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-<markdown> 
-# Electronic Access 
-## Date: Tue 20 Feb 2019  
  
-## Samples and Healy (2014) 
- 
-Samples and Healy (2014) provide a nice framework for thinking about 
-issues with electronic access. They include two broad categories, 
-*proactive troubleshooting* and *reactive troubleshooting* of access. 
-They include examples of each, where:  
- 
-* proactive troubleshooting of access: "defined as troubleshooting 
-    access problems before they are identified by a patron". Some 
-    examples include: 
-      * "letting public-facig library staff know about planned 
-            database downtime" 
-      * "doing a complete inventory to make sure that every database 
-            paid for is in fact 'turned on' 
-* reactive troubleshoot of access: "defined as troubleshooting access 
-    issues as problems are identified and reported by a patron". Some 
-    examples include: 
-      * "fixing broken links" 
-      * "fixing incorrect coverage date ranges in the catalog" 
-      * "patron education about accessing full text" 
- 
-The goal here, as suggested by Samples and Healy, is to maximize 
-proactive troubleshooting and to minimize reactive troubleshooting. That 
-is, to prevent the problem from happening in the first place. Samples 
-and Healy's report is a great example of why we call the field *library 
-science*. The purpose of making librarianship a science was based on a 
-need to not just rigorize the field, but also a need to systematically 
-study the problems of the field and to generalize solutions based on 
-such systematic study. The project they describe does just that. The 
-librarians had identified a problem that had grown "organically," 
-collected and analyzed data, and then generalized it by outlining a 
-"detailed workflow" to "improve the timeliness and accuracy of 
-electronic resource work." Practically, not only does a study like this 
-promise improved productivity and better work flows that help better job 
-and patron satisfaction, but it could also help librarians identify the 
-kinds of software solutions that will align with their workflows and 
-patron information behaviors. 
- 
-There are a few key quotes in this article. The first one speaks against 
-a common assumption about electronic resources, especially those provided 
-by vendors: 
- 
-> The impression that once a resource is acquired, it is then just 
-> 'accessible' belies the actual, shifting nature of electronic 
-> resources, where continual changes in URLs, domain names, or 
-> incompatible metadata causes articles and ebooks to be available one 
-> day, but not the next. 
- 
-Thus, unlike a printed work in a print-only era that, once cataloged, 
-may be shelved and left there for decades or longer without any problems 
-of access, electronic resources require constant and active attention to 
-maintain their accessibility. Ebooks, for example, can cause metadata 
-problems. Often, what's important about an ebook is the chapters it 
-includes, and thus metadata about the components of an ebook is 
-important, as well as the links to those chapters in the discovery 
-systems. Thus, note the difference between item-level cataloging and 
-title-level cataloging, as Samples and Healy describe, and how confusing 
-and problematic this can be when considering different genres and what 
-those genres contain. Or, note that they discuss how a series of links 
-are involved starting from the source of discovery, e.g., an OPAC, to 
-the retrieved item, and how difficult it might be in determining which 
-of these links, and thus services, is broken when access becomes 
-problematic. 
- 
-Let me highlight a few key findings from their report: 
- 
-- Workflows: why does this keep coming up? It's because workflows help 
-  automate a process -- simplify and smooth out what needs to be done, 
-  and because this is only possible when things are standardized. 
-- Staffing: we'll talk about more in a future forum, but part of the 
-  problem here is that ERM has had a major impact on organizational 
-  structure, but one where different libraries have responded 
-  differently. This lack of organizational standardization has its 
-  benefits regarding overall management practices and cultures, but it 
-  also has huge drawbacks -- and that's the difficulty in establishing 
-  effective, generalized workflows that include key participants, and to 
-  minimize as many dependencies on any one person. 
-- Tracking: if there's no tracking, there's no way to systematically 
-  identify patterns in problems. And if that's not possible, then 
-  there's no way to solve those problems proactively. It's just all 
-  reactive, and reactive troubleshooting, as Samples and Healy point 
-  out, results in poor patron experiences. We'll talk more about 
-  tracking when we get to the week on Evaluation and Statistics. 
- 
-## Carter & Traill (2017) 
- 
-I like the Carter and Traill (2017) article because we often get the 
-line that discovery systems are a great solution to all the disparate 
-discipline based resources that librarians subscribe to in order to 
-search their collections. Or, if we do think about problems with such 
-systems, we often are presented with a basic information retrieval 
-problem, such that the larger the collection to search, the more likely 
-a relevant item will get lost in the mix. But as Carter and Traill point 
-out, these systems also tend to reveal access problems as more patrons 
-are exposed, through the discovery system, that access to particular 
-items might be broken. The authors provide a checklist, as a result of 
-their analysis, that is helpful in tracking issues, and thus, helpful in 
-improving existing workflows. 
- 
-## Buhler and Cataldo (2016) 
- 
-The Buhler and Cataldo (2016) article provides an important reminder 
-that all the stuff electronic resource librarians do is for the patron, 
-and reminds us that the internet and the web has flattened the genres, 
-making it much more difficult to distinguish among things like magazine 
-articles, news articles, journal articles, encyclopedia articles, 
-ebooks, etc. Even though the Buhler and Cataldo reading is focused on 
-students, other studies have hinted at the same issue they describe 
-across other populations. Also, it's important, if possible, to 
-recognize these issues as ERM librarians and work to resolve them in the 
-ways that you would be able to. 
- 
-Back to the article -- I am in my early middle aged years, and so I grew 
-up being able to easily tell the difference between an encyclopedia 
-article, a journal article, a magazine article, a chapter in a book, a 
-handbook, an index, a dictionary, etc. because I grew up with them 
-around and because they were tangible things that looked different. 
-Today, a traditional first year college student, however, was born in 
-the year 2000 and grew up reading around the turn of the first decade. 
-The problem this raises is that although electronic resources are 
-electronic or digital, they are still based on genres that originated in 
-the print age, yet they lack the physical characteristics that help 
-distinguish one from the other. E.g., what's the difference between a 
-longer *NY Times* article (traditionally a newspaper article) and an 
-article in the *New Yorker* (traditionally a magazine article) today. 
-Aside from some aesthetic differences between the two, they are both web 
-pages, and it's not altogether obvious that we can tell, as regular 
-users, that they're entirely different genres based on any kind of 
-cursory examination. However, there are important informational 
-differences between the two, how they were written, how they were 
-edited, who they were written by, and etc that make them different even 
-today. Even *Wikipedia* articles pose this problem. Citing an 
-encyclopedia article was never an accepted practice, but this was only 
-true for general encyclopedias. It was generally okay to cite articles 
-from special encyclopedias because they focused on limited subject 
-matters like specific areas of art, music, science, culture, and thus 
-were usually more in-depth in their coverage. Examples include the 
-*Encyclopedia of GIS*, the *Encyclodia of Evolution*, *The Kenctucky 
-African American Encyclopedia*, *The Encyclopedia of Virtual Art Carving 
-Toraja--Indonesia*, and so forth. And nowadays, there are some studies 
-that show that *Wikipedia* does provide that kind of in-depth coverage 
-of some subject matters, thus helping to flatten the encyclopedia genre. 
- 
-The flattening holds true for things like *Google*. The best print 
-analogy for *Google* is that of an index, which was used to look up 
-keywords that would point to source material. See the links in the 
-discussion post for examples. The main difference between such indexes 
-and *Google* is that the indexes were often produced to cover specific 
-publications, like a newspaper, or specific areas, like the *Social 
-Science Citation Index* or the *Science Citation Index*, both of which 
-are actual, documented, historical precursors to *Google* and to *Google 
-Scholar*. But, today, these search engines are considered source 
-material (e.g, "I found it on Google"). Few perhaps would have 
-considered a print index as source material, but rather as a 
-**reference** item, since it *referred* users to sources. Now it's all 
-mixed up and who can blame anyone. 
- 
-Let's talk about all of this on the board. 
- 
-* [Photos of the New York Times Index][1] 
-* [Photos of the Newspaper Index to the Washington Post][2] 
-* [Photos of the Reader's Guide to Periodical Literature][3] 
- 
-[1]:https://photos.app.goo.gl/6wqu02M7OQzyJnCG2 
-[2]:https://photos.app.goo.gl/JpnqxzZ44dhM06cq2 
-[3]:https://photos.app.goo.gl/Y5ronALog63zIxwr1 
-</markdown> 
teaching/electronic-access.1600866256.txt.gz ยท Last modified: 2020/09/23 09:04 by seanburns