Inspired by the post eResources “de-tech-tive” work – supporting library staff here is a little about some of the work we are doing in helping library staff answers queries relating to accessing our online resources.
As part of the elibrary team we manage, administer and support e-resources and with the help of Mark and John we wrote a brief guide for staff at our help points. The guide provides the recommended route to our eresources, we advise using our insitutional portal as this also sets the Athens coookie, some basic steps in answering a query (excerpt below) and a list of some common issues.
“Answering e-resource enquiries
1. Establish what the student is trying to access to confirm if this is something we have a subscription to, ie is it on our A-Z e-resource list or journal list and within our holdings.
2. Establish they are a BCU staff and student and have a network ID which allows them access to iCity, Moodle etc.
- If they have any problems with their network ID or don’t have one they will need to contact the CICT helpdesk.
- If they are an external borrower with a network ID this will only work on campus with a limited number of resources (those listed on the A-Z e-resource list which say ‘on-campus’)
3. Check whether you can access this resource yourself then determine whether student is on campus or off
- On campus – If you are able to access it, suggest the student accesses it via the suggested route (accessing e-resources)
- Off campus – if you can access it, check it is not a resource only available on campus (see notes on A-Z resource list) If it is not restricted to on campus, provide the suggested access route.
- If they continue to have problems recommend they email firstname.lastname@example.org with full details for further investigation
4. If you are unable to access it yourself, report to email@example.com with details of the resource and the borrower if they wish to be notified.”
Some initial feedback from staff is that they would appreciate a shorter guide with bullet points listing key questions they could ask to probe further into the problem, specifically for telephone enquires. They also felt it would be useful to see how the off campus route varies from on campus.
We are also looking at ways of improving information on our current webpages in order that our staff and students can troubleshoot themselves at times where library staff are not available to help. We are going to run some staff training sessions which I hope will be a useful in ensuring staff have the relevant support and that we are aware of the different types of enquiries we are facing.
I think the 2 blog posts over on Laura’s Dark Archive are a good introduction for library staff regarding e-resources.
As our collections far exceed the stock in the buildings we occupy it is important that we are able to provide appropriate support for e-resources.