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E‐resources: transforming access services for the digital age

Taryn Resnick (Medical Sciences Library, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas, USA)
Ana Ugaz (Medical Sciences Library, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas, USA)
Nancy Burford (Medical Sciences Library, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas, USA)
Esther Carrigan (Medical Sciences Library, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas, USA)

Library Hi Tech

ISSN: 0737-8831

Article publication date: 7 March 2008

2996

Abstract

Purpose

Libraries spend increasingly large amounts on electronic resources (ERs), but may not have adjusted staffing to support these resources. Assisting users with ER access problems is complex due to the many reasons a resource may be unavailable at a particular time. The objective of this paper is to describe the evolution of a library ER problem‐reporting help desk.

Design/methodology/approach

A pilot project was undertaken by librarians at the Texas A&M University Libraries to redesign workflows and staffing to provide an efficient, effective help desk service for solving ER access problems.

Findings

Including librarians with experience in licensing and managing ERs in providing help desk services improved response time, problem resolution, systematic information capture, and service expectations and policies, and also led to the development of an ER HelpDesk database with enhanced functionality.

Practical implications

Delegating ER problems solely to information technology (IT) staff may seem reasonable but assumes technology is the source of most problems; it is just as likely that the user, the resource, or a non‐computer‐related issue is the source. Librarians whose traditional responsibilities include supporting user access were effective in providing expert assistance with access problems. Cooperative efforts of librarians and IT staff are necessary to ensure reliable ER access.

Originality/value

This paper offers practical, experience‐derived advice on establishing and staffing an ER HelpDesk service, including the importance of involving technical services librarians in providing support.

Keywords

Citation

Resnick, T., Ugaz, A., Burford, N. and Carrigan, E. (2008), "E‐resources: transforming access services for the digital age", Library Hi Tech, Vol. 26 No. 1, pp. 141-154. https://doi.org/10.1108/07378830810857861

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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