If all goes according to plan, this week's readings on electronic resource management and on workflow analysis should help you put prior material into some context and also act as a bridge to the material to that we'll discuss in much of the remaining weeks of the semester.
In the first couple of weeks, we read about what it means to be a librarian who oversees or is a part of electronic resource management as well as what kinds of criteria are sought for in new hires. We also discussed why electronic resources have introduced so much constant disruption across libraries which, among other things, is due to the fact that the print-era involved a largely linear process of collection management that was fundamentally altered with the introduction of electronic resources.
Then we discussed the differences between electronic resource management software and integrated library system software, as well as why standards are important, why interoperability is required, and what happens when access to electronic resources breaks.
This week I think things will start to connect for you all at an even faster pace. In the first Anderson article (chapter 2), we start to get a clear idea of what a knowledge base is and how it works, we learn more about how integrated library systems and ERM systems work together, or not, and more. We also start dipping our toes into newer topics, such as licensing, COUNTER, and SUSHI, which we'll cover in greater detail in the next few weeks.
In the second Anderson article (chapter 3), we learn how to take careful consideration of a library's work flow before selecting which ERM software to purchase, and we do this because we select systems based on the needs of the librarians, which may be vastly different across libraries and which must rely on different aspects of the overall process. As you read this chapter, I want you to keep in mind the Samples and Healy article from the previous week's reading.
As hinted at in these readings, especially in the section on acquisitions, budget, subscription, and purchasing in Chapter 2 but also in the multiple discussions about the role that vendors play in electronic resource management, the market and the economics of this area of librarianship weighs heavily on everyday realities. We'll follow up on this next week when we begin to read more about the market and the economics of electronic resources. For example, in our Anderson readings this week, we learn about the CORE standard, or the Cost of Resource Exchange standard, that was developed by NISO and that brings together three aspects of our previous discussions: software, funds, and interoperability. Here the CORE standard is simply a standard that enables ILS and ERM systems to communicate costs of electronic resources between each other, and its existence hints at the pressures librarians have had in having to deal with complex budget issues.
We have already discussed standardization. While we spent some time discussing technical standards, we also learned a bit about TERMS, an attempt to standardize some of the language and processes involved with electronic resource management. We see more connections in this week's readings. Aside from the CORE standard, we learn, as previously stated, about standard attempts at licensing, and the COUNTER and SUSHI statistic-related standards, which provide standards for the communication, collection, presentation, and the formats of usage statistics for electronic resources such as ebooks, journals, databases, and more.
We have also discussed interoperability, and what it takes for multiple systems to connect and transfer content between each other. We primarily discussed this with respect to link resolver technology, and we did this not just because we should know about link resolvers as important components of electronic resource management, but also because link resolvers are a good example of the kind of work that is involved for systems to communicate properly. Coming back to CORE again, the Anderson article (chapter 2) provides a link to a white paper titled, "White Paper on Interoperability between Acquisitions Modules of Integrated Library Systems and Electronic Resource Management Systems", and this paper defines the 13 data elements that were determined to be desired in any exchange between ILS software and ERM software for those software to communicate meaningfully with each other. By that, I mean, the data points enable meaningful use of both the ILS software and the ERM software, and include:
That white paper contains a lot of interesting use cases, or stories, from several major libraries, and these cases are rather interesting reads. You're not required to read this paper, but I urge you at least skim through it so you get a sense of how standards are created through a process of comparing and contrasting and coordinating needs and contexts among different entities. Link is in the transcript but also in the reading, as well as the link to the actual CORE protocol:
I really like these two readings by Anderson because they've very illustrative of the whole ERM process. If you're interested, visit the issue these two readings are from and read the other parts that Anderson has written.
In short, this week's topic will also, if all goes well, help provide a foundation for the remaining weeks, when we'll learn about and discuss things like licensing and negotiation and evaluation and statistics in more detail.