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BC ELN Connect: April 2014 Volume 12.1

BC ELN connect logo

Table of Contents

Features

Envisioning a BC Institutional Repository Network
Resource Sharing: A Fresh Look for Spring
AskAway: Rallying for a Sustainable Service

BC ELN Collaborations

AskAway Update: Turning Challenges into Improvements
BC Digitization Coalition Spring Update
e-HLbc Update: Wrapping up the Fiscal Year
WriteAway Update: One Year Old and Going Strong!

Staff News

Maximizing Skillsets Across Consortia
Goodbyes and Welcome Backs
Staff profile: Korinne Hamakawa, BC ELN Client Support

Envisioning a BC Institutional Repository Network

Picture a network of institutional repositories stretching across British Columbia: each repository contains the scholarly work, reports, and intellectual output of its home institution, and is linked to all others in the network so that the best of BC’s post-secondary institutions is accessible by everyone. This vision, called the BC Institutional Repository (IR) Network, is being proposed by BC ELN to the Ministry of Advanced Education’s Administrative Services Delivery Transformation (ASDT) Steering Committee in a soon-to-be submitted business case.

How did we get to this exciting point? Following a stimulating discussion about IRs at the BC ELN December All Partner Meeting, BC ELN began investigating potential funding options for developing a collaborative IR network. After conversations with Ministry representatives, BC ELN was invited to submit a funding proposal in February to the ASDT Steering Committee – the body designated to identify and move forward on opportunities for service collaboration detailed in the 2013 Deloitte Report.

The ASDT Steering Committee showed a keen interest in the project. In particular, the Committee was excited by the:

  1. Forethought of BC’s post-secondary libraries that are proactively addressing the Tri-Council Open Access Mandate to ensure that researchers in the province have a space to store their output so grant requirements may be fulfilled;

  2. Cost-saving potential of moving together collaboratively;

  3. Value the project brings to all post-secondary institutions in the province – universities and colleges, research and teaching intensive. Everyone benefits.

Based on its strong funding proposal, BC ELN was invited to build a business case that will substantiate the costs and value of the project and provide a detailed plan for implementation. The BC ELN Office is now in the midst of gathering data for this document, including cost comparisons that demonstrate how substantial savings can be achieved through consortial IR efforts.

Funding decisions will be based on this business case as well as how well the BC ELN IR project fits the ASDT’s mandate. The BC ELN Office will be in touch with library directors in the coming weeks asking about your experiences and thoughts.

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Resource Sharing: A Fresh Look for Spring

It’s spring… put away those winter jackets and embrace a lighter look! Just in time, a fresh new feel to OutLook OnLine (OLOL) is coming to your library soon with the migration to a new 4.0 interface. On March 23rd OLOL’s back-end migration to new web architecture was successfully accomplished. Over the coming weeks the Office will be providing orientation, support, and documentation as libraries shift to using the new interface.

Sunni Nishimura began visiting sites this spring to assist with the migration process and to develop a deeper understanding of how BC ELN partner libraries are sharing resources “on the ground”. If you haven’t heard from Sunni already, she will be in touch soon to set up a meeting – either in person or via telephone/virtual meeting space.

Langara College Logo

Initial site meetings have been very fruitful. Sunni met with Alison Curtis (Coordinator, Collection Development) and Richard Birkenes (ILL) at Langara College and learned about the exciting changes made to ILL visibility and workflow that have corresponded to an increase in requests. Since adding the Langara logo to the ‘Find full text’ button in their database and discovery layer search results, requests have increased significantly; folks at Langara feel this might be due in part to the eye-catching nature of the logo. Langara has also implemented TitanFile, which provides online document delivery, streamlines workflow for ILL staff, and addresses copyright needs. As a result the library is now more actively promoting the ILL service to students and employees. Richard generously shared his time to explain how OLOL fits into current ILL workflows, and also tested and provided feedback on some upcoming features in the OLOL platform.

Shirley Lew (Coordinator, Library Systems & Technical Services) at Vancouver Community College also took time away from a hectic ILS transition to share some ideas with Sunni around resource sharing. Shirley expressed interest in any change that makes it easier for patrons to request items, as she feels resource sharing, especially of physical items, will remain important. She is interested in opportunities to use link resolving or discovery layers to streamline the process for students.

Sunni is looking forward learning from more of you. Don’t hesitate to contact Sunni with any questions: 778.782.6937 / sunnin@eln.bc.ca. Details on the migration can be found in the December 2013 issue of BC ELN Connect.

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AskAway: Rallying for a Sustainable Service

The greater the obstacle, the more glory in overcoming it. ~Moliere

Recent news about AskAway funding cuts has mobilized stakeholders to find solutions that will keep this much-needed service moving forward. At the beginning of 2014, the AskAway community learned that $55,000 in external funding would be lost, representing nearly 50% of the service’s budget. In the past AskAway received substantial support from BCcampus, but due to government spending cuts BCcampus will no longer be able to provide these funds.

But all is not lost! Recognizing the value that AskAway brings to the post-secondary sector, participating libraries rallied in support with contributions of staff time and funds to offset the loss. BCcampus also confirmed its continuing commitment to collaborative services by providing $25,000 in transition funding. Over the next year the Advisory Committee will be working on a long-term sustainability plan to reduce reliance on external funding.

AskAway’s budget of approximately $120,000 has traditionally come from three sources:

The majority of the budget goes toward coordination and technology costs. The remainder supports the staffing of shifts that institutions are unable to cover. All funds are spent directly on the service, and the Advisory Committee’s goal is to achieve a balance of zero at the end of the year. An overview expenditure plan can be seen in both the BC ELN Innovation & Success 2013 and AskAway Actions & Achievements 2013 reports.

With more support coming directly from the libraries, AskAway is transitioning into a stronger and more sustainable service. Over the coming year the Advisory Committee and the Administrative Centre will work together to build a funding and staffing model that ensures AskAway’s sustainability into the future.

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BC ELN Collaborations

AskAway Update: Turning Challenges into Improvements

AskAway logo

The past term has been an interesting one for AskAway, filled with changes and new challenges. While the funding situation has taken the spotlight in recent months, AskAway has been active in many areas:

New Strategies to Manage Disruptive Behaviour

Those who staff AskAway have heard about a patron who, from November through February, contacted the service with hundreds of sessions per week – sometimes up to 200 in single day. AskAwayers provided excellent service while diligently applying procedures to minimize the disruptive chats, but this individual persisted with a high volume of sessions.

The Admin Centre, working with a web-savvy contractor, developed a FIPPA-compliant method of blocking the patron’s access to AskAway while protecting patron privacy. The block was put in place in early March. Service traffic has since returned to normal and AskAway now has new tools for handling patrons who display disruptive behaviour.

Improvements to Scheduling Strategies

Scheduling AskAway each term is not a task for the faint of heart. Arranging shifts according to the changing needs of 30 institutions is a complex and time-intensive process. But all that will change come the Fall term, with the rollout of software that will give institutions direct input on the schedule and allow them to trade for preferred shifts with one another. This enhancement will free up Admin Centre time to focus on service improvements.

AskAway Actions & Achievements 2013 Report Released

The AskAway Actions & Achievements 2013 report outlines AskAway’s value and describes successes of the past year. The report is now available at: http://www.eln.bc.ca/view.php?id=1906.

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BC Digitization Coalition Spring Update

BC Digitization Coalition logo

BC ELN was a founding member of the BC Digitization Coalition, and continues to serve on this group. The coalition has been hard at work updating the West Beyond the West (WBTW) search portal and launching its hosting service. Here are a few highlights of what's new with the Coalition:

Search Portal

The West Beyond the West search portal has an exciting new look! The new design brings a more updated and appealing look to the WBTW website. It’s anticipated that the design will continue to evolve based on further feedback from users and BCDC partners, as well as the integration of related initiatives including the BC Bibliography Project. Expect a redesigned ‘About’ page with explanatory text, links to the BC Bibliography Project and the hosting service in the coming months.

WBTW Hosting

It’s official, WBTW Hosting is open for business! WBTW currently has two hosting subscribers: Terrace Public Library and University of the Fraser Valley. Both institutions plan to use the service to host community newspapers. If your institution is looking for digital collection hosting please contact us.

Communications

The Coalition has once again had a presence at the BC Library Conference. This year they co-presented with Artefactual on a session titled, “Online Discovery of Digitized Holdings - BCDC and AtoM”.

BC Digitization Coalition website

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e-HLbc Update: Wrapping up the Fiscal Year

electronic health library of bc Logo

The Electronic Health Library of British Columbia (e-HLbc), a partnership of provincial government ministries, post-secondary institutions, and affiliated professional health organizations, provides the province’s health practitioners and students with a common suite of essential electronic health information resources.

The end of the year has marked the successful completion of a number of significant projects:

As the fiscal year comes to a close, e-HLbc is now turning its attention to a significant task: the 2015 Core Suite renewal. In preparation, staff are gathering database and journal article usage statistics; compiling schedules of member institutions’ FTEs, head counts, and acute care bed counts; and entering into discussions with vendors around the content of the next Core Suite of resources. Information about consultations will be forthcoming.

For more information about e-HLbc and its projects, please visit: http://ehlbc.ca/.

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WriteAway Update: One Year Old and Going Strong!

WriteAway Logo

Earlier this spring WriteAway celebrated a significant milestone: its first full year of service. The WriteAway pilot opened to student submissions on February 25th, 2013, and throughout the year over 500 students at six participating institutions received writing assistance from qualified tutors. To read more about WriteAway’s first year, please see: http://bccampus.ca/2014/02/25/over-500-students-supported-during-writeaways-first-year/

Spring Service 2014

WriteAway opened for its second spring term to students at participating institutions (Camosun College, College of the Rockies, Douglas College, Kwantlen Polytechnic University, Simon Fraser University, and University of British Columbia) on January 20th and will close on April 11th. Usage has once again been strong; it is predicted that WriteAway will have received over 750 student submissions by the end of the 12-week spring term.

WriteAway Actions & Achievements 2013 Report Released

Each year the WriteAway Actions & Achievements report outlines impacts and successes of the past year. The 2013 report includes information about WriteAway’s pilot year, key accomplishments, and select results from the fall student survey. The report is available at: http://www.eln.bc.ca/view.php?id=2094

Membership Expansion

Are you interested in expanding your in-person writing support service to the online arena via WriteAway? WriteAway is now welcoming new institutions to join for the 2014/15 academic year. For more information, please contact the WriteAway Administrative Centre at waoffice@eln.bc.ca

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Staff News

Maximizing Skillsets Across Consortia

Coordinators at the BC ELN Office have been discussing ways that e-HLbc and BC ELN staff can work together and draw upon each other’s skills and expertise to achieve greater work productivity and efficiency. BC ELN staff will apply their communications, marketing, and technical skills towards e-HLbc projects and initiatives. In return, e-HLbc staff will contribute licensing expertise to assist with BC ELN pricing negotiations and renewals. By working collectively to achieve greater success in licensing and other activities, e-HLbc and BC ELN staff can provide member institutions with improved service and support.

Goodbyes and Welcome Backs

This spring BC ELN wished Erin Ziegenfuss the best of luck as she moved on to new opportunities. Brandon Weigel will continue on with BC ELN to provide AskAway coordination and collaborative institutional repository support. Gordon Coleman has returned to his full time Coordinator position at BC ELN. The BC ELN Initiatives-at-a-Glance document has been updated to reflect current BC ELN distribution of tasks. As always, feel free to contact any member of the BC ELN staff if you have a question.

Staff profile: Korinne Hamakawa, BC ELN Client Support

Photo of Korinne Hamakawa

If you have ever called the BC ELN office to ask about an invoice or ILL statistics, you have likely spoken to our fabulous Korinne Hamakawa, Client Support.

Korinne has the weighty responsibility of ensuring that invoices are paid on time. With nearly 50 post-secondary libraries and e-HLbc organizations each subscribing to a unique array of licenses, not to mention many participating in the AskAway Chat Reference service, you can imagine that hundreds of invoices must be kept track of throughout the year – no small feat! In addition to managing financial systems, Korinne assists libraries with troubleshooting database and BC ELN website issues, provides office support, and manages the plethora of BC ELN and e-HLbc listservs.

When asked what she enjoys most about working at BC ELN, Korinne answers: “having a team that I can count on that is knowledgeable in different ways and has different strengths than me. Everybody feels like they’re a part of the team, and it shows!” In her spare time Korinne is an active crafter; she enjoys origami, knitting, and Japanese bookbinding. Her newest hobby is blues dancing.

The next time you would like to know how to join a BC ELN listserv or where to find out more about BC ELN initiatives and services, pick up the phone or shoot an email to Korinne!



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