Royal Holloway, University of London

In order to understand fully how a ‘above campus’ electronic resource management system might impact on Universities and other institutions, this project will visit 16 sites to discuss different aspects of the electronic resource management process, and get feedback from the relevant staff on how processes might change if an ‘above campus’ system was introduced. The first institution to be visited was Royal Holloway, University of London. The resulting documentation is now available as a pdf. The Director of Library Services at Royal Holloway, John Tuck, also wrote a brief reflection of his experience of the meeting.

Our meeting with David and Ken took place just before Christmas. It brought together a Director, an Associate Director (E-Strategy), an E-Resources Manager and a Head of Academic Liaison. Talking from the perspective of the Director, the day was very successful and stimulating, even if it took us two hours to work out ‘how many librarians does it take to order a journal?’! Not only were we all involved in this important `above-campus’ Electronic Resources Management work but also we could share own areas of expertise with each other in a focussed and problem-solving environment.

Some of the key barriers we explored were:

  • difficulty of coordinating deadlines (subscription year vs university budget year vs cancellation deadlines)
  • difficulty of liaising between so many parties (librarians, academics, consortia, subscription agents, publishers)
  • difficulty of managing data across so many systems, which are not currently joined together.

We realised that the data we need is all there – we’ve got potentially very rich bibliographic, acquisitions and usage information which could create a useful decision support tool – if only we could get the various internal/external systems across the sector containing this data to ‘talk to each other’.

I learnt a lot (that perhaps I should know!) from my colleagues and from the consultants. I sensed that we were all fully engaged with an initiative which has national and consortial importance.

John Tuck, Director of Library Services, Royal Holloway, University of London