I admit, I have been silently cheering the progress of autonomous (self-driving) cars for some time. I have a son, who’s almost 13. Who hasn’t had some trepidation at the idea of their offspring behind the wheel? The idea of him not actually driving, and being safer, is definitely appealing.
But, self-driving cars aren’t quite here, yet. There are some on the roads now, but there are still kinks to be worked out…and some of those are issues are human issues.
From the Ohio Web Library:
In the wake of Elsesvier scooping up boxes of library work on open access with their acquisition of Bepress, I'm pondering why it hurts so much - and what's next.
In the summer of 2016, I received a phone call from OCLC asking if I’d be interested in becoming one of the first early adopters for a service that would be replacing ILLiad. It would be an enhanced WorldShare ILL system that would include many of the unique features of ILLiad.
Move away from ILLiad? And do so at the “bleeding edge” of a new service? And being not much of a techie, the idea of changing any computer-based system always seems like a challenge. At that very moment, the idea seemed overwhelming and, frankly, hugely unsettling.
After giving it some thought, though, I considered that I actually like new challenges. The Interlibrary Loan office was slowing down a bit as the summer wore on, too. And it occurred to me that if all ILLiad libraries would eventually need to change, I’d rather be part of the first cohort with all the OCLC tech support behind me. I also thought that being involved in an early adopter program like this might be both professionally challenging and fun. So I said, “Yes!”Diving in
On September 1, 2016, the first cohort began their implementation of Tipasa. It has been a journey of fits-and-starts (remember my lack of tech skills), but we emerged with a new platform that features a clean, simple interface that can easily be shared by all interlibrary loan workers in our library.
Many of our workflows have been simplified, too. We used this migration opportunity to finally implement patron Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) authentication, which caused some delays, as both Immaculata and OCLC needed to work out some wrinkles. We could have kept our manual authentication, but with great IT support on our campus, I believed the time had come to upgrade that function.One lap at a time
Through the use of interactive webinars, emails and phone calls, we learned all about the new system. It was surprising to me how the six libraries in our cohort had such divergent workflows. That we all were using ILLiad in such different ways meant that Tipasa had to be just as adaptable. The OCLC team listened as we objected to a missing function here, protested a change there or recommended a brand new idea. OCLC also set up a Community Center page so that we could interact with and support each other. We also used an “Enhancement page” where we could post our desires for future improvements.
Being involved in an early adopter program was both professionally challenging and fun.
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We are finished with our migration and things are running smoothly in Tipasa. The change was seamless for our patrons, even though we launched during a very busy time in the new spring semester.
While there are several functions we need that are not yet available in Tipasa, OCLC has committed to listening to us as we lobby for missing items. Some of those were delivered in the first big upgrade in May, I’m pleased to say.Calming the waters
As a past chairperson of the Interlibrary Loan committee of our library consortium, I brought ILLiad to 11 of our libraries through consortia pricing and a Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) grant. For that reason, I felt a responsibility to those libraries to help them through the transition to a new product.
Once we were fully operational, we held a video conference meeting on our campus, which we recorded for future reference. My objective was to calm any fears and encourage others to embrace this change. The event even attracted libraries from beyond our consortium. Clearly, Tipasa is a hot topic!
I gave a brief overview of how Tipasa works by actually using it. I pulled up my account, opened some requests, spent some time in the configuration pages (which are so much easier and customizable than ILLiad!) and fielded lots of questions.
I believe I accomplished my objective. And I also made myself available to those other libraries as they begin their own transitions.Smooth sailing
ILLiad is now a distant memory for my library as we have become comfortably settled with Tipasa. It certainly had challenging moments, but I always felt supported by OCLC. With lots of humor and good communication, we did it! I learned so much from other libraries’ workflows, presented at a web conference for the first time and I now know more than I’d ever thought possible about authentication.
Being part of an OCLC early adopter program was a voyage of discovery for me. Challenging at times, yes, but in a good way. I’d recommend the experience to anyone looking for ways to learn more about how OCLC staff and members work together on new products and services. And, it was gratifying to know that our library could make a broader contribution to the library community; our feedback has resulted in a stronger product for our peers, both today and into the future.
Compelling stories are engaging, thought-provoking and informative. And they often inspire us to take action.
Our latest round of member stories shows the excitement—and the rewards—of moving library services to the cloud. Working together using a shared platform streamlines routine, repetitive workflows and frees up time for high-impact efforts that demonstrate relevance, which is more important than ever as we keep pace with users’ expectations.
If you have a story about your library you’d like to share, please drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Share resources with fewer clicks: University of Saint Francis, Fort Wayne, Indiana, USA
Today’s students expect to get documents and articles for their research projects quickly and easily. At the University of Saint Francis, the staff was eager to move to the cloud where upgrades are seamless and workflows are simplified. Now, staff and student workers fulfill requests with fewer steps from wherever it’s convenient to work. And loans from students that request something owned in their collection automatically go to document delivery, a dramatic improvement in productivity and customer service.
Improve discovery of your entire collection: Hillsdale College, Hillsdale, Michigan, USA
Hillsdale College had a long-term goal of making its electronic holdings as discoverable and accessible as its print collection. Today, reference librarians and students easily find the library’s open-access and licensed e-collections right in the library’s catalog thanks to high-quality records with reliable metadata and subject headings for their electronic packages. These records are loaded and updated automatically, saving the library time and money and drastically improving discovery for reference librarians and library users—they are finding things they never would have found before.
Dedicate more time to sharing research globally: Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, Liverpool, UK
Staff at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine decided that they wanted to take a new direction by becoming a Higher Education Institution, which had a direct impact on their library. Library leadership decided to pursue a move to the cloud, allowing staff to focus on realizing the best student experience rather than only improving back-office workflows. That decision helped the library build deeper relationships with students and enhance research support activities for faculty.
Focus your time on your library strengths: College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University, St. Joseph and Collegeville, Minnesota, USA
The College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University Libraries wanted to be more responsive to student and faculty needs, both in the library and in the classroom. Once the staff streamlined their collection management workflows by moving to the cloud, they had more time to spend bringing library services to users. Now their technology and content expertise supports learning and teaching in classrooms all over the campus, and they are collaborating with faculty through personalized research services and consultation.
Deliver library resources from around the world as if it’s easy: Seaside Public Library, Seaside, Oregon, USA
The Seaside Public Library has an impressive 68% interlibrary loan fill rate and an average 20-hour turnaround time. How? Partly it’s an attitude—making the “detective work” of finding the right materials fun. And partly it’s innovative ideas like keeping track of which book in a series a patron has requested and requesting the next one so that it arrives as they finish the previous one.
Support changing roles with reduced workloads: Tulsa Community College, Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA
When Tulsa Community College migrated to a cloud-based library management system, staff members found that they were able to eliminate many routine tasks and perform new roles due to their more efficient workflows. Now, they finish their regular work more quickly and can take on new projects, like building a digital archive for the college and creating custom usage reports of library resources.Tell the community your story
What’s your story? Every library has one. Share it to advance our profession, and watch how it influences and drives other libraries toward new achievements and success.
I recently read a blog post – the first linked article below – by Benedict Evans that makes some interesting points about what we usually call “computer literacy.” (Tip: many of Mr. Evans’ blog posts are thought-provoking.) We spend a lot of time and resources in public libraries teaching people how to do things on computers, but are we actually just teaching them how to do things on PCs, things that they may have already mastered on their phones? By Evans’ calculation, there are about 100 million people using PCs for things that can’t be done on a phone or tablet, but perhaps 5 billion people who are using their phones to do things that used to be done on a PC.
Articles from Ohio Web Library:
It's either the beginning of the end or the end of the beginning.
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