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.)

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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.
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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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Electronic Resources Management Systems: Alternative Solutions

Jennifer Watson and Dalene Hawthorne’s paper from the Electronic Resource Management Systems conference is available online.

I enjoyed emailing with Jennifer while she was writing the paper. I shared information with her about our library’s shared folder of scanned license agreements. She refers to that on pp. 7-8 of the paper and slide 55 of the presentation.

Open paper in PDF ___ Open presentation in PPT

I understand they could not attend the Cape Town, South Africa, conference to give the presentation themselves. What an amazing trip that would have been.

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It’s been one year

I am going through piles and folders of emails, spreadsheets, and notes from projects past. Started with earnest and abandoned the minute something more important came along, they have gathered sneeze-inducing amounts of dust.

Organizing backlogThe desk beside me is strewn with papers which I am assembling into new piles marked “to revisit,” “to be resolved,” and “resolved”; the rest is being filed or recycled. It’s disappointing to see so many notes and printouts fill my recycling bin. Many of them make no sense to me anymore: a title on a scrap of paper with no details, or a note to email our reps at EBSCO (which I do so frequently that I don’t write it down anymore).

I have a pretty good sixth sense, and no warning bells are going off in my head as I discard half of this pile. My goal was to locate my notes on a few major (abandoned) projects, and I’ve done that. There is momentum gaining around the idea of adding e-resources to my colleagues’ workflows, and these are the projects that need to be revisited as soon as we add that capacity.

I was reviewing posts related to these projects when I saw my first one. I didn’t realize until today that February 26 marked the first anniversary of this blog. It’s a somewhat arbitrary date, and there might be more significant milestones in my work with e-resources. What is significant about these past 12 months in particular are the connections I’ve made with serialists around the country because of this site. My goals were to track my experiences and to discuss issues with other serialists. I’m fairly satisfied with the blog as a tool for storing information and communicating with colleagues. I’ll definitely consider improving the storage/searching of old posts (maybe tags?), and I look forward to making more serials connections and finding other bloggers to follow.

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New EBSCO interface

EBSCOhost announced that their new interface will be available in July 2008. I watched the Flash demo of the new design, and there are some great features.

– I particularly like that the results list includes thumbnails of images from the document. It will be great to know up-front whether an article has charts or an illustrations.

– Results can be limited to a range of dates using a slider bar. It reminds me of kayak.com, which I love using.

– Articles can be previewed by hovering over an icon in the results list (like ask.com).

– The folder feature has improved, allowing you to preview the contents from the results screen.

I use EBSCOhost infrequently because of the nature of my current responsibilities, but I am pleased with the new interface. It’s not so different from the current design that it will frustrate users, and the added features imitate some of the best things on the web (it’ll be familiar to a lot of users).

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Blackwell to Wiley platform in July

Maintenance projects appear all the time. Here’s one now, in the form of an email from Wiley-Blackwell:

“As of July 1, 2008, all Blackwell journal content… will be hosted on Wiley InterScience.” Fortunately, Synergy links will redirect patrons to Wiley, but the goal will be to update our records with Wiley links. The A-to-Z administrator makes this fairly easy (and impact our MARC records), but I worry about that downtime between July 1 and EBSCO providing new links. It’ll need to be a package, I suppose: turn off Blackwell Synergy and turn on Wiley InterScience.

Now would be the time to clean up our A-to-Z list: our Blackwell access points aren’t uniform. We have four Blackwell options in our index, and two of them only have one title each. The other two have 114 and 424 titles respectively. I suppose these are actually reflecting one, perhaps two, packages and can be consolidated. I suspect that EBSCO’s title lists aren’t up to date, which means I might have to investigate and ask EBSCO to update the Title Wizard records with new links.

It’s hard to carve out time to work on this, and there are a lot of more pressing issues to handle. However, this might become more complicated once the content switches platforms. I’ll look into it.

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