March 30, 2009

What is an Electronic Resource Librarian?

I've had a few friends ask what I do as an Electronic Resource Librarian, and I thought I'd share the answer more widely, in case others are curious.

If you are looking for a job as an Electronic Resource Librarian, I expect that most libraries (usually academic) would want:
  1. Experience with licensing for all kinds of electronic resources (individual journals, journal packages, databases, e-books, etc.)
  2. Experience using & troubleshooting access to same
  3. Experience obtaining, compiling, and analyzing usage data
One big issue that many electronic resource librarians are wrestling with is how to manage the resources -- often, but not always using something called an ERM (electronic resource management system). Elements that need to be managed can include (but are not limited to!):
  1. When the license was signed, by whom, and if by the university alone or in a consortium. When the license renews / expires;
  2. What the license permits (for Interlibrary Loan -- sending by print, email, or secure transmission; for electronic reserves -- in print? an electronic course pack?);
  3. The URL for patron access as well as the administrative interface;
  4. If & how the resource provides access to usage statistics. If so, notes about how & where to access them.
ERM systems are usually based on the Electronic Resource Management Initiative (ERMI), which covers most possible permutations of data elements that electronic resource librarians need to track.

I have blogged about troubleshooting UConn's e-resources at which provides a real-life sense of the issues we deal with.

Definitions from the Online Dictionary for Library and Information Science
For More Information (all of these are available in Gale's OneFile database)
  • Young, Jeanne. "Electronic records management on a shoestring: Three case studies." Information Management Journal 39.1 (Jan-Feb 2005): p58(3)
  • Tull, Laura. "Electronic resources and Web sites: replacing a back-end database with innovative's Electronic Resource Management." Information Technology and Libraries 24.4 (Dec 2005): p163(7).
  • Grogg, Jill. "Investing in digital: as electronic spending rises, ERAMS, ERM, and URM systems step in to help with acquisitions and reporting." Library Journal 132.9 (May 15, 2007): p30(4).
  • "The ERMI and its offspring." Library Technology Reports 42.2 (March-April 2006): p14(8).

March 27, 2009

Working with Faculty on Instruction Assignments

Two of my former students have pointed me to an interesting blog piece called "Stepping on Toes: The Delicate Art of Talking to Faculty about Questionable Assignments" by Ellie Collier.

Collier talks about faculty aversion to "online" resources -- and instead of just complaining about difficult-to-teach library assignments, she provides examples of how to other librarians have worked with faculty to improve those assignments.

I recommend it especially to students interested in working in an academic library, but it's got some actual instruction interactions which would be interesting to librarians of most stripes.

For More Information

March 17, 2009

Interesting CogSci Folks

Two quick notes:
  • Ginger Campbell, of the Brain Science Podcast recently interviewed Patricia Churchland on Neurophilosophy and other topics.  Read Ginger's show summary & download the show if you want to hear the whole thing:
Churchland is the author of Brain-wise : studies in neurophilosophy [] (c2002) and Neurophilosophy : toward a unified science of the mind-brain [] (c1986). She is currently on the faculty of the University of California at San Diego and she was a featured speaker at the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience in 2008.
In this interview we talked about neurophilosophy, which is an approach to philosophy of mind that gives high priority to incorporating the empiric findings of neuroscience. We also talk about the evolving relationship between philosophy and neuroscience. Churchland shares her enthusiasm for how the discoveries of neuroscience are changing the way we see ourselves as human beings. We also talked a little about the issues of reductionism

  • If you'll be anywhere near Storrs, CT on Thursday, March 19, you might want to stop by the Dodd Center's Konover Auditorium to hear Marc Hauser (Professor of Psychology, Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, and Anthropology, Harvard University) speak at 4:00 p.m. His talk is entitled:  
 The Evolution of a Moral Grammar.  Marc Hauser is an expert on the evolution of animal communication, behavioral ecology, and the evolution of mind.  His work integrates animal behavior, cognitive neurosciences, anthropology, and philosophy.  He is the author of a number of influential books, including The Evolution of Communication [] (c1996) and Moral Minds: How Nature Designed our Universal Sense of Right and Wrong [] (c2006).  
  • Hauser was interviewed on Australia's radio programme All in the Mind in late 2006, which I summarized on this blog.