On 12th January a use case meeting was held at the University of Southampton. The documentation is available as a pdf, and the team at Southampton wrote a short summary of the meeting from their point of view.
We met with David and Ken on 12 January. Present for the discussion were the Librarian, Deputy Librarian, Head of Acquisitions and Head of E-Library Services. We discussed two areas of potential for shared ERM: managing e-books and migration to e-only journal subscriptions. We reviewed current processes for e-book selection and management, and concluded that much e-book purchase was mainstreamed within Acquisitions and that there was insufficient volatility to justify a shared service for platform selection and management. The migration to e-only was agreed to be a more fruitful area. Southampton had started the move to e-only for its journals about 3 years ago and the thinking in preparation for this had gone on for a couple of years previously. The Use Case discussion helped prompt us to recall the various stages that we had gone through in preparation for the step change, and to question how we were carrying forward existing policies and procedures into current practice.
There were two key factors that precipitated our move to e-only. The first was a University decision to close down a site which, amongst other things contained our Biomedical Sciences Library. The second factor was our participation in the first UKRR pilot. We had a large amount of journal material to relocate into the main University Library which was essentially ‘full’, we had project funding for the move, and we also had a certain amount of project funding for the UKRR activities. There was a third factor, and that was the subject area to be moved. Within biomedical sciences generally, there is an expectation amongst the academics and researchers of working within an electronic environment. Thus we were working with a stakeholder user group who were very supportive.
Although we used the particular circumstances outlined above to construct our policy and methodology in respective of moving to e-only, we were able to apply what we had learned to other parts of the Library collections, as appropriate. Our work with UKRR continues and we also continue to reduce the amount of space occupied by paper materials in order to improve ease of access and to free up space for other user activities within our libraries.
We have a substantial Library Digitisation Unit which also contributes to our move to convert content to electronic media and so our migration is not necessarily confirmed to buying in commercial content.