University of Wolverhampton

On 11th January a use case meeting was held at University of Wolverhampton. The documentation is available as a pdf, and Frances Machell, Hybrid Collections Coordinator wrote a short summary of the meeting from the point of view of the team at Wolverhampton.

The University of Wolverhampton’s ERM use case meeting was attended by Fiona Parsons, Director of Learning and Information Services, John Dowd, Hybrid Services Manager, and Frances Machell, Hybrid Collections Coordinator, and was ably facilitated by David Kay and Owen Stephens on behalf of the project. From Wolverhampton’s perspective, we had had no difficulty in choosing five cases to consider, with many of the cases suggested matching real work areas which we were already considering. However, the specific cases swiftly connected and overlapped, and there were many common themes.

Inefficiency is a major barrier: e-resources management requires too many multiple systems and too much manual intervention, which leaves us with little time for analysing and adding value to the data we collect. David and Owen asked us some challenging questions about what information genuinely supports decision making, for example when moving to e-only journals, and how ERM ultimately supports the institution’s wider strategic drivers.

The department had already done an extensive process mapping exercise to set down what we actually do. However, we found ourselves drawn to the use cases which were not ‘process’ issues as such, but rather the grey areas not easily covered by a process map: licensing and terms of access, budgeting, usage statistics. The discussion also revealed that we were not talking about an opposition between e-resources versus print, but more between subscription based resources versus one-off purchases.

Rather than monolithic systems, the discussion moved towards the opportunities presented by a shared “factory in the cloud”, not doing everything but doing core activities reliably and robustly. The measure of success for such as system would not be perfection, but rather – does it meet a need and is it used?

All in all, a thought provoking discussion, and one to which we were very pleased to contribute. The University of Wolverhampton are committed to this project and any future development in this area.