Innovation Abounds with the Electronic Resources & Libraries Annual Conference 2013

First off, I must admit bias when it comes to ER&L since I’ve been involved with this group since their inception. That said, the folks that own and run ER&L (Bonnie Tijerina & Sandy Tijerina) are doing some really nifty things in 2013. First and foremost, in conjunction with ProQuest & DLF, they’re hosting this super groovy #ideadrop House at SXSWi (South by Southwest interactive). Checkout some of the great streaming videos that have already been captured by this event and see what your colleagues are up to in promoting libraries. Also learn why “zebra” is the new pattern for librarians!

ER&L’s annual conference starts on 17 March and runs through 20 March. It’s not too late to join into this year’s conference! You can register to be part of the online conference experience, still sign-up to attend in person, & find out where online viewing parties are happening near you! This year’s conference is made up of great keynote speakers, fascinating programs, interesting tracks of content and even features a library publishing unconference.

ER&L is unlike any other library conference you attend. It provides a wonderful networking space to meet engaged and enthralling colleagues. There are multiple opportunities to become involved in the overall conference from simply participating in open discussions at the sessions held, joining in on the lightening talks, participating in the unconference, participating in any of the meet-ups happening or joining in online. There’s something for everyone at ER&L.

If you can do nothing else, just follow the forthcoming twitter streams at #ideadrop and #erl13. It is hard not to share the excitement that this conference generates each year and we hope you’ll join in on all the fun stuff happening this year!


Universal Access

Brewster Kahle, founder of the Internet Archive, will present the webinar “Universal Access to All Knowledge” on September 5, 2012. The presentation is sponsored by the Association for Library Collections & Technical Services (ALCTS).

Together with his wife, Mary Austin, Mr. Kahle started The Kahle/Austin Foundation, which supports the Internet Archive along with other non-profit organizations with similar goals. Additionally, Mr. Kahle is the founder of Open Content Alliance, a group of organizations contributing to a permanent, publicly accessible archive of digitized texts.

Registration information:
Wednesday, September 5, 2012
This session will be 90-minutes long, starting:
11am Pacific | 12 Mountain | 1pm Central | 2pm Eastern

How to Better Your Relationship with Service & Product Providers: Become Engaged not Enraged

In libraryland, there is an endemic problem with our relationship with our resource and service providers. As a profession we’ve tended to ignore the popular idiom: “You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.” In our discussions both with service or resource providers and amongst ourselves, we tend to blame-storm problems and issues being encountered instead of trying to find ways to positively engage with providers and seek solutions to these problems and issues.  It appears that as a profession, librarians sometimes forget we are part of a knowledge community and must act accordingly within the information chain. There are five things we can do to positively shape our interactions with service and resource providers:

  • We are an information seeking and providing profession. What if, when we first encounter a problem instead of expressing immediate frustration with the situation to our colleagues, we take a step back and follow the advice we give to our patrons? Let’s start with investigating how the problem or issue came into being. By taking an hour or less to review press release documentation from the provider, reviewing the company with whom we have an issue or concern, reading news releases in American Libraries or Information Today, trolling & reading e-discussion lists for other librarians’ take on a situation we become more informed about the issue or concern and not just react to our negative impression or experience. We are now informed and may understand better why a situation is being encountered. Now when we talk to the provider, we can engage in an informed conversation about the situation or problem encountered. Example: “It looks like you surveyed a number of undergraduates to develop your new search interface, did you consider that this search strategy may not be appealing to graduate students and faculty?”
  • Instead of immediately posting a frustrated message to an e-discussion list about the problem or concern, what if we contacted the representative that we work with from the provider and asked questions? This could be an account representative or a technical support person. Ask specific questions regarding the situation and use clear language, for example: “When I do X, it seems that Y is happening and I’m trying to achieve Z. Can you walk me through this process so I can see what’s happening?” Be honest with your feelings regarding the situation: “I’m finding this situation to be really frustrating, how can we resolve it?” “Your company X called me out of the blue yesterday, what role should I play in working with you?”  When we indicate that we are willing to work on finding the solution to a specific situation, it goes a long way with reaching a satisfactory outcome.
  • As a profession we are open to being disrupted. This is the essence of reference and patron service in our organizations. However, we tend to react negatively when this same form of disruption occurs from our service/resource providers. Just as we are open to help any constituent engaging with us, we should be open to responding to a resource/service provider. This is not to say that we cannot discourage cold calls but we should be willing to meet and talk with the service/resource provider as a mechanism for providing feedback and concerns about their products and services. It is part of our job to make time and room to be good stewards of the resources and services we are providing.
  • Along these same lines, when we receive an email from a service/resource provider, it should not go entirely ignored. Many of these emails are news items regarding service disruptions or new products and do not require immediate feedback. However, when we do get a message from an account representative or a sales person, we should respond within a reasonable amount of time even if it is to say that the timing of their offer for a visit, a trial,  and/or for a training session on product X will not work at this time.  We all dislike it when we feel our emails and attempts to contact someone are not responded to in a reasonable amount of time and we should share this same courtesy back.
  • Lastly, offer to be a beta-tester or to serve on a library advisory group for the service/product provider. Indicate that you feel strongly about the resources being offered and that you’d like to support their on-going development or be able to give input on the cost model being utilized. There are benefits to being in on the ground floor of development and new practices with the resource and service providers such as reduced cost and helping to shape the eventual outcome of the service/resource provided.

ALCTS Continuing Education

Upcoming ALCTS Continuing Education Events


  • Turning Statistics into Assessment
  • Role of the Profession in Academic Research Technical Services Departments
  • Federal Depository System (in conjunction with GODORT)
  • Library as Place: Making the Library an Inviting Environment

If you have additional e‑forums ideas, please contact Kristin Martin.


  • The Future of the Integrated Library? (August 1)
  • Universal Access to All Knowledge (September 5)
  • Demand Driven Acquisitions: Part 1 and 2 (September 19 and October 3)
  • Digital Preservation: Part 1 and 2 (October 10 and November 14)
  • Principles of Classification (October 24)
  • Holdings Comparisons: Why are They So Complicated (November 28)

Web Courses:

  • Fundamentals of Acquisitions (September 17 ‑ October 12)
  • Fundamentals of Collection Assessment (August 13 ‑ September 21)
  • Fundamentals of Collection Development/Management (August 20 ‑ September 14)
  • Fundamentals of Electronic Resources Acquisitions (September 24 ‑ October 19)
  • Fundamentals of Preservation (September 10 ‑ October 5)

Posted on behalf of the ALCTS Continuing Education Committee.

Ebooks in K12

Here is an interesting workshop for those in K-12 being offered by ALA Techsource:

“Choosing an E-Book Platform that Works for Your K12 Library”
being lead by Buffy J. Hamilton
August 8

Emerging Research

Don’t miss the ALCTS Collection Management Section forum at ALA

“Emerging Research in Collection Management & Development”

When: Sunday, June 26, 2011 – 4:00pm – 5:30pm
Location: Convention Center, Rm 269
Papers on interesting topics will be presented.

Collaborative Collection Conference

Collaborative collection development has been on our lips for 30 years. It’s one of those topics that, to paraphrase Mark Twain (or whoever), everybody talks about but nobody does anything. I exaggerate. There have been a lot of what I’ll call prospective collection collaboration: shared subscriptions, buying clubs, cooperative approval plans. But retrospective collaboration is a tough nut. “Retrospective collaboration?” you say. What to do about managing existing collections, especially monograph collections, in a collaborative fashion? How to weed our monograph collections in an extensive fashion (creating spaces for other activities), while still preserving the greatest diversity of the scholarly and cultural record? Now THAT is on my lips all the time these days.

And its on the lips of several great presenters for ALCTS. See this ALCTS virtual preconference to learn a lot more about this kind of collaboration:

Local Collections, Collective Context: Managing Print Collections in the Age of Collaboration
June 4-6: there are three sessions, 90 minutes each,  beginning at: 11am Pacific, noon Mountain, 1pm Central, 2pm Eastern

Sign up now! I’ll see you there.


I had tea yesterday with a long-time Medieval Studies/English Literature faculty member here. She has always been a heavy user of the library and a real supporter of everything we do. She’s actually retired but still doing a lot of things in the English Department on a part-time basis. Yesterday, she turned to me and asked earnestly, “why is the library going so electronic in everything it does?”

How would you answer that question?

Georgia State E-Reserves

A verdict has finally been issued in the Georgia State University e-reserves case (Cambridge University Press et al v. Patton et al). Several publishers were suing GSU over their electronic reserves practices. The judge’s decision is mostly favorable to libraries. Most of the particular claims of infringement were rejected. The case, however, may establish some specific guidelines or safe havens that may not be exactly what librarians would want.

Further summaries of the case:


Tech Timeline

I’ve been working on a tech timeline (both personal and library) that I thought more appropriate over on my personal blog. Tell me about the technological change you’ve experienced in your career.