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A Day in the Life of an E-Journal Librarian Living up to Expectations – Local Support and Promotion The public library perspective.

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Presentation on theme: "A Day in the Life of an E-Journal Librarian Living up to Expectations – Local Support and Promotion The public library perspective."— Presentation transcript:

1 A Day in the Life of an E-Journal Librarian Living up to Expectations – Local Support and Promotion The public library perspective

2 Richmond upon Thames Background Small outer London borough – approx 173,000 population 2001 Census Small geographically, but containing a collection of diverse and separate communities 13 libraries spread across the borough Free public internet access from January 1999 People’s Network - 162 PCs from July 2002

3 Richmond upon Thames Drivers for change Almost half of reference enquiries taken in branch libraries Stable bookfund but cumulative effect of inflation on reference titles Increasing need for quality reference material in branch libraries Restructuring took librarians out of branches People’s Network improved access to Internet and raised expectations among staff and users

4 Richmond upon Thames Challenge How to meet the information need within existing budgets and facilities How to provide quality resources across the borough regardless of size and location of the library How to develop services for the future How to equip staff to deliver these services

5 Richmond upon Thames 1998 trialled KnowUK 1999 KnowUK and The Guardian/Observer Archive 2001 InfoTrac Newspapers – 30 titles 2002 xreferplus, Oxford Reference Online and World Book xreferplus and ORO available remotely 2003 Britannica Online, Times Digital Archive KnowUK and Britannica available remotely 2004 8 services available in all libraries, 5 available remotely

6 Online Services KnowUK a Proquest product, 100 general UK reference books from a variety of publishers Oxford Reference Online - Premium OUP reference books and Companion series Xreferplus General reference books from a variety of publishers Gale InfoTrac Custom Newspapers UK national and local papers

7 Online Services Times Digital Archive – 1785-1985 Guardian/Observer Archive – 1990+ World Book Online Heinemann UK version Britannica Online Dictionary of National Biography launches September 2004

8 KnowUK

9 Oxford Reference Online

10 xreferplus

11 Gale InfoTrac Newspapers

12 Times Digital Archive

13 Guardian/Observer Archive

14 World Book Online

15 Britannica Online

16 DNB

17 Staff Success depends on having staff on board Piloting services – staff and public asked to trial new products before purchase Staff training – staff trained before we went live Maintaining staff training and awareness - products are upgraded, content changes Ongoing staff input – monitoring usefulness, effectiveness and problems and feeding back to publishers

18 Content Started with familiar content Electronic resources were new in public libraries for everyday use KUK contained standard reference books, e.g. Who’s Who, previously available to staff and public Usability and accessibility Services aimed at the general public need to be selected very carefully. Ability range in users will be wide

19 Training In house Focused training - Reference staff allocated particular resources and expected to maintain awareness and train others Regular training – ongoing programme of sessions in branches Integrated – built into the learning and development plans for staff and the planning and review process for branches Online Enquiry handling package – Modular training package for staff to use on site

20 Online Enquiry Training

21 Training External by publishers Training provided as part of the subscription –Annual sessions for staff run by KnowUK, Oxford Reference etc. Online training resources and help –Staff training and public resources available –KnowUK provide online support e.g. training guide for Adult Learners’ week –Xreferplus provide curriculum related support materials

22 Training support


24 Access In libraries PN logon page created to lead users into library services Hotlinks put on the staff desktops in all branches Remotely Virtual library created on web catalogue Remote access via Borrower Barcode and PIN to personal borrower information page with hotlinks to all e-services

25 OPAT front page 2001

26 PN current logon page

27 PN logon page – draft


29 Remote Access

30 Marketing & Promotion Target audiences Staff within libraries – must be familiar with the services so that they use them and promote them to the public Library users –Wide ability range from children with homework projects to business people and granny hunters –Using services in libraries and remotely Council staff – other Council staff able to use services remotely, including Councillors

31 Marketing Publishers Material is often high quality but may need ‘tweaking’ for the local market Will often pay for marketing, write press releases, offer promotional goodies – mouse mats, pens, notepads etc. KUK bought advertising space at Richmond Station and had a large display advert for 3 months following the launch of the service Hold promotional sessions for users in libraries Provide online presentations for training – Britannica Material often available on the web for downloading

32 Promotion Taster sessions For public - how to use services in library and at home Tie in with other promotions – Silver Surfers, Adult Learners Week, Parents Online Week For staff – how to use services in enquiry work and how to promote them Handouts & Displays Give out publicity with book issues Handbills and publicity by PCs Displays in libraries

33 What worked Taster sessions for the public 1-1 and group sessions Ongoing staff training Integrating services Online services must be an integral part of a focussed service delivery Creating virtual library for remote access One access to online services – borrower information, reservations, enquiries, e-books

34 What didn’t work Not enough promotion Need to push services to users continually and maintain high profile Need easy access Initially services were on the front page of the PN log on page, redesign pushed them several clicks down the hierarchy and usage fell Statistics Services count statistics differently so difficult to compare usage. You need accurate and relevant statistics to justify expenditure and monitor takeup and usage

35 What didn’t work Suitability Some services are not designed for public library use – they assume a higher level of ICT knowledge and searching skills than is often found Training Initially we didn’t do enough Staff in branches needed ongoing support to take on new ways of working

36 What next MARC records Download onto library catalogue Rebranding e-services as a virtual library Drawing together e-books, e-audio, online services, enquiry services Presenting services as Richmond’s 14 th library Training Online training quizzes for staff – answers from the online services

37 Julie Hall Reference Services Manager Old Town Hall Whittaker Avenue Richmond Surrey TW9 1TP 020 8940 5529

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