Barriers to accessing e-resources

At another UKSG breakout session Dave Pattern from the University of Huddersfield presented a humorous, stat-filled presentation (proving the two can go hand in hand), about the difficulties faced by users when accessing online library content.

To prepare for the presentation he’d posted a question on twitter:

and received a plethora of responses, including ones from our very own @mcbjazz,  which broadly fell in issues around:

 

With the number of responses he had he said he had enough content for about 32 presentations, not one but essentially the crux of his argument was about how difficult we, libraries, publishers, aggregators make it for users to access e-content. This is at odds with the expectation of the user who is looking for the easiest and most convenient way, hence their propensity to use Google and Wikipedia. This is demonstrated by a quote from a college freshman as part of Carol Tenopir’s research:

“Why is google so easy and the library so hard?”

and other researchers have found that users will sacrifice the quality of information for accessibility (Morville, 2005).

Dave illustrated how difficult it was to access online library content with an access query he’d recently had from a student. The user was faced with 3 potential log-ins; publisher, Shibboleth and Athens all of which Dave tried and failed. With the number of clicks and pages the user would have to go through to find out the article was not available via that route it is easy to see why users get frustrated and give up using library e-resources. Dave did a search on Google, found the article and emailed the user.

So the challenge is for libraries to make access like Google and resource discovery is addressing this but the publishers need to make more content available via resource discovery – this is non-negotiable. At Summon camp it was mentioned that an institution in the US asks whether the provider is on Summon and if they are not they will not purchase the item. As we’re currently implementing Summon is this a policy we would want to endorse? Should we not renew any products not available on Summon?

Since implementing Summon at Huddersfield Dave estimates there has been 70-80% decrease in the number of access queries, previously spending 5 hours a week and now it’s probably an hour a week. So it’s having impact and resource discovery is removing some the barriers to accessing e-resources.

What’s interesting at Huddersfield is how they are using usage stats from Summon and linking it to educational attainment via the JISC Library Impact Data Project. Through deeper analysis they’re attempting to find indicators of academic success and failure: does using e-resources at unsociable hours indicate low achievement? What are the information seeking behaviours of high achievers? Gathering data around this is really useful because if you are able to state “Students who use the library’s e-resources get better grades” it has much more clout in terms of library marketing rather than focussing on all the stuff we have and reminds me of the message Terry Kendrick gave at his marketing training to BCU staff.

Another interesting thing they do at Huddersfield is make recommendations to the borrower on the OPAC, similar to amazon which has meant an increase in borrowing of unique titles, for more details look at COPAC data activity project.

For a copy of Dave Pattern’s slides click here.

Patron Driven Acquisition (PDA) at Royal Holloway

Anna Grigson presented a case study of PDA or demand driven acquisition at Royal Holloway as a breakout session at the UKSG 2012 conference.  They decided to pilot PDA because of the mismatch between what the library has and what users want. It is estimated that up to 40% of budgets are wasted buying stock that users do not want. The benefits of PDA are:

-          users get just in time access

-          the library gets better value and staff time is saved

-          the collection is a better fit to user need

Anna described the various different PDA models available: Purchase, Rental, capped pay per view and evidence based selection.

Implementation process

They opted for the Rental Model and they set the following criteria:

-          £10,000 of the acquisitions budget would be set aside for the pilot

-          Review after one term

-          Offered access to 120,000 ebooks; all subjects were included but exclusions applied to ebooks over £250, some languages & some academic publishers

-          Threshold to purchase was set at 4th view of item

-          Each user was limited to 3 loans per day & the length of loan was limited to 1 day

-          There was no mediation, so when the user clicked on the link it went straight to the ebook rather than waiting for librarian approval

-          There was no publicity

 

Problems with implementation

-          finalising exclusion criteria was difficult

-          deduplicating existing ebooks was difficult because of issues around ISBNs which meant some ebooks were purchased again

-          loading the records on to the library catalogue needed to be done in batches of 10,000 and there was a few weeks delay in loading them on to their resource discovery, Summon

Findings:

-          the first use was within 30 minutes of adding records to the catalogue

-          the first purchase was triggered within a couple of days

-          the pilot was ended after 6 weeks as all the allocated money had been spent – it seems a term was optimistic! – with 70% of the budget spent on renting ebooks and 30% spent on purchasing ebooks

 

Recommendations:

Royal Holloway still want to go ahead with PDA but would like to explore capped pay per view, the model used by JISC. They would reduce the number of ebooks made available, introduce mediation and also make it clear to the user on the library catalogue which texts are part of the library’s collection and which are not.

 

Other institutions were invited to share their experience of PDA:

At Kings College they have amended their ILL workflow and will check to see if an item is available via PDA and if it is will direct the user that.

At Newcastle University they currently spend 1/3 of their acquisitions budget on PDA. They piloted with £75,000, which like Royal Holloway, found was spent up very quickly. The service was mainly used by final year students and users from faculties who were scoring low on the NSS. When the library spoke with academics about the use of PDA academics were very concerned about what students would purchase. However they were pleasantly surprised by the breadth of reading and in some instances lecturers updated their reading lists to reflect these new purchases.

There was also an interesting debate around whether it should be PD Acquisition or PD Access. Rather than collection building and owning material there was a suggestion we should be moving towards providing access to content at article and chapter level as this is what users want.

A copy of Anna’s slides can be viewed here

 

 

Social media group: update

The Social media group was set up last year to explore how this could be used to engage with students and promote Library and Learning Resources (LLR). The library already has it’s own twitter account @BCUlibrary and the elibrary team have this blog and the eresources blog, but what else could we be doing?

After seeking advice from the university’s Social Media Officer it was decided that rather than create a specific Facebook page for LLR to make use of the Corporate Facebook page, which already has a fanbase of nearly 7000 and grows daily, and have a LLR post each Friday.

Picture of BCU Facebook page

An area on SharePoint has been created to keep track of the services that have been promoted but also forthcoming slots. Our first post on the university’s Facebook went up in February and so far we have covered My Assignment Planner, Science Direct Freedom Collection and Meebo to name a few. If there is anything you want promoted such as a new service or collection, to celebrate success within LLR contact your team’s rep.

P.S. The elibrary team rep’s spot is also up for grabs whilst I’m on maternity leave, let me or Damyanti know if you’re interested.

Day in the life of… a Serials Librarian

My main duty as Serials Librarian is to manage the acquisition of print and electronic serials and standing orders across all of our 8 library sites, currently we have just over 1300 active subscriptions.  This involves processing new orders, cancellations and renewals  and liaising with our main suppliers such as Swets and Coutts with these instructions.

A typical day for me starts with checking my calendar to see what commitments I have for that day, am I on the enquiry desk? do I have any meetings to go to? I’ll then check the shared mailbox to see what emails have come from SWETS to see if there is anything I need to action or follow-up, for example, invoice payments or a journal may have ceased / changed title. I then check my own work email to see if I have any emails from LLR staff or our other suppliers; these could be queries about the non-supply of journals, access queries, updates needed to the catalogue, price queries for new titles.  I would like to achieve #inboxzero but I think will remain a dream… I then create task list for the day based on the emails I have and any commitments I need to attend.

A lot of my role is administrative so a couple of hours will involve processing journal invoices, entering these on Alto and passing them for payment, keeping our spreadsheet of active journals up-to-date, running reports about fund spend, updating the catalogue and so on . An hour on the enquiry desk would finish the morning off. As we are a multi-disciplinary site students can come with varied  subject queries and will want to be shown how to use the catalogue or how to search different databases.

After lunch I would do some prep for a meeting later on the afternoon. I represent the e-library team at various LLR committees including the Learning & Development group, Social Media group and Kenrick campus marketing team. A lot of the meetings I am attending at the moment, however, are in relation to updating serials procedures and providing training to staff on these updates. This is partly come out of the work that has been done on process mapping, they’ve not been reviewed for some time, but also to help prepare for when I break up for maternity leave (23 days and not counting…).

Aside from any formal meetings I attend I will also have catch-up with the Serials Library Assistant, usually a couple of times a week, as they based within Technical Services and this allows me to keep up-to-date with the day-to-day running of serials at Kenrick Library.

Aliss Summer Conference 2011

Aliss organised a one day summer conference around the topic of Social media, Libraries, Librarians, and Research Support held on 20th July 2011. When I saw the programme I knew I wanted to attend as it promised to be an interesting day and indeed it was.

First up was a talk by Jeremy (aka  Jerry) Jenkins ( British Library) with  the engaging titles “#LadyGaga’s Breakfast: Social media as a curators tool”. The title for his session came from a blog providing advice on twitter for academics.

Jeremy suggested that there were three responses to social media: Ban it, Tolerate it, Make it compulsory. Currently the BL, like a number of organisations does not have a separate social media strategy and it can come under the remit of Communication and / or IT strategies. In some ways not having a formal strategy for social media was liberating, there were no constraints and it was possible to explore what social media tools could be used to enhance Jeremy’s day to day role as a curator. Though other speakers during the day felt having no social media policy was a barrier.

At the moment the BL use:

  • Blogs – started blogging 5 years ago and there are 17 active blogs. They used to have more but feel that blogging is going out of favour and people are blogging less. Not sure if I agree with this, as a relative newbie to blogging I think it seems like people are still active and with programmes such as CPD23 which are encouraging blogging. Perhaps Jeremy meant organisational blogging was in decline…
  • Facebook – used for 3 ½ years and over 32,000 likes
  • Twitter – there are a small number of followers on Jeremy’s feed but it means more focussed messages can be disseminated
  • Youtube
  • audioBoo

Jeremy made reference to Modus Cooperandi’s 10 Principles of Social Media and gave useful advice on what to consider when using social media

  • what’s the message
  • who’s your audience
  • what the best medium to use
  • Time - when to send the message? What is the commitment to keep things up-to-date?
  • Future Proof – when happens when you’re preferred tool is no longer available?

Next up were Paula Anne Beasley & Linda Norbury who presented “Advocating Professional Social Networking to Academics” about a project they had undertaken at University of Birmingham. They surveyed staff within the faculty of Engineering & Physical Sciences and found there was a knowledge and skills gap on web 2.0 technologies.  They were keen to remedy this, demystify social media and demonstrate how these tools could benefit academic staff in their teaching and learning. Results from the survey were used to inform training content and the session was offered to 31 members of staff. However they found they were not able to cover all the content they had wished as they found the level of IT knowledge amongst the academics was lower than anticipated. Feed back from academics about the training session was that they had managed to take away the fear factor. Instructions were produced and although they need to be updated the intention is to make them available on an opensource.

Alison Wootton, the Accessibility and Inclusion Adviser at Jisc RSC West Midlands, gave a whistle-stop tour of the support they provide to enable e-learning to be embedded in teaching and learning. The advice and guidance Jisc RSC provide is primarily aimed at further education and they will loan out accessibility kits, which include iPads, video cameras and Sony e-book readers, to learning centres  for a period of 4 – 6 weeks. They have produced guides on how to make resources more accessible and made the delegates aware of EduApps, open source software which offer support with writing, reading and planning as well as sensory, cognitive and physical difficulties.  There is one college in Birmingham which has installed this on all their PCs so it is available to all.

After lunch there was a session from Miggie Pickton (University of Northhampton) who gave a very thorough talk about the web tools that are available to a researcher at each stage of the research process and this session consolidated the Netskills webinar I attended a few weeks ago. Miggie has produced a handout for researchers and made suggestions about what tools to use for searching, collaborating, communicating, disseminating and keeping up-to-date. What became apparent is that my knowledge of what’s out there needs to be improved. I know I can’t know about everything but I need to up my awareness levels and try things out to see what works for me, what’s fit for purpose. Miggie also reiterated what Jeremy had said earlier in the day that web tools come and go so it’s important to have exit strategy for when they stop working.

Final presentation of the day was from Sarah Oxford (University of Worcester) who spoke about her experiences of using web tools to collate and share information with her learners and researchers.  Sarah started investigating web tools to look at how to get information out to distance learners and part-time students and as a way to engage with academics as she was new to her Liaison role. Initially she started using Delicious, but began to find it unwieldy as her bookmarks and tags grew, and Ning but this became a subscription service. Now she uses Netvibes and flavors.me as a way to rationalise all her links and these are publicised on her email signature, business cards, at Boards of Study, and official documentation. I think Sarah’s approach is really interesting but I’m unsure whether it would be possible to adopt these strategies here to promote resources as these web tools don’t meet university standards with regards to marketing /branding.

In the plenary findings from a survey conducted by Emerald & UCL were also presented by Heather Dawson (on behalf of Anna Drabble, Emerald). This study looked at the impact of Web 2.0 on the workflow of a researcher and they were asking essentially ‘does  social media mark a watershed in the research process?’ but found ‘not really’. Academics still seem to want to disseminate their information and research in a traditional way, through academic journals. Interestingly though, at the LSE, whether Heather is employed there is a move to get things published on blogs seen in the same standing as things published in journals.

I found this one day conference really interesting and informative. Aliss put together a good programme.  I also tried live tweeting, and I don’t think I did too badly on the old event amplification, if you excuse the rogue spelling, sometimes forgetting to include the hashtags…

Copies of the presentations can be found here & here and there is another review of the day by Judith Thompson.

Netskills webinar: Supporting researcher engagement with social tools

Today I attended (if that’s the right word) my first webinar entitled “Supporting researcher engagement with social tools”. The session was presented by Alan Cann (Leicester University) and hosted by Netskills. When I first logged in to the webinar I was concerned about whether I would be able to follow the discussion as there was a webcam of Alan, the slides and a chat box where participants could post questions or comments. When attending a conference I am always in awe of people who can listen and tweet at the same time, I am yet to master this skill. Despite my inital concerns I was able to keep up and what followed was a really interesting discussion on how, through the use of social media, researchers can improve the quality of their work as these tools facilitate their ability to find, use and disseminate information.  Alan and some colleagues at the International Centre for Guidance Studies have written Social media: a guide for researchers which hopes to enable people to make informed decisions about getting the most out of social media. They took quite a broad definition of social tools, covering these aspects:

  • Communicative (e.g. twitter, LinkedIn)
  • Collaborative (e.g. Delicious, CiteUlike)
  • Multimedia (e.g. Flickr, Second Life)

(for a full list of what they classed a social media go to page 7 of  Social media: a guide for researchers).

Alan presented some case studies of researchers who feel that using social tools has made them better at what they do, using them has become  an integral part of their working life which has resulted in to name a few; effective data sharing, information being found much more quickly, networks are established with respected individuals. In  fact one participant of the webinar cited an example where she has had a proposal, which was written in collaboration with someone they met on twitter – they have not met face to face -, accepted.

There was a discussion about the differences between visitors and residents of social media. Alan suggests that some people feel like they don’t have anything relevant to say or contribute so ‘lurk’ on the parameters of these tools.  Sometimes I feel like that, a lurker, reading blog posts and not commenting, not tweeting in response to a discussion and this is something I need to redress, hopefully in part by participating in #cpd23, it’s a confidence thing.

There was also a look at some of the criticisms levelled at social media; privacy, banality, work-life balance. It was nice to see a couple of people comment that they don’t mind the banal aspects as it makes the person seem more ‘human’ and can give an alternative perspective on that person’s life , their ideas and motivations. (Good to know when my tweets are probably high in the banal quotient ).

Alan also talked about good and bad networks and I think this is the key thing I am taking from the webinar – it’s not about the social tools themselves, it’s about how they are used to create the right network, an effective network.

Library Assistants – their future role

On 1st June 2011 I attended an event organised by WESlink (West Midlands HE Library training group) which looked at Library Assistants and their future role. This was a manager’s workshop and a few months before the same session had been run with Library Assistants. The structure of the event meant there was feedback from the library assistant session, an update of changes that were occurring at Warwick University followed by small group discussions around what changes were happening at each institution and the (potential) impact on a library assistant; skills required, type of person needed, and what staffing models should be implemented.

In terms of the changes and challenges being faced by academic libraries it was a similar and familiar picture and below are some of things discussed:

 Wordle - library assistants

It was interesting to hear about the positive things that were happening at other universities, for example, the library at Newman University College is moving into a new building in time for the start of the new academic year and at Warwick they have developed an app for the iPad to record enquiries when staff are roving out on the library floor.

Concerns that Library Assistants have about their role were also talked about. A common experience was that when a library assistant left the role would not be filled or the post would be changed to term-time only. At some places students were being employed to participate in projects such as discards or to staff IT help desks. This begged the question of whether the days were number for a library assistant. To partly address this and develop the skill levels of library assistants some institutions have adopted a rotational approach so, after say 12 months experience in Document Supply the library assistant will move on to Technical Services or  Collection Management or another site to consolidate their knowledge and experience. From my experience this is a good thing, when opportunities arose for me to move departments within the library I took this up and it has given me a good overall view and understanding of working within an academic library and how things fit together.

I think the main thing I took from the discussion is that there are exciting but unsettling times ahead working in libraries. I have been following some of the #SLA 2011 tweets on twitter and there were two comments I read today which resonate with this WESlink session I attended:

 

@annenb Getting rid of librarians because everything is online = getting rid of accountants because everyone has a calculator on desk. #sla2011

 

@theREALwikiman

If I could sum up the common message of most (or all) of the library thought-leaders I’ve heard speak, it’d be… #sla2011 (1/2)

 (2/2) Libraries & librarians are actually on the cusp of an incredible opportunity, so let’s not stuff it up, & let’s be BRAVE. #sla2011

 

Things have changed, things are changing, things will continue to change and staff who work in libraries and information need to be flexible, adaptable, forward thinking and accept that change happens (which can be difficult), so change within an organisation needs to be communicated well, managed effectively and sensitively.

Libraries and Facebook

Yesterday I attended a WESlink event which was looking at the changing roles of library assistants. Representatives from local universities talked about what changes are being made in their library and what impact this is having on the skills, knowledge and experience of a library assistant. One area discussed was the use of social media, in particular Facebook. The general consensus was that people were uncertain about how useful Facebook was as a tool for libraries to use with someone describing it as ‘when your parents turn up to a party you’re at uninvited’. Cut to this morning and catching up on meeting minutes I learn that our library is interested in having a Facebook presence. So I wondered what other university experiences were & posted a question on twitter “Calling academic librarians: does your library have a facebook page? how has it been rec’d by students? Thank you”. Lots of people asked for a collation of responses so here it is and if I get anymore I will be sure to add them.

University & response

  • University of Brighton

No, difficult being split site. Do we have one for each library or for the service. Something for our comms strat!

  • University of Wolverhampton

Yes have FB page

  • University of Sheffield

Yes have FB page, work in progress, used for basic information but had a number of check-ins so looking at developing the page

  • Specialist library

Not yet, We’re multi-site with v different users + seeing if fb or tumblr would work better.

  • Bodleian social science library

Yes have FB page, no of ‘fans’ has been slow but steady, not much interaction from them, a few likes/comments.

  • Montana Tech

Yes have FB page, Lukewarm so far. Wonder if it’s not cool in our institution’s culture to “like” the lib page? Working on promo ideas.

  • Swansea Met

Yes, set up in the last week and have 36 followers so far, a good proportion of those are students

Thank you to those people who responded and the retweets.

How I got into Librarianship

This blog post forms part of the Library Routes project started by Ned Potter & Laura Woods. I’ve meaning to write this for some time, ever since I attended the New Professionals Information Day back in October 2010, so not too overdue then… At every talk the presenters emphasised the importance of enjoying what you do and many discussed the creativity, variety and flexibility that working in libraries often affords reminding me in some ways of why I wanted to work in libraries in the first place.   In fact much of the advice given was not new to me but was worthwhile being refreshed.

So how did I get into libraries…

I could start with how I worked in the library at secondary school for my last year at school one day a week but I can’t really remember much about it (‘twas 16 years ago!). While studying for my A’ Levels and it came to making choices for UCAS librarianship came up but I decided to opt for Psychology (for various reasons I needed to live at home if I went to university and there was only one local library course so I was advised not to choose this). So in the year 2000 Psychology degree complete, uncertain about what I wanted to do but knew I wanted to use my degree in some way so I got a job in a secondary school supporting students with learning difficulties. After a year there I did my PGCE and taught A’ Level Psychology for three years at an FE college.  Whenever asked what I did at the time people would always say something along the lines of “Oh teaching at A’ level… I bet that’s better than working in a secondary school… the students will be motivated… they’ve chosen to study” and each time I would need to de-bunk that myth.   Those three years were pretty stressful and by my third year I knew I needed to be doing something different. But what? I briefly flirted with the idea of teaching at degree level but that was quickly dismissed. I was still eligible to access the university careers service from studying my PGCE. These sessions were really useful as it helped me decide that I wanted to work in libraries. The transition from teaching to libraries was not a smooth one though and I found it difficult to get my foot in the door. I left FT teaching in August 2005 and spent the next few months applying for jobs and not really getting any interviews, all quite demoralising and at times made me question whether I’d made the right decision. Then I’d remember how I’d cried on the way to work because I really didn’t want to go in and that strengthened my resolve. I started asking for feedback on my application forms so I could improve my personal statements and make sure I was hitting all the criteria with explicit examples. Staff selecting in academic libraries seemed used to this and gave some useful tips. As a result of one conversation I signed up to do ECDL so I could prove my ICT skills. Staff in public libraries seemed surprised I would ask for feedback. I didn’t get shortlisted for one public library job as I had not put I could use a telephone (they rang me to tell me this). I arranged to shadow librarians at two academic libraries and an NHS library which confirmed I was making the right career choice. These things helped and I got a couple of interviews for PT work on Saturdays as a Library Assistant at local public libraries and then… I had two jobs to choose from. PT work was obviously not ideal but I had my first library job, yay!   Around the same time that I’d been offered my job in the public library I was also offered FT work as a Personal Adviser for Connexions. It was a busy week as I’d had three interviews in the space of as many days. I took up both roles at the start of 2006 and was working 6 days a week. I was really enjoying my PT  library job but not so much my role at Connexions (I’d been based in a pupil referral unit) so continued to look for other library jobs. I’d applied for a job in July 2006 as a Library Assistant at UCE, four weeks came and went so I assumed I’d been unsuccessful. Then in October 2006 HR rang and asked if I was still interested in the post and whether I’d like to attend an interview, “yes please”. I was interviewed for both FT and PT posts and was successful in gaining a FT position and started as a Library Assistant (Serials) in January 2007. I’ve been at UCE, now Birmingham City University, ever since. My roles have changed in that time and before becoming the Serials Librarian (my current role) I also spent time as a Library Assistant in Document Delivery. Moving around and gaining experience in different departments has given me an overview of working in an academic library and certainly helped when I was completely my MA Information and Library Management which I studied via distance learning.

Are you being served? – ALPSP Conference

“The big deal is the best thing since sliced bread” Dirk Haank, CEO of Springer Science and Business Media

Haank made these comments in the January 2011 issue of Information Today but after attending the ALPSP  ‘Are you being served?’  conference a few weeks ago it appears that many from the library and publishing world would challenge this remark.

My understanding of big deals is perhaps limited compared to others. To give some context I work as a Serials Librarian and have done for just over a year and my predominant focus has been print subscriptions. The post has now relocated to the eLibrary team and now I am attempting to inhabit two worlds. I have not been involved in the setting up of any big deals for my institution but my awareness of their restrictiveness came from completing my first renewals process last summer when I had to inform some Collection Management colleagues they were unable to cancel certain titles because they formed part of a big deal package. Nick Lewis (Library Director at UEA)  one of the speakers described it as “irresponsible”  to continue to sign these big deals because of their lack of flexibility and that libraries and publishers need to work together to develop new business models. This idea was echoed by Chris Bennett (OUP) who suggested that deals need to move away from being linked to print subscriptions and this is one of the problems I have come across.

Big deals were brought up periodically throughout the course of the conference but it wasn’t the main focus. Instead it was ‘shared services’, looking at how librarians, publishers and intermediaries can work together to make services sustainable in what are difficult and challenging times.

There are a number of interpretations of shared services but JISC (2008) has defined it as:

“Institutions cooperating in the development and delivery of services, so sharing skills and knowledge, perhaps with commercial participation”

Louise Jones from Leicester University gave an interesting talk about the considerations that need to be given when addressing shared services including “What shared services should be developed?” and “Who do you collaborate with?” as there may be various options:  Locally  Vs. Regionally Vs. Nationally Vs Internationally Vs. Other sectors.

There were also talks on some examples of shared services with updates on the following projects:

SCONUL shared services; KBART ;  & JUSP .

 What was apparent was that for shared services to be successful there needs to a culture of collaboration and the system needs to be supported by all levels of the institution.

Sharing services also raises concerns about how a library maintains its ‘brand’ and reputation.Marketing libraries is something which needs to be developed and it was suggested that perhaps we need to draw on the experience and expertise in the publishing world to help build the library brand.Another potential threat to shared services is the competitive advantage that will become more prominent as universities charge higher fees – could this mean that institutions pull away from shared services and lead to fragmentation? Anne Rossiter (SCONUL) suggested that to minimise this we need to be clear about what services we are sharing (ie tasks which are duplicated or repetitive) and clear about where there would be local differentiation, thus helping with the brand recognition. 

 Another key theme throughout the day was about how we can add value and Return on Investment (ROI). Ann Lawson (EBSCO) looked at it from the subscription agent point of view outlining their role in adding value through, for example, outsourcing basics, providing better licensing terms, making more content available. Whilst Carol Tenopir (University of Tennessee)  condensed nearly 30 years of research and experience into a 30 minute slot! Carol’s research focus has been to look at how to measure the value of academic libraries through implicit, explicit and derived (ROI) measures, thus providing evidence that library collections contribute to income generation such as research grants. Carol is now involved with JISC  & 6  UK institutions to conduct similar research here and the findings should be collated Summer 2011 so it will be interesting to see the outcome.

All in all it was a full programme, giving me the opportunity to see how shared services are developing.