University of Swansea

On the 31st January 2011 a use case meeting was held at the University of Swansea. The documentation is available as a pdf, and the team at Swansea wrote a short summary of the meeting from their point of view.

There was an excellent meeting at Swansea, on 31st January, with Ken Chad and Angela Walker representing the project, and Mark Hughes, Paul Andrew Brown, Paul Johnson, Nina Whitcombe, Ann Preece and Kathy Sivertsen representing Swansea.

Swansea do not have an ERM product currently, but are already involved in other Shared Services frameworks within Wales, and are extremely likely to take full part in any library relevant shared service approaches to come out of a wider Welsh HE agenda.

Prior to the meeting we identified 4 topics for discussion – the selection of platform for new e-journal subscriptions; Discovery to Delivery; publisher changes platform ; and budget & accounting for e-journals

After some general discussion of all these areas, we decided to focus & really drill down to the detail on the particular use case of renewing an e-journal subscription. Here it seemed that while there are already efficiencies in place in terms of ‘above campus’ services i.e. Swansea’s use of the agent Swets to handle much of the renewal processes, there were still some significant pain points that revolved around connecting together various technology platforms both inside the library e.g. with SFX & with outside agencies e.g. Swets’ systems, internal Finance Dept systems, and bridging the gap between current system functionality and potentially more efficient library processes.

Overall impressions throughout the meeting were that actually Swansea, and Wales overall, already has in place a number of ‘above campus’ type platforms to which it puts good use e.g. HEPCW procurement deals e.g. Swets, WHELF E-Books deal with NetLibrary, with potentially more on the way via WHELF led shared services projects. Any outcome from the project at a wider shared service basis would need to either link seamlessly with these or have to offer significant benefits in shifting platform to Welsh libraries in order to justify their taking part. It also became clear that managing e-resources has several ‘problem spaces’ that don’t have an ‘above campus’ solution at present, and these represent the areas of opportunity for at least the early stages of any UK wide agenda e.g. around data sharing / Knowledge base type issues…more problematic for the UK wide approach may be in entering spaces where competing ‘above campus’ services are already available or in place.

A very useful meeting that both helped clarify our thoughts (which will in turn be fed back into the WHELF Shared Services Agenda), and hopefully Ken and Angela’s too. This type of cross-pollination of ideas between Sconul’s national agenda and institutional / small consortium based projects will hopefully lead to outcomes that are beneficial to all.