The Discovery–Collection Librarian Connection: Cultivating Collaboration for Better Discovery

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The Discovery–Collection Librarian Connection: Cultivating Collaboration for Better Discovery
Browning, Sommer
Taylor & Francis
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Discovery layers and remote access are the standard way to access and find academic library resources, making metadata, link resolvers, and indexing important considerations at the time of selection and throughout the lifespan of an electronic resource. Collection development librarians must be aware of how resources will function with and appear in the library's discovery layer. This awareness is an opportunity for collection development and discovery librarians to share their knowledge and collaborate to provide the best discovery for the library's resources. This case study examines ways the Electronic Access and Discovery unit at Auraria Library has fostered that relationship.
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Auraria Library
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1 This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Collection Management on November 10, 2015, available online: The Discovery Collection Librarian Connection: Cultivating Collaboration for Better Discovery By Sommer Browning ABSTRACT D iscovery layers and remote access are the standard way to access and find academic library resources making m etadata, link resolvers and indexing important considerations a t the time of selection and throughout the lifespan of an electronic resource C ollection development librarian s must be aware of how resource s discovery layer This awareness is an opportunity for collection development and discovery librarians to share their knowledge and collaborate to provide the best discovery for the resources. This case study examines ways the Electronic Access and Discovery uni t at Auraria Library has fostered that relationship. INTRODUCTION For years, cataloging was nearly the last stop for a resource. After an item was cataloged it often was not thought about again until weeding time or once a year at the time of renewal The catalog served as a static repository for a n item. Electronic resources and dynamic discovery layers have exploded this notion of place and permanence. An electronic resource must be maintained by check ing and e valuat ing its access and work must be done w h en the resource changes platforms or is upgraded or when a mobile version of the resource is created or when the content changes or disappears. The idea of the catalog as merely a repository no longer exists in


2 the world of discovery layers ; discovery laye rs change as often as the resources themselves searching functions are upgraded new indexes are built, new databases are added or taken away, and relevancy ranking algorithms are adjusted. C ollection d evelopment librarians must understand if and how their selections will be access ed through the discovery system if the library is going to provide the best discovery o f its resources In order to do that, collection development librarians must ask question s such as these: Is the new resource indexed by the discovery layer? If not will patrons discover an older, less vital indexed resource instead? Does the discovery layer have biases, favoring certain resources over others? If so, might this change a purch asing decision? Can the resource be discovered in the discovery layer at all? In the case of pre prints ( resources that release portions of their content before the entire finished product) there may be no way to make that content discoverable. Does the discovery layer support direct linking to the articles on a specific journal platform, does the answer to that question factor into the results a user gets when searching for that article? In this new landscape where libraries cannot help but purchase over lapping and duplicate content on multiple platforms, where libraries have the ability to add tens of thousands of articles to the catalog with the click of a mouse where certain journals are given precedence over others because of direct linking, where th e platform of the resource and the architecture of the discovery layer may conflict and impede access, how does this affect collection development decision making ? C ollection development selection criteria has kept up with some aspects of this dynamic worl d, for instance considering t he us er experience of e book platforms before purchase (Moore 2015) However, the questions above suggest that current collection development criteria could benefit from focusing on the discovery of content A close, collaborative relationship between


3 c ollection development and discovery units can lead to more robust selection criteria that will maximize discovery for newly purchased content. Auraria Library has built and fostered this relationship through cross depart mental committees adjustments to e lectronic resources workflows, and through the development of a consortia wide discovery team. This paper examines how these initiatives function in the library, explores ways they have grown and provides guidance to other libraries wishing to cultivate a similar relationship to improve discovery. Auraria Library is a unique library that s upports three higher education institutions, University of Colorado Denver, Metropolitan State Universit y of Denver, and Community College of Denver. With a full time staff of approximately 50 employees, Auraria s erves over 33,000 students with an average of 2600 users coming th rough the front door every day of the fall and spring semesters. The campus is pr imarily a commuter campus with a majority of enrolled stu dents also working full or part time jobs These three institutions grant associates bachelors, masters, and PhD degree s, and a variety of professional certificates in traditional hybrid and exclusively online learning environments, as well as, employ faculty with complex research needs. Auraria staff work hard to ensure the library provides services and learning materials that mirror the diverse needs of its users. Currently, close to 90% of the nearly $3,000,000 learning material budget is spent on electronic materials. The library staff is very busy and many staff have more than one role LITERATURE REVIEW There are dozens of articles on how to select discovery layers and many more on the ir imp lementation, functionality, and the user experience Research regarding the impact of the the most common (Kornblau


4 Strudwick and Miller 2012). These articles, focused on outreach and instruction, are important and necessary, but leave out the changes discovery layers bring to other library departments such as collection development and technical services. In addition, as libraries become comfortable teach ing the discovery layer and int egrating it into the library website, it seems time that the conversation shift s to a more fundamental internal, and technical one : how does cont ent interact with these compl ex systems of access and d iscoverability ? In a special issue of Collection Management Collection Management building and management has become nearly inseparable from access and discovery, and, as evidenced by these articles, user needs are driving these transformative changes (Clement and Fischer 2014 ). While the articles in this special issue tou ch on the intersection of discovery and collection development, they largely address the world of the OPAC. For example, the ne ed for increased discovery and enhanced catalog access for offsite materials is explored in an OPAC and MARC record centered envi ronment rather than the world of full text indexing that discovery layers provide ( Maddox Abbott and Laskowski 2014). Similarly, when discoverability of JSTOR DDA purchases is discussed in Fer ris article, it is with a focus on the quality of the e book MARC record s rather than a focus on whether their discovery layer, EBSCO Discovery Services (EDS), provides full text indexing for these JSTOR titles (Ferris and Buck 2014). Examining the literature on best practices and trends in collection development reveals a lack of consideration of the discovery of the selected resources. While current collection development policy creation literature goes beyond the traditional emphasis on the importance of quality of content and incorporates criteria such as [content] can be used, shared,


5 repurposed, and integrated into teaching, 145 ) what is missing is the technological and practical concerns of system integration, indexing and discovery, search algorithms, and the like. metadata and the need for an abundance of virtual access doors to the collection, such as search engine referrals, O penURL link resolvers, federated search tools, Web portals, and, of course, 144 ). However w hen specific question s about the discovery of content are broached, for example How well will e online catalogs? ( Searing 2013 104 ) and 2015 72 ) they are often not explored further. What is missing is an examination of how collection development librarians might maximi ze and ensure the discoverability and usage of their collections in a ll of their myriad access points. New i nitiatives teamwork, and adjustments in workflows at Auraria Library begin to answer these questions. ACCESS AND DISCOVERY AT THE TIME OF TRIAL One of the most important elements of the evaluation of a new resources takes place during the trial o f a resource During trials content, price, and many other factors are considered before purchase, however metadata, discovery, and authentication concerns are not commonly addressed. In 2013, Auraria purchased an expensive database that could not be accessed off campus despite months of library staff time devoted to making it function. After this situation, Auraria changed the database trials workflow to mimic the workflow of a database purchase so


6 questions of discovery and authentication could be answered or at least investigated, before purchase. The library uses a Drupal linking form to track the workflow of new electronic purchases T he linking form prompts staff to perform the necessary tasks of obtaining a new electronic resource such as, signing the license, updating the database A Z list, test ing the proxy from off campus providing discovery and finally acquiring usage statistics W hen a trial is requested from a collection development librarian, a new linking form is started. Tasks that do not pertain to trials such as licensing and usage stats collecting are skipped, but off campus access testing and discovery are not. When staff i s prompted to check off campus access, the URL is added to the Web Access Management table and the proxy wrapper is added The WAM table and the is the way Innovative Interfaces Sierra ILS provides institutional authentication When this is completed, access is campus testing computer. After this task, the trial linking form reaches discovery staff who investigate MAR C record acquisition and quality, verify the presence of the database in the Serials Solutions knowledgebase, and determine if the resource is indexed by Summon All of this information is recorded in the trial linking form f or future reference if the resource is purchased Not only does this information apprise the collection development librarian of how this resource functions within the systems (Serials Solutions, Sierra WAM authentication, Summon), but it aids in minimizing the time between acquisition and discovery in the event the resource is purchased because questions about MARC record retrieval have already been answered.


7 ACCESS AND COLLABORATION EFFORTS Two teams at Auraria Library are actively engaged in cultivat ing the relationship between a ccess and d iscovery and c ollection d evelopment These teams facilitate dialogue about all aspects of discovery and deepen the knowledge each department has about the other. These teams are Summon Operations and Support (SOS), consisting of librarians and staff from many different departments in the library, a nd the Troubleshooting Team a group of technical services librarians and staff and one collection development librarian In 2012, A uraria Library adopted Summon as its discovery layer. A working group composed of t echnical s ervices, i nstruction, library IT, and c ollection d evelopment staff was formed to examine the user experience of Summon and implement it. After Summon was implemented this group disbanded. However, management of this new, complex discovery layer continued and fell under the job duties of a newly created position, Head of Electronic Access and Discovery. Summon is the most used feature of the ; i n 2014, Summon was searched 1,583,403 times. The Head of Electronic Access and Discovery knew that for Summon to function at its best she needed input on customizations and functionality from the entire library. When Summon announced an upgrade to its interface in 2013, t he Head of Electronic Access and Discovery created a cross departmental group, Summon Operations and Support (SOS), to examine and implement the upgrade. SOS is comprised of four members of the original implementation team, plus the Head of E lectronic Access and Discovery, and an additional collection development librarian and instruction librarian. Though the impetus to create this team was the upcoming interface change, the charge of SOS was written more broadly to provide ongoing Summon oversight, including maintenance customization, and staff t raining


8 After Summon 2.0 was implemented, SOS began to examine the user experience of Summon. A need to create was identified B est be Summon calls them, allow libraries to customize search results K eywords are assigned to resources and webpages to ensure those resources and webpages appear as the top result when they are entered in the search box Summon query statistics showed a large number of users were searching for Canvas Blackboard, and Desire2Learn, the three learning management systems (LM S) in use at Auraria ; however, exit rates from the Summon search page after these searches were conducted were very, very low. SOS agreed that b should be created for these and successfully arriv ing There is p otential other electronic resources so they appear at the top of certain search results If exit rates increased for LMS searches, they could also guide users to databases they need. This could potentially affect usage of these resources and in turn affect renewal decisions. Because SOS has collection development and technical services expertise, it can investigate implement, and assess for library electronic re sources in an effective and pro active way. The second collaborative team Auraria Library has formed is the t roubleshooting team This team is responsible for resolving all manner of electronic resource access problems. It consists of four staff members: the Assistant Director of Technical Services, the User Support and Science & Engineering Collection Development Librarian, the Electronic Resou rces Access Manager, and the Head of Electronic Access and Discovery. Everyone but the Assistant Director of Te chnical Services is assigned a two weeks, the team member is responsible for all problem reports submit ted during her shift. The


9 troubleshooting team meets weekly to discuss particularly difficult problem reports of the previous week, as well as large outages, platform changes, security issues, and other far reaching access concerns. Being a small, dedicat ed group allows the team to work quickly and efficiently to solve access problems. But one of the most beneficial aspects of this team is the membership of a allows the team to communicate across the A ccess and D iscovery and C ollection D evelopment units in important ways. For instance, the troubleshooting team can pinpo int problems in the e lectronic resources workflow from a collection development perspective resulting in changes to the linking form that give collection development librarians greater responsibil ity in and understanding of the lifecycle of e resources An other very important reason to have a collection development librarian on the troubleshooting team is the representation a c c ess and d iscovery now has at collection development meetings. When problems arise with e resources access the collection development librarian can easily communicate issues to her department in ways that are meaningful to work. For instance, the team discovered that the library had two location IDs for its Gale products because they are purc hased in two different ways. The location ID can be considered an account and the library had two separate accounts. I f a library user accesses the Gale platform from, for example, the URL with the auraria_main location ID one set of databases and journals would be available to that user But if the user access es the Gale platform from the other location ID, uofcden, an entirely different set of resources would be available to her Merging these location IDs would ensure that all users could see a ll of the Gale resources to which the library subscribe s Th e access and discovery members of the troubleshooting team knew having two separate location IDs was a user experience problem and


10 began the work to merge the location IDs and chang e the URLs in the e lectronic resources knowledgebase discovery layer, and library catalog. The troubleshooting collection development librarian made the Education, Research, and Access team aware that these links would also have to change in the many onl ine subject guides the collection development and instruction librarians ha d created. She was able to not only identify this potential impact, but also communicate the issue to the collection development team in a way they could understand without going into the complicated details of why and how the location ID functions. BROAD EN ING THE CONVERSATION ABOUT DISCOVERY Discussing access and discovery can b e a complicated endeavor. Not all library staff understand terms and functions such as metadata link resolvers, platforms relevancy ranking, and up grades This can be an obstacle not only when conveying the roles, responsibilities, and value of the A cces s and D iscovery unit but also when trying to share knowledge. Auraria Library a ddresses this challenge in two ways, through the formation of the University of Colorado Libraries Access and Discovery team (CLAD) and through seeking formal and informal opportunities to share knowledge library wide. Like many libraries, Auraria purchases several l arge packages and databases through consortia. One of these consortia is the University of Colorado ( CU ) system For some time, leaders in the acquisitions depa rtments across the CU libraries met regularly to discuss system wide purchases from a fiscal and collection development perspective in a group called CU Libraries Electronic R esources Team (CLERT) As the consortium began to enter into more complex relationships and purchase new formats, such as streaming video it became necessary to form a discovery counterpart to CLERT. In 2013, CU Libraries Access and Discovery


11 (CLAD) was formed CLAD is composed of members of all discovery and cataloging departments At quarterly meetings, CLAD discusses the discovery of consortially purchased packages, share s knowledge about cataloging and e lectronic resources management workflows, and actively improve s communication between the libraries Rece ntly, however, CLAD had the opportunity to take on a new advisory role assist ing collection development across the consorti um Over several meetings, m embers of CLAD had shared the tremendous difficult y in providing timely and accurate discovery for a certain CU Libraries e book collection In certain cases, the problem was extreme making it actually impossible for the libraries to provide discovery and access to purchased content on the site. The libraries had individually contacted the s to no avail; the discovery and access issues were not improving. CLAD wrote a recommendation to CLERT d etailing the problems and advising them to reconsider purchasing these problematic collections until the d iscovery issues were fixed. CLERT considered this recommendation when deciding to renew th e e book package, but in the end decided the content was invaluable and so renewed the resource. Though the package was renewed and discovery is still problematic, r ecommendation spurred a productive meeting with the publisher and the CU L ibraries about the discovery This meeting was an opportunity, not only for the publisher to hear from libraries directly about this important issu e but for A ccess and D iscovery and C ollection D evelopment units t o understand more deeply how their work is interdependent. Access and d iscovery also endeavors to broaden the conversation and understanding about discovery internally. Certain aspects of discovery, for example OpenURL linking and metadata issues, are perceived as complicated, technical issues which can hinder collaboration


12 a nd communication across the library Thus, the A ccess and D iscovery unit takes an active role in p romot ing the importance d iscovery plays in the entire library ecosystem. While this type of outreach is at times more nuanced with team members seizing infor mal moments to answer questions about how off campus access works for instance, it can also be more prescribed. The Access and D iscovery u nit regularly asks to be on the agenda at Open Forum, the members of the team have presented large discovery centered topics interesting top Summon search queries, a how and what Summon indexes, and an introduction to the n ew WorldCat Discovery interface. In these presentations discovery is the main topic but information is presented in a n accessible way. Members of the Access and D iscovery unit have an opportunity to delve into discovery topics more deeply at monthly C ollec tion D evelopment and Education, R esearch and A ccess (ERA) department meetings where they are invited as guests Attending these dep artmental meetings affords the A ccess and D iscovery unit the opportunity to discuss very specific discovery issues that have definitive impact on specific departments In a recent E RA meeting A ccess and D iscovery unit members shared the success of Auraria campus uses ( this initiative was presented in a previous paragraph in this paper ). In addition, the A ccess and D iscovery unit widened the conversation by presenting a n interesting finding ; a definitive increase in the number of students who use LMS in their course work While the Head of Access and Discovery analyzed in order to present it to the ER A meeting, she found that searches for learning management systems in Summon quadrupled in the past year. Working with an instruction librarian who collaborates with the learning management department at Metropolitan State University of


13 Denver they found tha t approximately 45 % more students used Blackboard in their classes in the spring 2015 semester than in fall 2013. In presenting this information to the ERA m eeting, the A ccess and D iscovery unit created a link between the work of its department and that of the ERA team. It exemplified how discovery can inform and reflect library services as a whole and broadened the conversation. APPLICATION TO OTHER LIBRARIES AND CONCLUSION Broadening the conversation about discovery, adjusting workflows to deepen collection the C ollection D evelopment and A ccess and D iscovery units to shap e selection decisions came about slowly and organically. These initiatives and processes were formed t hrough discussion s meetings, and trial and error In some cases, such as in instituting the new e lectronic resources trial workflow, the old workflow had to f ail before library staff realized they had an opportunity to improve their process. O ther libraries wishing to deepen the relationship between collection development and access and discovery should look for inspiration in past failures, bottlenecks in workflows, and collaborat ions with consortia to create similar relationship building opportunities. The blossoming relationship between these two units at Auraria Library has also allowed for easier communication about future projects, such as a manual DD A project and a CU Libraries consortium purchase of a link resolver and discovery layer. Currently, the Access and Discovery unit continue the vital conversation about discovery across Auraria L ibrary.


14 REFERENCES Clement, S usanne and Karen S. Fischer. 2014. Collection Management 39 ( 2/3 ): 53 59 doi: 10.1080/01462679.2014.914418 Duncan, Cheri Jeanette and Genya Morgan O'Gara 2015 "Building holistic and agile collection development and assessment Performance Measurement and Metrics 1 6 ( 1 ) : 62 85 doi: 10.1108/PMM 12 2014 0041 Ferris, K ady and Tina Herman Buck. 2014. An Ethos of Access: How a Small Academic Library Transformed Its Collection Building Processes. Collection Management 39 ( 2/3 ): 127 144 doi: 10.1080/01462679.2014.900732 Horava, Tony. 2010. "Challenges and Possibilities for Collection Management in a Digital Age." Library Resources & Technical Services 54 ( 3 ): 142 152. Kornblau, A my I., Jane Strudwick and William Miller. 2012. How Web Scale Discovery Changes the Conversation: The Que stions Librarians Should Ask Themselves. College & Undergraduate Libraries 19 ( 2 4 ) : 144 162 doi: 10.1080/10691316.2012.693443 Maddox Abbott, Jennifer A. and Mary S. Laskowski. 2014. Resources: Using Effective Project Management in Technical Services Collection Management 39 ( 2/3 ) : 161 176 doi: 10.1080/01462679.2014.891492 Moore, Kate B. 2015. Are We There Yet? Moving to an E Only Collection Development Policy for Books The Serials Librarian : From the Printed Page to the Digital Age 68 ( 1 4 ) : 127 136 doi: 10.1080/0361526X.2015.1016836


15 Searing, Susan E. 2013. I n Library Collection Development for Professional Programs: Trends and Best Pract ices edited by Sara Holder, 88 111. Hershey, PA : IGI Global