Open Athens LA


Posted by Elif Varol | Posted in E-resources, Library, Uncategorized | Posted on October 2, 2012

We are looking in to changing the way we authenticate our users to access electronic resources at the University of Lincoln.

The first part of this project was introducing to launch EZProxy, the next stage will be upgrading Athens. Currently, we run Athens DA (running on the Portal) which we have been running for 8 years and it is time to upgrade something more modern that will integrate other systems better.

Eduserv who provides Athens DA have an up-to-date product which is OpenAthens LA 2.2.

Earlier this year, I went to the training at South Leicestershire College about how to configure OpenAthens LA to:

  • “Categorise your users
  • Define attributes based on available criteria
  • Set up your attribute release policy
  • Connect to both Athens & Shibboleth resource”

In this training, we covered Wayfless URLs, how OpenAthens can be used to release different user attributes to different library service providers, statistics and usage reporting and the differences between SAML (a standard protocol for authentication) and Shibboleth which is an identity provider software. However, people get confused with SAML and OpenAthens which is an IdP (Identity Provider) service which is also SAML compliant.

Here are some useful links on OpenAthens:

Presently, we are waiting ICT Services to release a new server for us to install and configure OpenAthens LA. We will then look at what changes we need to make to our e-resources URLs- Wayfless or otherwise, how OpenAthens will relate to EZProxy and how all the different authentication systems fit together (Alex Bilbie is working on this integration under the Linkey project).

Accessing e-books via MyiLibrary


Posted by Elif Varol | Posted in E-resources, Library, Uncategorized | Posted on October 2, 2012

We have been getting number of problems accessing e-books via myiLibrary when you search on Find it at Lincoln.

This problem should be fixed from Thursday onwards. Until then, the steps below are the way to get around this problem.

1. Go to the Library’s website

2. Click on “Resources” then “Library Catalogue”

3. If you know the title of the book choose “Title Keyword” from the drop down or “General Keyword” if you don’t. I used “social justice” as a search term for the title.
4. From the results list, you need to filter the e-book titles. To do that, click on the “limit by” drop-down box on the top right corner and choose e-books from the list.
5. Scroll down and find the title called “Social Justice and Public Policy” and click on it.
6. Once you are on the title page of the book, click on “log-in to ebook here” link.
7. At this point, if you are trying to access the e-book off-campus, you need to put your username and password. Please bear in mind that you may need to put network\ prefix in front of your username. Once you do that, you would be able to access the e-book.

Journal Usage Statistics Portal – JUSP


Posted by Elif Varol | Posted in E-resources, Library, Uncategorized | Posted on August 6, 2012

In April, I went to “Making the Most of JUSP” event in Birmingham.

JUSP (Journal Usage Statistics Portal) “…collects usage statistics from a number of publishers and gateways, and provides access to COUNTER JR1 and JR1a usage reports in the portal. These reports are added on a monthly basis so statistics are always up-to-date. Usage statistics for the past three years or more are generally available. Data can be downloaded for use in spreadsheet software like Microsoft Excel, or further analysed using the additional reports within JUSP. By collecting the usage statistics data, JUSP can help free up staff time to enable the data to be actively used rather than just collected.” (JUSP use case document.)

JUSP will help us to contribute to Value for Money agenda.  We can find out which titles are not being used heavily and plan our subscriptions according to usage.

Attending this event made me realise (and worry a little) about how little I know about the deals and some other issues involved around Electronic Resources Management- especially the acquisitions part of it. It would help to know all the steps involved from purchasing a package or a title to maintaining including decision making process. When I voiced my concern in the group I was with, Trevor Hough from University of Leeds recommended a website called TERMS: Techniques for ER Management with a useful archive of posts about Serials Management.

I have realised I need to work with colleagues in the Library to find out more about the steps and techniques involved in selection of e-resources deals and packages, including the Acquisitions terminology.

Next steps: here is a plan for using JUSP at the University of Lincoln:

  1. Create a stable login link for JUSP for e-Library staff.
  2. Arrange a time to log in to JUSP with colleagues and explore the reports and tools – familiarise ourselves with JUSP to increase our understanding and knowledge. Slides from the ‘Making the Most of JUSP’ event are available online (Thanks to Jo Alcock).
  3. Are all our e-resource collections registered on JUSP? Cross-check JUSP with our ERM spreadsheet, update the “deals” information, and record on the spreadsheet which packages are having usage recorded by JUSP.
  4. Work through the different JUSP summary reports (and the explanation of reports) to see which ones are most useful for reporting to the Library. Particularly the format for SCONUL data reporting.
  5. Agree schedule of reporting to LMG (Library Management Group) using JUSP reports. Agree how we will deal with providers that are not yet in JUSP.
  6. JUSP are considering including COUNTER BR2 reports for e-books: this would be useful for analysing our own e-book collections.
  7. Liaise with colleagues in Acquisitions to work out cost-per-download figures for individual titles and databases – contributes to our Value for Money agenda. Agree how we report this information to LMG and Academic Subject Librarians.
  8. Investigate SUSHI-compliant software for automatically gathering and reporting usage stats from JUSP.
  9. Work with colleagues in ICT services/LNCD on re-use of data and linking usage data with other University data sources.
  10. Continue to monitor the JUSP mailing list for information and events to stay up to date.

The event was very useful especially the exercises we did within the group. Overall, the whole event was organised really well. I met quite few experienced colleagues from other Universities whom kindly offered help should I ever need.

Thanks to all event organisers and speakers, and to Dr Angela Conyers, Jo Alcock and Jo Lambert for helping me with access to the JUSP test site.

The EDGE Conference


Posted by Elif Varol | Posted in Library, Uncategorized | Posted on May 3, 2012

I was delighted to find out that I won a place at the EDGE conference at the beginning of March.

The programme was very interesting with speakers from diverse backgrounds including experts from technology and partner organisations as well as politicians. It was refreshing that there were speakers from non-library backgrounds who allowed me to look at our sector from a different angle.

I was very pleased to hear that despite severe budget cuts across the UK, public libraries in Edinburgh are going from strength to strength. Mark Turley– Director of Services for Communities, City of Edinburgh Council stated that libraries play huge part in economic growth and change the dynamic of the neighbourhood that they are in. This statement fitted in perfectly with the talk given by Amy Eshleman– Assistant Commissioner from Chicago Public Library. She explained that they use social capital as a way of developing communities. Amy mentioned a couple of projects that they have been developed at Chicago, one of which is YOUmedia that involves middle and high school students. It supports the idea that learning can happen anywhere. With this in mind, they went out of the library to art and music festivals and even to beach volley tournaments. In these events, one of the interesting ways to get young people interested in libraries was to allow them to ride a bike which powered a computer and gave them library cards in return.

YOUmedia promotes 21st century skills such as critical thinking, creativity, skill building and civil engagement. The activities were purposeful and in curriculum so that young people would do what appeal to them, such as designing games or blogging. This allowed them not only to be the consumer of the information but also to create it at the same time. Some other activities that were part of YOUmedia were to design and recreate a book jacket and to write music or a poem about a particular book. The project became such a success that young people were asked to design Lady Gaga’s Tour Bus for her foundation Born This Way.

Amy mentioned that they developed an online toolkit to measure the impact of the library services which is not just about circulation statistics. The toolkit will be available online soon.

One of the talks that I found very interesting was by Riccardo Marini-Urbanist which was about design, creativity, planning, and places. Riccardo concentrated on libraries as place making anchors. He strongly believes that we need to have places that we like to successfully engage the interest of people. How we present our service determines how people think about it therefore it is very important that we need to present it in a creative way which will enhance the experience of our service users. Riccardo mentioned Taylorism and Efficiency Movement which moved the focus away from happiness on to efficiency. This movement influenced our focus on financial equations in terms of efficiency rather than the creativity.

Judith St John talked about Idea Store, Tower Hamlets which was developed following public’s opinion about wanting to have more books and IT services. The Council wanted to move away from the negative opinion of their services as well as reaching people that were not usually library users. As a result of this, they went through a re-branding process where Idea Store was born. Their aim was to create an environment where people would “hang around with purpose”. Idea Store adopted a retail model which created a lot of resistance initially from the staff, who thought the traditional library concept of learning and reading would be destroyed. However the number of visitors going in to the library quadrupled and the level of criminality disappeared within 2 months of Idea Store opening.

The highlight of the conference was a demonstration of augmented reality by Lester Madden from Augmented Planet. This was my first experience of seeing a live demo of augmented reality- combining computer generated graphics with real world. I was, and I still am, fascinated by it. Lester mentioned that there are a number of services freely available that can help non-programmers develop applications. One of these is Junaio. I certainly want to investigate augmented reality further.

From the hospitality of the organising committee to the interesting and diverse talks, as well as networking opportunities, the conference has been a great experience. I am really grateful that I had the opportunity to attend such an event.

Communication Skills for Effective Advocacy


Posted by Elif Varol | Posted in Library, Uncategorized | Posted on September 7, 2011

I was at the Repositories Support Project workshop called Communications Skills for Effective Advocacy on 15 June in Manchester at the venue called The Studio.

I absolutely loved the venue! This contemporary venue with innovative design was a great place to host an event which, in my opinion, helped each of us to enjoy the event even more.

I have enjoyed all of the events organised by RSP however, this one was exceptional. One of the reasons was due to the fact that Deborah Dalley was  the facilitator. She was certainly one of the best trainers I have ever come across.

The workshop consisted of various sessions ranging from Effective Influencing, Sources of Power, Understanding and Managing Resistance and Identifying & Handling Objections.

This was one of the rare occasions where I found it hard to choose which session I liked as each of them were very good and mind stimulating. I felt that I was able to contribute as much as everyone else which is not always the case in some of the events I have been to.

I picked up number of useful tips for example, identifying what power one has in order to develop an effective influencing strategy accordingly.

Another useful tip was about using different communication channels. The University is planning to have two staff rooms for academics where they would have an opportunity to meet another members of the staff from different departments during their breaks. I thought it would be a good idea if we could put few leaflets on the tables to promote the Institutional Repository. It’s a relatively cheap way of raising the awareness across the University which hopefully will encourage academics to deposit their work more.