The Open University

On the 1st February 2011 a use case meeting was held at the Open University. The documentation is available as a pdf, and the team at the Open University wrote a short summary of the meeting from their point of view.

The Open University Library Services SCONUL ERM Case Study workshop was held on 1st February.  Facilitated by David Kay and Owen Stephens, the session brought together a group of staff across Library Services led by the Director Nicky Whitsed and including members of the Content and Licensing, Learning and Teaching and Systems teams.

Starting with a review of our E-resources processes we touched on our increasingly rapid move towards a mainly electronic model and looked at some of the differences that the OU model of study implies for Library Services.  At the OU students are currently studying a module at a time with gaps in study being the norm.   We talked about how OU models are changing and potential areas of convergence with other HE models as we move to the new funding regime.

Over the course of the four hour workshop we spent a lot of time looking at licensing, particularly the challenges of e-book licensing.  We talked about the approach we take to ensure that e-books can work with course models that may have as many as 3,000 students needing access to a single chapter at the same time for a single week of the course, but that isn’t looked at for the rest of the year.  What emerged was an understanding of the amount of work we do to ensure we have the right licenses for our needs.

We went through four possible use case scenarios (e-book procurement, usage data, budgeting and discovery to delivery) but settled for working up a use case on e-books.  Discussing our approach to Discovery to Delivery was interesting as it led us to a discussion about how we use the SFX knowledge base to add to our Ebsco Discovery Solution and the realisation that it would be feasible to use a Knowledge Base at an ‘above campus’ level in the same way.  Another interesting idea that came out of the discussions was the value that might be gained from some form of ‘e-books In Print’ solution.

On reflection the workshop gave us a chance to think about our processes and how they might change, where there might be opportunities to look at alternative ‘above the campus’ solutions, and where there might be convergence trends across the sector.