated area makes it challenging to find opportunities to learn and share ideas with other professionals in these fields. I welcome the chance that the ER&L Conference would provide for me to hear lots of ideas from other people and places. Tracks 1 and 2, with their emphasis on electronic resources and collection management, would naturally provide the best opportunities for me. Presentations on e-books, licensing, and workflows will be useful to me as I am still developing an ideal workflow for e-books and have been working through licensing, DRM, and usability issues with both our interlibrary loan staff and librarians partnering with faculty to use e-books in their courses. I am also very interested in the Collection Development presentations on topics involving anything related to usage analysis. At Cal Poly, I have been working with usage data to find better ways to evaluate our Big Deals, and have been experimenting with turnaway data as a predictor of desirability and future usage. I would be especially interested in any presentations related to user behavior and how it translates to reported downloads and turnaways. My library school experience has been fantastic, but the courses offered have been designed around larger concepts, so I have not had the opportunity to experience in-depth instruction in the areas that most fascinate me. However, I have been able to choose wonderful topics for some major assignments, resulting in papers on pay-per-view article purchases, e-book usage at public libraries, and Big Deal evaluation. I hope to learn even more at ER&L.
Q: While chatting with a faculty member, she mentions that all the material she needs to conduct research is available on the Internet. She comments that she doesn’t see a need for the library to have a physical presence on the campus. How would you respond?
A: My initial response with this faculty member would be genuine interest in how she does her research on the Internet. It is always useful to me to learn more about how faculty and students conduct their research, and this would be a terrific opportunity to engage this faculty member in a discussion of what she typically needs and uses. If many of the resources she thinks of as simply “being on the Internet” are actually licensed resources provided by the library, then this also becomes an opportunity to showcase the library’s role in the research process. I would also want to explore with her what she prefers for her students to use in their research projects, particularly at the lower division level. Is she content with Wikipedia, or perhaps she feels that sufficient material is available in full-text databases and e-books? I would be interested to find out how she guides her students to these resources, and what the library could do to make these resources even more complete and useful. Working around to the physical presence of the library on campus, I would generally agree with her that maintaining the building simply as a giant book warehouse is a poor use of space and money, but I would bring up ideas such as the uses of primary source materials, the importance of maintaining a core collection of foundational and classic print books, the need to support disciplines for which online materials are still somewhat sparse or less useful than print, and the value of locating specialized services, such as GIS and Data Management, in close proximity to research resources and the librarians who can provide expert guidance.
Follow Nikki @ndemovil where she’ll be posting #erl15 updates. Congrats, Nikki!