The end of eresourcejournal

At the end of the month, I will begin my new job at Norwich University as their Distance Learning Librarian. I am very excited about this position because I’ve wanted to work with distance learning students since the not-so-long-ago days of my own online graduate program. This is my dream job.

And so, eresourcejournal reaches its end. This blog has been more helpful to me than I expected. The process of writing about things that puzzle and frustrate me has been beneficial. First, it makes me think things through. My brain works faster than my fingers, and as I type my mind wanders to another (more appropriate) idea. Had I not taken the time to write about these topics, I may not have come to those more useful conclusions.

In addition, writing is a great memory tool. Writing online with blog software allowed me to easily retrace my steps and remind myself of past discoveries. In some cases, I was able to solve a new problem by looking back at similar situations.

Lastly, blogging connects: the advantage of writing publicly and online is that other people found me. I am grateful for the comments and emails I’ve received from everyone who visits the site or reads the RSS feed. Librarians have been a source of (wonderful) ideas, commiseration, and camaraderie. EBSCO folks have been very generous with their time, emailing me directly about the concerns and ideas I’ve covered in my posts.

Perhaps others will continue to discover these posts and find them useful. Clearly, they’ll be curious about troubleshooting electronic serials problems, as illustrated in this nifty word cloud of all the text at eresourcejournal (made at Wordle.net). I don’t know yet whether I will blog about my new job. As I re-read that sentence, I realize I likely will. I want to remain connected to my community of colleagues. I have been and will continue to follow blogs related to distance learning and distance learning librarianship. I’m sure I’ll have a few things to talk about, too.

Thank you for your visits and keeping me in your feed readers. Most of all, thank you for your comments.

(P.S. It’s a time of transition: Kelly retired one of her blogs this week. Great minds think alike!)

(P.P.S. It seems like a good idea to close the comments on all my old posts. So I’m gonna. I’ll keep this post open, so feel free to leave a message.)

Statistics updated

June’s statistics are now included in the graphs on the statistics page.

I’m reminded again that the troubleshooting tracking sheet doesn’t lend itself to very useful statistics. In tomorrow’s meeting of our serials group (charged with facilitating the merge of our main and medical libraries’ serials departments), we’ll discuss the kinds of data we need to start tracking in order to keep better statistics.

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Job Announcement – Serials/Electronic Resources Professional

Join the University of Vermont community! -Toni

Serials/Electronic Resources Professional – Dana Medical Library, Univ. of Vermont (Burlington, VT)

Library Faculty or Classified Staff: Classified Staff
Posting date: 6/9/2008

Job Overview: Oversee print serials and electronic resource acquisition and records management, to include create and place orders with vendors for print and electronic subscriptions; identify, create, and edit records database and website; maintain records and monitor expenditures; facilitate access to electronic collections; communicate with vendors to resolve problems and gather and report acquisitions and usage statistics for the Library’s electronic resources.
Read the rest of this entry »

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Statistics updated

May’s statistics are now included in my three charts.

It should be a slow couple of months on the troubleshooting front. May-September were quiet months last year. Perhaps I’ll take advantage of that relative quiet to enhance the statistics-gathering process. To do so, I’ll probably collaborate with my serials colleagues to clarify what we should count in our statistics: shouldn’t our own discoveries of problems be included alongside problems uncovered by or on behalf of patrons?

Also, we should decide what information to include in our statistics-tracking, and what kind of information we should derive from the statistics. To start, we should quantify our unresolved troubleshooting problems; the fact that the majority of May’s problems were resolved within one business day becomes less impressive when you can see that the four unresolved problems from that month are three weeks old.

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The best conference t-shirt?

I hope somebody’s wearing this shirt at the next conference I go to. How helpful!

WiFi shirt

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Know when to fold ‘em

Here’s a good old back-and-forth-and-back-and-forth that’s been going on since January.

The journal Counseling Psychologist is available to our patrons through three Gale sources, but one of the links in the A-to-Z list brings our users to an error page at Gale. After a back-and-forth with Gale about whether or not the title is actually in their Professional Collection package (it is, though in one place it’s under T for The Counseling Psychologist), I figured out that I needed to ask EBSCO to fix the link in order to solve the problem.

A kind and patient EBSCO rep and the kind and patient (I suppose, I’ve never communicated with them) Content Team changed/fixed the link on three separate occasions. Maybe it was four. I’ve lost track. It’s one long email thread. Unfortunately, we’re still getting the same error message.

I wrote back to the kind and patient EBSCO rep to deliver the same bad news, and I suggested we let this one go. Bottom line, there’s identical access through two other links (and only a year’s worth of access at that) and it’s not worth our time to fix this one.

Know when to hold, fold, walk, run

Hmm, am I folding, walking, or running?

Posted in Access, EBSCO, Gale. Comments Off

When an email starts a snowball

We (or maybe just I) receive messages from publishers telling us when we have new content available online. I received one last month from Atypon about three Thomas Telford titles. Generally, the announcement is just a heads-up that there are more issues online because more issues have been published.

But I noticed a few problems with this most recent message. I checked each title (and its alternate title formats, such as Proceedings of the…) at the publisher’s site (Atypon), the A-to-Z administrator, and our order records (EBSCONET).

Two titles aren’t listed on the Atypon site so I can’t check for access. I have to ask Atypon why. The third title is, but EBSCO doesn’t have a Publisher’s Site link; I asked them to add a link. Once I find out whether there will be access on Atypon, I’ll ask EBSCO to add records in the Title Wizard.

None of this is a big deal. None of this is challenging. None of this is hard to remember. It’s worth illustrating because it’s typical of how a seemingly simple notification can become a very involved process and result in a lot of work. I think that’s what most of my efforts go towards: a whole bunch of work that comes from an itty bitty notification.

That’s why the troubleshooting statistics aren’t truly indicative of the amount of work involved with problem solving and management. A troubleshooting problem that can be quickly resolved for the patron still may result in a lot more work. Snowball effect.

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