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OCLC Resource Sharing Breakthroughs Inaugural Conference 2017

On March 14-16, Erika and Terry attended the first inaugural OCLC Resource Sharing Breakthroughs Conference in Virginia Beach.

This was an interesting conference for quite a few reasons. Traditionally the “International ILLiad Conference,” OCLC’s licensing of ILLiad has morphed this conference into the “OCLC Resource Sharing” conference. (This may be the last time that the conference is held in Virginia–it was sold out months in advance.)

Tipasa Tuesday
The atmosphere was electric as OCLC kicked off their conference with a day that focused on their new cloud product Tipasa, a product so new in its development that it may be years before it’s ready for libraries our size. There were some tense moments in the ballroom of over 400 attendees from 43 states, DC, and Canada.

Tipasa is still in its early days, as was evident in the presentation. It’s a multi-year project with many phases. Tipasa is cloud-based and can run from any browser. OCLC is in the early stages of development. They are conducting interviews and site visits; conducting usability testing; and working with early adopters. Currently there are over 1,200 libraries worldwide that use ILLiad, and 62% of these are medium to large academic libraries that have done a lot of customization of ILLiad to take advantage of its ability to unmediate processes, among other things. The time frame for beginning to transition these libraries is 2018, but this may be optimistic. Only 75 libraries have volunteered to be early adopter libraries—these are very small libraries that have done no ILLiad customization and don’t work with other systems. OCLC is still in the early days of Phase 1. OCLC has begun to work with Rapid, upon whom we rely to do our consortial borrowing; however, they have only worked on the non-returnables piece. IDS, another of our significant consortium partners, is somewhere on the horizon but not yet on the roadmap. There are benefits to the new product, such as dual Spanish-English language capability, the ability to embed a chat widget, and the fact that it is mobile friendly. At this point, the system is still entirely mediated, with no routing; metrics are very limited; there are limited notification templates; and there is no NCIP integration. The BLC Resource Sharing COI will most likely be coordinating a letter to OCLC concerning functionality.

Keynote Storytelling
The keynote speaker was Todd Babiak, an inspirational speaker from Canada who spoke about the Story Engine. He talked about the importance of having a story. The use of a master story informs your brand, and to your brain, the story and the brand are the same. He advised us to return to our libraries and begin to investigate our stories. What is our story? What makes our library special? Don’t do focus groups; do individual interviews. Draw examples from patrons and staff about what makes us different. A common theme will emerge: the one problem only we can solve. That’s your story.

Ask Atlas
Ask Atlas was a session that focused on ILLiad processing tips by Atlas staff, including an interesting way to obtain robust ILLiad metrics. There was more news on the OCLC ILL cost calculator by Dennis Massie. We have reached out to him to express interest in early adoption of the calculator and he told us to expect a call soon. There are many issues in having an open calculator, including security, but there is also other sensitive information to consider, such as salaries. He referenced the most recent cost study by Leon and Kress, and we were part of that study.

Harness Your Resources
Erika and Terry presented the poster, “Harness Your Resources: Doing More with Less.” We presented on what we did to streamline and centralize our resource sharing operations and how we use systems like RapidILL and IDS Project to add efficiencies. We heard from many people who were interested in what we did–it’s a hot topic.

Assessment Plans and Interlibrary Loan
This session discussed options for using LibQual survey data in interlibrary loan strategic planning. Recommendations on how to use the data and align it to library and institutional missions were offered and examples given. One such example was using a positive comment such as, “I love the ILL paging service,” and exploring why that service is loved. By conducting additional inquiries, it could be possible to determine how much time a paging service saves faculty and researchers, and that time savings could be measured and translated into cost savings.

Library Information and Resource Sharing: Transforming Services and Collections
This session was presented by the authors of the book, “Library Information and Resource Sharing: Transforming Services and Collections.” Discussion was about connecting various library functions and collaborations to focus on user needs. This included advocating for information sharing in all forms. This could include sharing the expertise of one library’s staff with another library, such as Columbia and Cornell collaborating to share a subject specialist.

What They Teach You at Harvard: Resource Sharing Centralization and Workflow Enhancements
This talk mirrored much of what Erika and Terry presented in their poster session. Leila Smith, Associate Director of Access Services at Harvard Library, reviewed Harvard library’s centralization from 15 sites to 5. This involved consolidating OCLC symbols and absorbing workflows. Taking on more work was necessary because of staff departures and was possible by enhancing their workflows and implementing tools such as RapidILL and IDS Project to reduce mediated processing.

Ivies Plus Access Services Symposium 2015

 

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Ivies Plus Access Services Symposium 2015

Yale University

Post by Erika McNeil and Stan Huzarewicz

This past Friday, Stan Huzarewicz and Erika McNeil attended the Ivies Plus Access Services Symposium at Yale.  The themes of the symposium included fair use, evolution of staff skills, strategies for dealing with change, and access to collections.  Attendees included staff from: Harvard, Princeton, Yale, Brown, Cornell, Columbia, Stamford, MIT, Dartmouth, Duke, Johns Hopkins, NYU, Chicago, Penn, Emory, and Rutgers, as well as representatives from Atlas Systems.

Susan Gibbons, Yale’s Deputy Provost for Libraries & Scholarly Communication, launched the symposium, and her introduction focused on the concepts of partnerships and collaboration.  She stressed that we need to find more ways to collaborate and create new partnerships, and that we can’t move forward alone.  Yale trustees, she said, support these concepts at Yale; we need to create best practice together, and that doing so for copyright and fair use is critical.

The panel then began on Copyright, Fair Use, and the GSU Decision, led by Kevin Smith (Director of the Office of Copyright and Scholarly Communication at Duke), Peter Hirtle (Senior Policy Advisor to the Cornell University Library and Fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University), and Joan Emmet (Licensing and Copyright Librarian at Yale).  As we know, Georgia State is not finished; decisions have been made, but Kevin Smith stressed that no decision yet has changed Georgia’s daily work practice.  What we know now: fair use does apply to e-reserves, even though it is not considered to be transformative; classroom copying guidelines do not define fair use (10%); you can reuse e-reserve articles each semester under fair use; using an item-by-item approach is more important than ever; and it is critical to search for a digital license.  Consider what your book is, the 10% or one chapter guideline is still probably a good rule of thumb, but it must be flexible; less is recommended if the pedagogical need does not require 10% or if a digital license is available; if the teaching purpose is for more, then this may be okay too.  Flex up, flex down.

In terms of ILL, there isn’t any explicit fair use language, with the exception that in general, ILL cannot be used as a substitution for a subscription.  In terms of explicit permissions of the law, it’s not there.  There are guidelines, like ILL’s common best practice of CONTU, but CONTU is not a law.  In terms of your e-resource licensing, Joan Emmet stressed the allowing of ILL; if ILL restrictions are in a license she receives, she strikes it out.  Her reasoning is that it’s not enforceable by law now, but if it’s restricted in a license, then it becomes so.  It’s critical to look for undue restrictions and to use a database to record these licenses.  Yale provides specific information about their e-resource license restrictions to ILL as well as reserve and is proactive in informing these groups.

At the session Evolution of Access Services Staff and Strategies for Dealing with Change, many commonalities emerged.  Many institutions are dealing with budget cuts and loss of staff (e.g. New Jersey is also under a hiring freeze).  Systems and technologies are changing more quickly than some staff can adapt, but training is key when you can’t hire new staff.  It is essential to keep your job descriptions current.  There was a group motion to create a core competency document.  At Yale, all staff are cross trained for ILL and circulation and share the work.  At Johns Hopkins, it was important to bring staff skills up even if it meant reclassing them.  Yale does peer-based training.  All staff at Cornell went through customer service training.  Rutgers is doing an evaluation to see where training is needed.  MIT did customer service training for all staff as well.

At the session Discovery Tools and Access to Services and Collections, similar issues again arose.  Link resolvers don’t always resolve, what metrics we should keep . . . Johns Hopkins has begun to use Enterprise Authentication: users log in when they access the system, which gives them single-sign on functionality—there is no need to authenticate with every system.  Atlas is working to integrate ILLiad requests into the LMS and has done so at Harvard and at VCU (it works with an ILLiad addon).  (We’re going to investigate this, as Virginia also has Alma.)  Dartmouth is using Stack Map, which lets you see exactly where a book is in the library.  At Harvard, they put a QR code on a door that patrons think provides access to a certain study room—the code brings up a short video on how to get to the correct door.  Chicago is exploring using Google Maps to bring you into their library and to all of the floors.  Chicago is working to eliminate recalls; for every book that a patron recalls, they’re inserting a bookmark directing the patron to ILL next time; Johns Hopkins and Penn echoed this, emphasizing “stop saying no!”

The session on Technology in Libraries addressed libraries’ experiences with circulating technology.  Tom Bruno (Yale) facilitated the session and suggested that, in addition to meeting patrons’ needs, libraries are providing a ‘technology sandbox’ where patrons can learn about new technology.  Libraries are still dealing with basic questions surrounding loan periods, liability for damaged items, shelf life, etc.  Demand for a new technology decreases as patrons acquire the items for themselves, leaving items to gather dust and eventually become obsolete. Technology can quickly become cost prohibitive – can the library find allies in other areas who can share the cost?  The session concluded with the most fundamental question—should the library even own this service?

There were some interesting demos during the lunchtime demonstrations.  At Penn, they have begun 24/7 in earnest, hiring staff to cover the overnight shifts.  These staff receive training in tech support, reserve, shelving, and chat.  All of these services are covered all of the time.  They have found that services are caught up and that patrons are benefiting.  They have on average over a hundred patrons in the building at any hour during the night.  Johns Hopkins now embeds the ILL request link both in the list of search results as well as the item level for patron convenience; one of the biggest benefits was the reduction in recalls.  At MIT, they conducted an initiative to improve customer service.  They wanted to create a unified voice and send a better message.  Each message sent from the library for any service (automated or personal templates) was looked at and rewritten to remove jargon, remove strange strings of numbers, offer actionable alternatives, and to create simple subjects.  It helped show their value and was done concurrent to a mandatory public service training for all staff.  Emory profiled an app that they created with a developer to note seating in the library, including PC stations and music stations; it has helped them evaluate staffing and plan for future needs.

International ILLiad Conference 2015

Each year Atlas Systems sponsors the International ILLiad Conference in Virginia Beach. This year there were close to 400 attendees from six countries, including Egypt, Japan, the UK, Canada, and Singapore.  Representatives from Atlas, OCLC, Reprints, and the Copyright Clearance Center were on hand to meet, present, and converse.  In terms of the work of our unit, there is no better conference to attend; it’s a total immersion into the world of resource sharing and the product that runs it.  Sessions are focused on how to use the system more efficiently, how to deliver better service, and how to better manage to create time and cost savings.  The setting is dynamic and includes conversation both ways.  There is no better venue to raise issues to a larger scale and create change.

Three DD-ILL staff presented posters: Terry Palacios-Baughman presented on how she has transformed her student operation to be much more efficient and self-managing, and Erika McNeil and Stan Huzarewicz presented on serving students with disabilities using ILLiad.  The poster session was over two hours long and we literally had lines of people who wanted to talk with us about what we’re doing.  One comment from someone who talked with Terry: “If there was one thing that made this conference worth going to, it was this.”

The keynote, “Is Your Library Visible?,” was given by Eric Miller, from Zepheira, who is leading efforts to apply advanced Web architecture and linked data principles to help libraries organize disparate materials in order to solve real-world problems.  He recently founded Libhub, an initiative that focuses on raising the visibility of libraries on the Web.

There were many conference sessions to choose from.  Leadership in Resource Sharing focused on using data to demonstrate our impact, exposing gaps, and expanding the kind of information we offer that can be useful to others in an organization.  Attendees of this presentation were interested to learn of our recent experience with Tableau.

Textbooks and ILL related one institution’s experience with moving from “no textbooks” to “any textbook.”  This new service philosophy significantly impacted the way patrons viewed the library, and their process became much less mediated.

There was an update meeting led by OCLC and Atlas Systems that related what’s new in this summer’s ILLiad update.  Exciting to those in resource sharing: an Addon to place British Library requests that includes real time availability, new options in “days to respond,” improvement in the IFM process, and more.  This was followed by an open floor discussion of the upcoming changes and attendees were offered an invaluable opportunity to ask questions and provide comments and feedback before official implementation.

There was a lot of fun to be had in What Would *You* Do?  ILL Best Practices for Worst-Case Scenarios.  From the traditional “my cat ate it,” and “we have bedbugs” to “I left my book on a mountain in Tibet, can I have another copy?” and “they burned the book we mailed back to your country at the border,” everyone had a story.

One session previewed a new ILL cost calculator that is coming soon, building upon a cost study that we participated in several years ago with folks from Kansas and Las Vegas.  We will be an early adopter of the study which will allow us to enter and compare costs in real time.  This project is being led by OCLC Research in collaboration with SHARES partner institutions.  We will be able to enter data yearly, compare our costs with other institutions, track changes, simulate changes we might make in joining a consortium or acquiring a piece of equipment, run reports, and so on.

Bucknell gave a talk ILLiad, GIST, and EBL: How Bucknell University’s PDA + DDA Collection Development Model Gives Patrons What They Want, While Saving the Library Hundreds of Thousands of Dollars a Year.  They cancelled their print approval plan and automatic shipments and moved to a completely patron-driven acquisitions monograph collection development policy.  GIST is free and open source, and merges and streamlines Acquisitions and ILL request workflows using ILLiad, leveraging systems to do more work while reducing the staff time necessary to make informed decisions and process materials.  Originally part of New York’s IDS project, the toolkit is now in use at institutions all over the country, such as Maryland, Michigan, Oregon, Missouri, Texas, Virginia, etc.  Here’s a link to their paper.  More information on GIST can be found here: http://www.gistlibrary.org/illiad/#.VRBYrvnF98E.

GIST Workflow

Let’s Play Nice: Shared Server 101 offered detailed information about the ILLiad Customization Manager settings and provided caution regarding partner site settings in a shared ILLiad environment. The information will be very pertinent in regard to potential changes to UConn Health’s adoption of ILLiad as a satellite to Storrs.

We took advantage of having representatives from Atlas and OCLC to discuss various transitions we’re going through right now, as well as to talk about potential enhancement requests with ILLiad WebCirc.  Also significant to our unit, I met with Yale’s Associate Director for Resource Sharing and Reserves and we came to an agreement of reciprocity.

It was all this and more.  This was my first time to this particular conference, and I’m still having conversations that were begun there.  There’s a world of information and possibility in this gem of a conference.