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ISSUE 26 | WINTER 2012

How good is your online library service? What makes a great online library service. VIDEO SAVED THE LIBRARY STAR

Video is now very much part of our everyday life, but how can libraries make best use of this media vehicle?


Amy York from MTSU reflects on the library website being an extension of the library, not just a marketing tool.


Refurbishment of The Sheppard-Worlock Library


Panlibus Magazine | Winter 2012 |


The winter issue 2012


Transforming the library website

Welcome to the final issue of Panlibus Magazine for 2012.

The theme for this issue is ‘libraries online’, focusing on tools and media that public and academic libraries can utilise.

14-15 How good is your online library service?

4 Liverpool Hope University Summer 2012 has seen a major refurbishment of The Sheppard-Worlock Library with an investment of over £1.5 million. 6 Warwickshire Library Service David Carter, Strategic Director, Resources Group, Warwickshire County Council discusses the transformation of Warwickshire’s libraries service and how it might have created a blueprint for other services to follow. 8-10 Video saved the library star Video is now very much part of our everyday life, but how can libraries make best use of this media vehicle?

access to a quarter of a million books and twelve miles of archive collections. Capita’s Library Management System supports the entire operation, helping everything to run like clockwork. 18 EBSCO Increasing value and usage of information resources through Discovery. 20 Nielsen LibScan data Period eleven library title lendings chart. 22 Talis Education Running an effective readinglist service – it’s all about collaboration at Nottingham Trent University.

12-13 Transforming the library website Amy York from MTSU reflects on the library website being an extension of the library, not just a marketing tool.

24 Bretford Having a loan service of laptops for students is highly desirable. But how can the logistical problems be overcome?

14-15 How good is your online library service? Aideen Flynn from Socitm evaluates what makes a great online library service.

25 Keep kids reading - making the most of digital opportunities Neil Wishart, Director of Solus UK Ltd, explores how libraries can connect with lost audiences.

16-17 Case study The Hive is a state-of-the-art library jointly run by Worcestershire County Council and the University of Worcester; it provides students and members of the public with

26 Product update: Prism Terry Willan provides an update on Capita’s resource discovery solution, featuring all the latest social features.

Library websites are more than a marketing tool and should be viewed as an extension to the library itself. Amy York from Middle Tennessee State University is a prominent figure in the library website world and offers us an insight into transforming the library website. For public libraries, making the most of your online presence is imperative; it’s the third most popular reason for citizens to visit their local authority website. Socitm Insight share the findings from Better connected 2012 report, which looked at local authority and library websites, and gives some examples of how to improve your online library service. Could the use of video provide the additional value required to keep visitors coming back to your site? A team from the University of Sheffield has been looking into the ease of use of video in libraries and what can be achieved from “this dominant medium”. We also look at products and services available to improve libraries’ online presence, from Capita’s Prism software to our Additions Partners EBSCO, SOLUS, Bretford and Talis Education. There is plenty more besides. I hope you enjoy this issue, and as always, I encourage you to get in touch with your thoughts on any of the articles. If you have any topics you would like to share with the library world, I would be extremely pleased to hear them. Please contact me on the email address below.

Mark Travis Editor, Panlibus Magazine

Panlibus Magazine is a Capita production

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The views expressed in this magazine are those of the contributors for which Capita accepts no responsibility. Readers should take appropriate advice before acting on any issue raised. Reproduction in whole or part without written permission is strictly prohibited. ©Capita. All rights reserved. Capita and the Capita logo are trademarks of Capita or its licensors in the United Kingdom and/or other countries. Other companies and products mentioned may be the trademarks of their respective owners. | Winter 2012 | Panlibus Magazine


The Sheppard-Worlock Library

Library refurbishment at The Sheppard-Worlock Library Susan Murray Head of Library Service The Sheppard-Worlock Library Liverpool Hope University Summer 2012 has seen a major refurbishment of The Sheppard-Worlock Library with an investment of over £1.5 million. The main driving force was to improve the range of study spaces in the library to include silent study (with and without laptop use), quiet study and a range of group work areas from bookable group spaces to informal study pods and relaxed reading areas. The IT study spaces have also been improved to provide more room at each workstation with wi-fi electrical power at all desks for students to plug in their own devices. A café has also been created with long opening hours so students don’t need to leave the library to get something to eat and drink or to go to for a break.

There are dedicated spaces for the use of postgraduate and final year undergraduate students which provide both study spaces and PCs. The postgraduate space contains four individual study rooms which can be booked for up to a month by research postgraduates or academic staff who need a space to work in the library. Student involvement was vital to the planning process so we sought their input through a range of activities including: • a post-it board for simple questions such as what is the best thing about the library and what could be improved in the library • a survey on what learning spaces the students need • photos of furniture which students could put coloured spots next to indicating which they preferred.


Panlibus Magazine | Winter 2012 |

Facebook was also an important tool to share information and involve our users, especially in the run up to the re-opening when we put up daily photos to show the new spaces and developments.

This continued after the re-opening with the use of post-its for students to say what they thought about the refurbishment, and the reaction in the main has been extremely positive. A key element has been to ensure that regular feedback on questions asked or concerns raised was answered and this has been done though a Response Board to suggestions, ‘You Said … We Did’ posters and meetings such as the SU Forum. One of our aims is to take support to the students, so our Faculty Librarians are based on Subject Support Points in prominent locations on the open floor. This is where they can be found when not delivering sessions, which makes them very accessible to staff and students. We are developing a training room from what was previously a staff office to allow more complex support or support for a small group of students to be provided. We are taking this approach one step further as we start to offer a ‘pop up library’ service around the campus into faculties and learning spaces. Different subjects are taking different

approaches so some are at a regular time; others are linked to a specific activity or piece of work. We see this as providing support but also as an opportunity to market Library Services. Detailed records will be kept so we can evaluate which approaches work the best for future planning. Our Roving Library Assistants have been provided with iPads, so when they are out on the floor they have access to Prism, online resources and Library web pages to support the students where they are working, without having to take them to a service point or an OPAC terminal. We are in discussion with Capita about the options that would be available by having Alto on the iPads using Soprano, and how this could increase the support to students and the flexibility of staff undertaking tasks such as reservations.

There is still some working going on to create a British Standard vault for our Special Collections, with its own Reading Room which should be completed shortly, so everything is in place for a re-launch of The Sheppard-Worlock Library on our Foundation Day in January. There has been a lot of hard work and flexibility from Library staff and colleagues around the University to achieve this refurbishment but this has been rewarded by responses such as “simply amazing and awesome”, “great to see so many dedicated student work spaces” and, from a recent graduate, “It looks amazing, I want to come back”.


Warwickshire County Council

David Carter, Strategic Director, Resources Group, Warwickshire County Council discusses the transformation of Warwickshire’s libraries service and how it might have created a blueprint for other services to follow David Carter, Strategic Director, Resources Group, Warwickshire County Council

The challenge

Last February, Warwickshire Library and Information Service was charged with reducing its budget by £2million from £7.5m, nearly 30% over the following three years. Clearly, we were no longer able to operate a network of 34 public libraries across Warwickshire so our aim was to minimise the damage to the service. We reviewed the whole network looking at • • •

numbers of visits loans and customer feedback

and identified 16 libraries that could no longer be sustained in their existing form. We proposed to run the county’s 18 most widely used libraries, which research showed accounted for 90% of all library visits and to establish community-managed libraries (CMLs), elsewhere.

Addressing the challenge

60 public meetings were organised, each one attended by myself and/or the head of service and other senior library managers as well as the portfolio holder or deputy portfolio holder. Nearly 2,400 members of the public attended these and questionnaires and a blog helped us gather the thoughts of over 5,000 residents. Working with the public, we focused on channelling their initial emotions, energies and even anger towards finding a solution to ensure that the service they cared so passionately about could continue in another form. We helped community groups put together business cases for running their libraries. Sometimes these would involve staying in


the existing building, sometimes it meant modifying the existing building — or it might mean sharing a building such as a community centre or village hall. Upon approving the business cases, Warwickshire County Council agreed to release £100,000 in capital funding to the groups and one-off revenue grants in excess of £75,000. Grant applications were submitted by each community group which would, for example, fund building work or open cafés. Libraries staff worked with the volunteers even after management was transferred to the community groups, carrying out training in the library management system. We still provide the bookstock and the core systems.

And so…what of the present?

At the time of writing, we have 12 community-managed libraries (CMLs) which have been live for between five and ten months. Where there was no sustainable business case, we have provided a mobile library service in two instances, an honesty library and another library which is maintained with the support of another council service. We now have a total of 448 volunteers (at the last count) in the 12 community-managed libraries across the county. This workforce has enabled communitymanaged libraries to open for 241 hours per week in total, a 4.3% rise in opening hours. Before these were community-managed libraries, the total opening hours for the 12 libraries was 231.25 per week.

Is it all about issuing books?

Not at all. Community groups knew that the way to survive was to branch out and make sure that their communities supported them. And so they have worked to provide a raft of services, making their libraries the focal point of their communities and encouraging more and more new visitors. Here is a sample, by no means comprehensive, of just some of the activities taking place in our CMLs.

Panlibus Magazine | Winter 2012 |

 Dordon Community Library shares its premises with a dance school, sharing costs and attracting young dancers — who are doing their homework at the library before dance classes.

 unchurch Community Library helps D to finance itself, with volunteers also running a charity shop from the former premises of the parish council which has moved in with the community library.

 arbury Community Library has a H well-attended café which generates a considerable income. Volunteers bake cakes and staff the café.

 addesley Ensor Community Library B sells produce on site from a local grower, saving residents the journey, helping the local business, generating income and bringing new users – grocery shoppers – into the library building.

The limit of a word count does not allow me to mention every single CML. But the work that has gone into each one, from county council staff as well as volunteers, has given us real hope that they will continue to flourish. We are proud of how every single one has responded to the challenge of keeping a service in their communities and we are proud of the dedication of staff who worked with the groups to pass on their expertise. The county council is adopting the communitymanaged models in how it runs household waste recycling plants and some of our youth services. Libraries, traditionally held as the bastion of quiet studiousness, are making very loud noises about how local authorities can effectively work with their communities in the new financial climate.



Offering an equipment loan service is a great way to increase student satisfaction. However, many libraries are worried about the potential drain on valuable staff resources to effectively manage such a facility. The MyritracTM system from Bretford, a member of the Capita Additions Partner Program, offers the security, self-service accessibility and equipment tracking solution needed to manage such a facility with the most efficient use of staff time.

• Allows the potential to provide 24/7 access to IT equipment • Compatible with existing library management software • Compatible with standard student interface systems i.e. RFID, swipe card, key pad or biometric access control

• User access rights can be set and equipment tracked either locally

Intelligent laptop management & tracking

The MyritracTM system allows you to take control of all aspects of managing your IT equipment; securely storing it; charging it; running software updates; assigning user access rights and even tracking the IT equipment’s use on a daily basis.

Each cabinet is linked to the building’s network and feeds back information about when, at what time and by whom a storage compartment was opened and the allocated item either removed or replaced.

or remotely via an intranet or web based connection

• Gives responsibility of the IT loan to the student helping to reduce damage & loss

• Offers total control over the equipment loan process as ALL transactions are monitored and logged

• Integrated alarms to monitor and advise of improper use or abuse • Integrated power management system ensures optimum charging time for stored IT equipment

• Booking in/out periods are constantly monitored and logged

• Due back times can be set and late alerts issued • Audit reports can be run on equipment stock • Software updates can be made • Laptops are charged and protected

All units are built to cater for the specific project needs. Tell us what you want to do and Bretford will show you how the MyritracTM system can facilitate it.

Tel: 01753 539955 Email:

Video saved the library star

Video saved the library star Video, like photography, has become a very affordable platform in recent years with the smartphones becoming increasingly accessible and usable for recording and uploading video. Hosting video has also become very cheap or even free, with sites like YouTube and Vimeo allowing users to upload countless videos and provide easy access to them.


Panlibus Magazine | Winter 2012 |

Video saved the library star

Andy Tattersall, Information Specialist at ScHARR at the University of Sheffield @ andy_tattersall Claire Beecroft, University Teacher/Information Specialist at ScHARR at the University of Sheffield @ beakybeecroft The evidence is clear that video is starting to be the dominant medium on the web. Whilst we have seen countless videos go viral featuring talented cats, Gangnam dances and smiling babies, there has been a slow uptake by library and public organisations to utilise this format. In 2011, Cisco predicted that video would make up over 50% of all consumer Internet traffic by 2012, and over 70% of all mobile data traffic by 2016, whilst YouTube recently reported that one hour of content is uploaded per second. So it is a good time to start using video within your library and information service - regardless of the setting, there are no limits to what you can make a video of or about. The only real considerations a library has to make before creating a video are:

• Why make a video; is the topic relevant? • Who is your audience? • Where do you host it? And in turn where do you embed it? • Do you go beyond the basics afforded by a camera phone and free video editing and hosting tools? At ScHARR, University of Sheffield, we have identified a range of ways to employ video in our research, teaching and marketing. In turn, we have employed a range of tools and technologies to make these videos using everything from our own smartphones to a HD video camera and tripod.

Instruction We have used screencasts to instruct students, researchers and NHS staff on topics including literature searching and reference management. Content such as this would have been supported by face-to-face workshops or via paper-based workbooks. These are by no means defunct as options, but the workshop is a one-off event for a finite amount of students, whilst video can be accessed for some time

and has no limit on the number of viewers. Whilst written instructional material can date very quickly and take time to compile, short instructional videos can take minutes and be replaced equally quickly. In addition, at ScHARR we have delivered information study skills via our 3eLearning series of three-minute, multi-format videos to NHS researchers, utilising a Google Site as a simple and effective way of delivering them in one location on a site that works well on mobile devices.

Enquiries Using video to answer enquiries might seem a rather long-winded approach, but increasingly we receive many enquiries via email. It can take as long, or even longer, to explain a response to complex query, for instance about the technicalities of literature searching, in words than it can via video. Using a Web-based screencasting tool such as screencastomatic can enable us to give a clear and easy-to-follow response to an enquiry, and can take as little as 10 minutes to record and publish. Such videos can also be used again to resolve similar enquiries.

Promotion Video can say much, much more than just plain old text. For example, replacing photographs on staff profile pages with short videos can give a more personal introduction and convey staff and their activities in a more friendly and engaging way. At ScHARR we have marketed our research and Masters courses via video and screencasts including using feedback from successful graduates. Using video within our virtual learning environment, including module introductions, updates and ice breaker videos for distance learners based around the world, has been very effective. We have used video to promote events we are involved in, including creating a one-minute promotional video recorded on a smartphone for a conference presentation and making a video abstract of a workshop we ran at another conference.

Getting others involved Making videos can be very simple, but can also be very time consuming, especially if you want to start adding music, text and images. There is only so much a single person can achieve when producing them. We are empowering our colleagues to produce their own content by running video and screencasting workshops. To really embrace

video at an organisational level you need allies to help generate content - trying to do it all yourself can be an uphill battle. Once you have learned the dos and don’ts of making and hosting it is crucial you start to share your knowledge with your colleagues.

Hosting There are no shortage of sites where you can host your videos on the web. If you work at a large organisation such as a university, you may already have your own video hosting server in addition to those freely available on the web. These platforms can be employed to embed the content in other locations, including our virtual learning environment, blogs, social platforms and organisational web pages. If you do have an institutional video server, the chances are that it is not of the same quality and standard as the likes of Vimeo and YouTube. Nevertheless, it is in your interest to host it on such a platform when considering the privacy of your video. This particularly applies to external hosts such as YouTube and Vimeo. Once you use these tools you are placing your content in the public domain beyond your intranet. When hosting on these sites you have to consider these issues above all else:

• Who do you want to share this with? • Do you want people to comment on the video? • Do you want people to embed the video? • How will you tag it? • Does it contain content that infringes copyright? It is a good idea to turn comments off within a video when you are not monitoring it beyond the upload. Remember, not everyone on the web is constructive or polite with their comments, especially on a site like YouTube. Whilst the embedding and sharing of a video is crucial to getting it out there; you have to think about whether your content could be taken and placed into another site that could undermine your own organisation ultimately. You have to be sure that allowing embedding options is the right thing to do. Making a video public is the default, but if it is one directed purely at your colleagues and is of strategic importance to your organisation, then making it private is important. This will at least still allow you to share the URL secretly with your colleagues. When uploading a video | Winter 2012 | Panlibus Magazine


Video saved the library star

to some of these sites you will need to give it a description and tags that will help others find it. Tags are essential for this reason, especially when there are hundreds of potentially similar videos; but this can also be your downfall when it comes to the host picking similar videos to place alongside your own. Terms relating to sex, religion, conflict and politics may bring up videos that you will not want to be associated with, so it is important you think carefully when tagging. As is the case with the material within your video, it is essential you consider what visuals and sounds you use and whether you have the permission to use them.

The University of Sheffield have some fantastic examples.

Attribution As mentioned above, choosing to use other people’s content can make or break your video. There is no shortage of tools and resources to help you make a legal video. The various Creative Commons licences not only allow you to share your videos with others so that they can apply them within their organisations and sites, but allow you, as the creator, to enhance your own creations. Creative Commons’ search engine ( is a great resource when trying to source images to embed into your videos. In July 2012, Creative Commons announced that four million videos had been uploaded to YouTube on a Creative Commons licence. This is over forty years’ worth of footage that you can remix and reuse under the “CC By Attribution” licence. There are plenty of audio resources you can use to enhance your videos, including those found on YouTube with the hundreds of songs you can use via their pre-approved audio tracks. Beyond that you can search for freely available music via netlabels, field recordings or the Internet Archive. The important thing is to pay attention to each medium’s licence. Is your video for commercial purposes? If so, does the music artist allow it to be used commercially? Whatever you do, it is essential you add credits to your video to say where the music and images originated from. It is not good enough to add text on the description when hosting it, especially if the video gets embedded elsewhere.


A video paints a thousand words

Making an arresting video is simpler than you think


Most of the tools we use for our videos are free, such as the screencasting tool screencastomatic (www.screencastomatic. com), and tools that many of us have as part of our computer operating systems (such as Windows Movie Maker or Apple’s iMovie). In terms of hardware, a headset with a microphone is essential, but can be bought very cheaply (we have actually seen them in a well-known pound store, though couldn’t comment on the quality). A web-cam is also helpful, and a good quality HD one can be purchased for £30 or less. And never forget the video recording studio in your pocket - smartphone cameras are increasing in their quality, with many now able to produce excellent quality HD video with good audio as well. Do not rule out using your smartphone for recording ‘to camera’ videos where you can simply talk straight at your phone and upload directly to YouTube.

Panlibus Magazine | Winter 2012 |


To quote The Buggles’ 1979 hit ‘Video Killed the Radio Star’, “...we can’t rewind, we’ve gone too far”- video is now at the heart of much of our work and has become a very ‘normal’ way of working, providing excellent solutions to many of the challenges of working in a fastpaced academic environment. There are no shortage of tutorials and resources out there to employ when making, editing and hosting videos. We have just captured a few useful resources below - this is by no means comprehensive - but they are a good place to start making your own videos for promotion, instruction and communication within your library.

FIND OUT MORE Software for screencasting Software for video editing movie-maker-get-started Useful phone Apps to make videos, take images and share socially. id486367216?mt=8 id377298193?mt=8 Music and image resources for your videos py?hl=en-GB&answer=94316 ScHARR 3eLearning website ScHARR Library Vimeo page ScHARR Library YouTube page Cisco Visual Networking Index: Global Mobile Data Traffic Forecast Update, 2011–2016 ns525/ns537/ns705/ns827/white_paper_c11-520862. html YouTube launches OneHourPerSecond to visualise how much video is uploaded each second

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Thinking Libraries S O L U T I O N S









P R O D U C T S | Winter 2012 | Panlibus Magazine


Transforming the library website

Transforming the library website A library website is not just a marketing tool, it is an extension of the library. For some users, it is the library. Many of our patrons download e-books and locate scholarly articles, get reading recommendations and log in to online test prep courses, watch streaming videos and access data sets, all without setting foot in the library building. To once again revise Ranganathan[1], library websites are for use. For this reason, we must make sure that they are usable. Amy York Associate Professor Web Services Librarian Middle Tennessee State University To be honest, we librarians are sometimes our own worst enemies when it comes to creating usable websites. Too much technical jargon, confusing navigational structures, and generally bad design plague many library sites (including my own at various times), and as a result, we as a profession devote quite a lot of text and talk to usability studies and web design guidelines. But beyond our own shortcomings, there is a more insidious threat to website usability: campus IT. Or for public libraries, the council IT department. The level of control that an external IT department wields over your web presence impacts how well you can respond to the needs of your remote users. Some of us in the library world, particularly those of us in academic libraries, are lucky enough to have our own internal IT departments. They maintain our public computers, they investigate new technology

part of that marketing effort is played out on the university website. Campus IT, usually in conjunction with a campus marketing department, is constantly reinventing the university web template to appeal to prospective students. We have seen header areas become larger and larger, packed with links for people who don’t attend the school - prospective students, but also alumni who might be moved by all the attention to donate some money. A link to the library site, once a mainstay on university home pages, has by and large disappeared, relegated to the ghetto of the A-Z links list. I advise students in my library to “just Google us.” Another trend in university web design is the huge header image. To be fair, this is a trend across the web, and the newest generation of college students is highly visual, for sure, but the effect is that the main content is pushed so far down the page that the user must scroll to find it. Anyone who even dabbles in web design knows that

IT administrators set user permissions for the CMS, so if they don’t want you editing header links or images, you won’t be able to touch them, or even if you’re allowed to the change the image, it may still need to be a certain size and location. Some libraries have successfully played off the huge header trend by embedding library search boxes in header graphics, but these tend to be libraries that host their own websites, and thus have more control over layout. There are other problems that arise from the limits imposed by someone else’s CMS. You may not be able to use some server-side scripts (eg PHP), and you probably won’t have access to the <head> section of your pages, so you won’t be able to link javascripts there. This is not really a big problem and, in fact, many people recommend calling scripts at the bottom of a page so as not to slow down the load time, but a big problem can arise when scripts that you don’t want have been placed in the <head> section. For instance,

“Too much technical jargon, confusing navigational structures, and generally bad design plague many library sites (including my own at various times), and as a result, we as a profession devote quite a lot of text and talk to usability studies and web design guidelines.” services, and they run the servers that house our websites. Everything that library IT does supports the mission of the library. They get us. They root for us. This is not always the case with an institutional IT department. If a library is not able to maintain its own servers, it will turn to campus IT for server space, and in most cases, this will mean joining the campus content management system (CMS) and enduring any limits native to it or built into it. At many colleges and universities these days, the focus is on increasing enrolment[2]. Competition for tuition dollars is fierce, so universities have deployed full-on marketing strategies for attracting students, and a large


getting important content “above the fold” is a big concern. Perhaps it’s not the big deal that it was in the 1990s when the concept of scrolling was brand new, but according to usability expert Jakob Nielsen (2010), the content above the fold still captures 80% of our attention. Users will scroll, but they won’t pay as much attention to the stuff further down. Our eyes will linger longest on information 300-400 pixels down the page[3]. If a library is locked into a CMS template that buries its content below a large university header, will students find the library resources they seek, or will they give up and move on to the web? The problem with these templates is that once you’re in the CMS, you’re locked in.

Panlibus Magazine | Winter 2012 |

the director of a community college close to me was surprised when I told him that when I try to go to his library site from my iPhone, I get redirected to the college’s mobile site, which does not include a link to the library. The javascript redirect is called between the <head> tags, which he can’t alter on his library web pages. Speaking of mobile sites, a library that does not have full website control has limited options for deploying a mobile friendly web presence. Will IT offer non-templated server space for a mobile site? When locked in a university CMS, libraries are especially incapable of employing a smart responsive

Transforming the library website

design strategy (ie without two screen lengths of campus material at the top), which some argue is the future of the web. So what is a library to do? I believe that libraries should maintain as much control as possible over their websites, preferably by hosting them on their own servers. At my university, IT and the library have come to compromise. Until last year, we had a different look than the rest of the campus sites. They were adamant that we conform to university design standards -- a position that we understood, though we weren’t thrilled with the real estate we would lose to university branding and recruitment at the top of the page. We even tried joining the campus CMS, but when it became clear that there were too many technical limits for our content, they agreed that we should stay on our own servers. We use the university’s branding and template, but we maintain full control. Now my university has a new CMS, and there are rumours of a new design in the works. IT is once again talking to us about joining the CMS, and they have offered us a greater degree of control than most departments on campus receive (“we understand that libraries

are different”, they say), but I don’t know. I’m more than a little wary. It’s not that IT folks are bad people, it’s just that they have different priorities. And maybe the next template will have a 500 pixel height header graphic. And maybe someone higher up the administrative food chain will decide that we have too much freedom and reduce our permissions. I shudder at the idea of such helplessness.

link it to theirs. Win! So to sum up, libraries can have a successful website partnership with campus IT, but it’s nice to have the option not to have one at all.

So what do you do if you don’t have a choice? Maybe you don’t have your own library IT department, or maybe you don’t have the space or the budget for a server room. What do you do? Do you completely submit your will? Nah, you talk to IT. You make a case for the features and functions you need. You find examples from other libraries. You promise not to break anything if they give you a little more freedom, and then you don’t, under any circumstances, break anything! In the spirit of co-operation, let me end with a happy tale. That community college director whose library site was redirected to the campus mobile page… guess what? He talked to someone in his IT department, and they offered to build the library a mobile site and

References: 1. Noruzi, Alireza (2004). “Application of Ranganathan’s laws to the web.” Webology 1(2). http://www.webology. org/2004/v1n2/a8.html 2. Jon Marcus. “College enrollment shows signs of slowing” May 31, 2012. http:// 3. Jakob Nielsen. “Scrolling and Attention.” March 22, 2010, alertbox/scrolling-attention.html

FIND OUT MORE Email: | Winter 2012 | Panlibus Magazine


How good is your online library service?

How good is your online library service? By Aideen Flynn Socitm Insight Associate

These days it seems that most things can be done on the internet. Whether it’s shopping, banking, booking tickets or sharing photos, it’s easy to do it online, at a time convenient to you. So it should be the same for library services. If I want to renew my books, look for a DVD, reserve the latest blockbuster or download an ebook, I should be able to do it quickly and easily. And it’s not just me that wants to be able to do this stuff online. In 2011, library services were the 3rd most popular reason for citizens to visit their council website. Last year, Socitm Insight carried out its annual survey of UK local authority websites and the results were published in Better connected 2012: a snapshot of all local authority websites. The survey looks at a range of the most popular council services from the perspective of the customer and included a library service task. The reviewers that carry out the survey were asked to visit all local authority websites that have a library service and try to renew a library book online. This test covered simple issues such as • Can I find the library system login page easily? • Are there clear instructions about how to login so I can renew my loans? • Is there any help if I get stuck, eg forget my PIN/password? The reviewers were not able to test the entire process, as that would involve setting up library accounts at 206 different local authorities. But they were able to test as far as the login page. There were 11 questions for reviewers to answer, each of which tested a specific part of the process of renewing a library book.


The first five questions examined the most likely start points that people use in order to carry out this task and how well library renewals are promoted at each. The five start points are Google, the council home page, the council site search, the council’s A to Z of services list and the main library web page on the council site. There were two questions about the customer journey. This is the sequence of pages that people will have to navigate in order to carry out the task, including: • Was I taken straight to the library account log-in page? (from Google, home page link, library web page link etc.) In many cases the answer to this question was ‘No’. Frequently reviewers found that when they followed a link for ‘Library renewals’, they were misdirected to the catalogue search page instead of landing on the library account login page. • Were all the relevant pieces of information/pages linked together to make a smooth coherent journey? Nearly 40% of websites got a ‘No’ response to this question, with reviewers getting lost on the website and having difficulty getting easily to the library account login page. The third set of questions examined the library account login page: • Is it clear that I have to enter the number on my library card to log in? • If a PIN/password is required to access my account, am I told how to get one? • If a PIN/password is required to access my library account, is there a ‘Forgotten your password’ link?

Panlibus Magazine | Winter 2012 |

The first of these questions was given a ‘No’ in over 30% of cases, usually because the form field where people are supposed to type in their library card number was given an obscure name, like ‘user ID’. There was no explanation that the number was on the library card. Less than 20% of sites provided a ‘Forgotten your password’ facility. Many library suppliers did not have this provision, but some library services had set up their own online form for requesting a password reminder or re-set. Not as quick as an automated reminder, but still better than providing nothing at all. In addition to these questions, reviewers were asked to rate their experience of both promotion of the task (how easy it was to find) and the customer journey (the whole journey required to carry out the task) on a scale of 1 (poor) to 3 (very good). In order to identify those sites that were providing a good online service for this task, a threshold was set. To pass, 8 out of 11 questions should get a ‘yes’ and the reviewer should score the site at least satisfactory (2) or very good (3) for both promotion and customer journey. Only 51% managed to reach this threshold. So what can be done to improve? Testing your own library web pages is a good place to start. Staff can do it themselves and changes can usually be made quite easily by liaising with your organisation’s web manager. Here are some essential checks you should make: Open your main library web page (the one that you usually find if you type in www. and see if there is a prominent link on that page for

How good is your online library service?

‘Renewing library items’. If the link is already there, is it easy to spot or do you have to scroll down a long list to find it? Repositioning the link so that it is higher up on the page will make it easier to find. You should also try clicking the link to make sure that it opens the library account login page. If the link currently goes to the library catalogue search page or somewhere it should not, change the link so that it goes to the right place. You can also check the search on your website. If you type ‘Renew library book’ into the website search field, do the search results display the correct page at the top of the list? If not, talk to your web manager about how to improve this. If your organisation’s website has an A to Z of services list, check that there’s an entry in it for ‘Libraries’ at the very least – this should lead to your main library web page. You could make it even easier by providing an A to

Get inspired – a few websites providing easy to use online renewals: Wirral has integrated the library account login fields into their main library web page: has good promotion of library renewals online.htm has well presented promotion of online library facilities.

Z entry called ‘Library renewals’ (or something similar) that takes people directly to the library account login page. There may be parts of the library account login page provided by your library system supplier that you would like to improve, eg using friendlier terms for labelling login fields or perhaps adding a link to tell people how to get a password or PIN number. The supplier of your library system should be open to making minor improvements such as adding text or changing form field names. The process for doing this is likely to be different depending on the supplier, your contract arrangements and the version of the library system. The supplier may have to make changes to the page on your behalf or they may provide a tool to enable you or someone in your IT team to do it. If your supplier is not open to making minor, non-technical improvements, then getting involved with the user group for your supplier may help.

Get help – download guidance from Socitm Insight: Most local authorities are subscribers of Socitm Insight and will be able to get free access to two useful publications: • Better connected 2012 (includes council scores and recommendations for improvements to library web pages) • Mystery shopping in six London libraries (includes analysis of different presentation of 6 online library services and advice for improvement)

The trend towards online self-service is unstoppable. The expectation is that online services will work well and be comparable with commonly used commercial websites. Very often we hear that there is no money to fix problems with online services, but so often, the amount of fixing needed is very small and just requires thought, testing and tweaking rather than cash. So wouldn’t it be good to improve the online experience for your library users? It’s not just about saving money by reducing contact, but giving people a new way to get the most out of their library service and bringing libraries into the virtual world.


These can be found at downloads, (please register on the site first if you haven’t done so before). Check if your authority or supplier is a Socitm Insight subscriber here: www. subscribers/1 | Winter 2012 | Panlibus Magazine


The Hive

Case study: The Hive Key benefits • Allows users to access a single database of resources • Different borrowing rules automatically applied based on user profiles • Ability to use shared PCs within the Hive with different service options depending on whether it is academic or public use •  Books can be ordered online and returned to any council or university library • Self service issuing and returning of resources via kiosks and the Hive sorter.

The Hive is a state-of-the-art library, which is both a public library and a university library in one. Jointly run by Worcestershire County Council and the University of Worcester, it provides students and members of the public with access to a quarter of a million books and twelve miles of archive collections. Capita’s Library Management System supports the entire operation, helping everything to run like clockwork.


Back in 2004, both the University of Worcester and Worcestershire County Council independently reached the conclusion that their library buildings and services would not support their future plans for development.

accompany the University’s existing study facilities. Library staff and users would need access to resources in other libraries in the area and be able to return books to and from other libraries.

“Our old library building constrained the ambitions for our service. At the same time, the university was expanding quickly and needed facilities to support this growth. We decided to come together to meet our joint goals,” explains Kathy Kirk, strategic libraries and learning manager for Worcestershire Libraries and Learning Service.

“From a technical point of view, what we required was not the norm so we could not simply buy an off-the-shelf product,” explains Paul. After studying the market and the options available, the Hive chose Capita’s Library Management System (LMS).

The aim was to have a shared library service for over half a million citizens and over 9,000 students, to open up access to the extensive collections of both the university and public libraries.

Inspired integration Paul Williams, the academic services team leader for the University of Worcester, explains that the scale of the project was ambitious: “We wanted to bring together so much material under one roof, over five floors, with 800 study places and only one integrated catalogue. “To deliver on the aims of the project, we recognised that our choice of software would be crucial. We needed a system that could offer full integration whilst ensuring that differences between the two sets of users could exist side by side,” comments Paul.

Complex services To add to the complexities, the Hive was not to be an isolated library but would be part of the wider public library service network of 21 libraries across Worcestershire and

Panlibus Magazine | Winter 2012 |

“Capita had the right products and also understood and bought into the shared service vision,” comments Stephen Mobley, who is the quality and standards manager for Worcestershire libraries and learning.

Transition The implementation was complex because both organisations had to run and provide library services right up until the moment of the opening of the Hive building. The old system shut down on Thursday and the new one was fully functional by the following Monday, with no break in service, as Paul explains. “Capita ensured that users didn’t experience any down time when switching from the old to the new system by maintaining a functioning service during the three day switch period.”

Joining resources The opening of the Hive was a milestone in shared library services and Capita’s LMS has allowed the two catalogues to be searched as a single integrated database.

The Hive

While the collections of both organisations have been combined from the public’s point of view, the ownership of books is still accounted for behind the scenes. “Our users tell us that they really value the new range and depth of the materials that having the joint stock has enabled us to provide,” comments Kathy.

“The software has helped us deliver a shared library that manages to meet the needs of both sets of users and both organisations.” Kathy Kirk, Strategic Libraries and Learning Manager, Worcestershire County Council.

Differences accommodated When a user logs on to any of the shared PCs, the LMS recognises whether they are a student or a member of the public. This determines the view of the catalogue that is displayed to them. Likewise, students get access to more applications when they log on to any of the shared PCs on site. “Although all material is available to all customers, there is recognition built into the software that certain texts are of key importance to students,” says Paul. For example, these differences allow students to loan out restricted texts for 24 hours, whereas members of the public must use them on site.

Equally, with core university texts, the public can only borrow them one at a time while students can borrow up to 12 for two weeks. “It is important that the LMS accommodates such nuanced distinctions and ensures students can access the information they need, when they need it.”

books from the public. This is possible as Capita have integrated the LMS with the council’s telephony provider. “We have been able to pool staffing resources so that our services and staff are now available seven days a week until 10pm,” says Kathy.

Streamlined services “The information the system gives us also allows us to identify any stock gaps in the joint collections so we can fill them. Our acquisitions are now more targeted, cost efficient and effective,” explains Kathy. “We are also making it easier to access resources,” says Paul. Students and the public can use whichever library they choose in the Worcestershire authority to collect and return books.

“The library provision is now one of the best in the country. Capita’s Library Management System has been a core part of us being able to deliver this innovative and complex project,” comments Kathy.

“Some students may live 20 miles from the Hive in the centre of Worcester. If they can simply go to their local library to return books, it is a huge benefit to them. Our new LMS and RFID connector from Capita identifies where the book belongs – whether that is the Hive, one of the university’s other facilities or one of the council’s 20 local libraries. The library courier system takes care of the rest,” says Paul.

Pooling staff


The new joint LMS is helping staff provide better services too. Users can now phone in to the local authority’s call centre for information and as the data is on one system, the call centre can also be used to chase overdue

Web: Email: Tel: 0870 400 5000 | Winter 2012 | Panlibus Magazine


EBSCO Publishing

Increasing value and usage of information resources through Discovery Sam Brooks, Executive Vice President, EBSCO Publishing Discovery is evolving from simply being a faster and easier way to search a library’s collection through a single search box, to a search that is able to access the highestquality information available in a library’s collection for all levels of users. Discovery that can maximise the available content can increase usage, improve the end-user experience and showcase the value of a library’s collection. User adoption of a discovery tool can increase as users become more familiar with it, but if that tool produces better results, adoption will take place rapidly. An example of this is the data collected by Bournemouth University, which implemented EBSCO Discovery Service (EDS) in September of 2010. User sessions increased by 88 percent from the 2010-11 academic year to the 2011-12 academic year. The success of those sessions is indicated by a 132 percent increase in the combined number of abstracts viewed, full-text downloads through EDS and linkouts to full-text from EDS. Additionally, there was a similar increase in linking to the library’s catalogue (88 percent). See Table 1.

Successful searches demonstrate the benefits of shifting from directly searching databases to relying on the discovery service, which can expose them to resources that they may otherwise not find. At Bournemouth, use of the most prevalent full-text databases, either through direct access or through EDS, increased by 40 percent from 2010-11 to 2011-12. Full-text downloads from direct databases decreased from 2010-11 to 2011-12 by more than 23 percent, while full-text downloads from EDS increased more than 104 percent over the same time period, showing an increase in usage of the resources as well as the value of the Discovery Service tool overall. The increase for some databases was even more pronounced. For example, full-text downloads from the university’s primary business database accessed through EDS increased by 139 percent from 2010-11 to 2011-12. See Table 2.

In the second year of EDS use at Bournemouth, there was a 1362 percent increase in JSTOR linking and 357 percent increase in ScienceDirect linking. Because EDS allows for the infusion of high-end subject indexes, the statistics related to use of these critical resources can be illuminating. For example, usage records


Panlibus Magazine | Winter 2012 |

from A&I service CAB Abstracts increased by 81 percent from 2010-11 to 2011-12.* See Table 3.

[*Note: Because Bournemouth subscribes to CAB Abstracts on EBSCOhost, the University takes advantage of the EDS “platform blending” technology, which allows for infusion of results from subject indexes that don’t otherwise participate in discovery services.] EDS implementation at Bournemouth and other academic institutions has been successful because it caters to the needs of undergraduates, graduates, postgraduates and faculty. While familiarity with the system and the ease of the single search box has an impact on overall usage, the increased downloads and linking activity indicates that the quality of the searches has also improved significantly. The single search box, with the metadata and robust ability to find the best available content behind it, have to work in combination to improve the user experience and ensure that they are confident in the tool they are using.


‘‘Our D-Tech equipment means students can self navigate the resources and take ownership of their borrowing. ’’ RFID / SECURITY / RFIQ / PEOPLE COUNTERS / EM / STOCK MANAGEMENT / RF / LAPTOP SECURITY / VENDING / SELF SERVICE

Nielsen LibScan data

Nielsen LibScan data Nielsen LibScan, Period 11, 2012 Library lendings chart Period 11, which covers the period from 7 October until 3 November 2012, saw E L James’s Fifty Shades trilogy arrive to feature prominently in the top ten most borrowed titles chart, below. The three books, which have sold over 10 million copies in total in the UK TCM, had combined lendings of 5,043 in period 11. However, this is not enough to propel James into even the top 100 most borrowed authors for the period, where authors with a broad backlist dominate. James Patterson continues as the most borrowed author, with over 41,000 lendings and is followed by children’s authors Daisy Meadows, Julia Donaldson, Francesca Simon and Jacqueline Wilson.


The top ten titles include some other big named new entries. Lee Child’s latest Jack Reacher novel, A Wanted Man, joins The Affair in the chart and is one of five titles from the Crime, Thriller & Adventure category in the top ten. J K Rowling’s first adult novel, The Casual Vacancy, was only published in late September but is already proving popular with library users. Kathy Reichs, Tess Gerritsen and James Patterson supply the other thrillers in the top ten, whilst the only children’s title is Aliens Love Underpants. The best-selling titles in the UK TCM for period 11 are led by Reflected in You by Sylvia Day, which is no doubt finding an audience


amongst Fifty Shades’ fans and may follow its popularity in libraries too. E L James and J K Rowling both still feature among the top ten best-selling titles in the UK, whilst October saw the publication of new titles from James Patterson and Kathy Reichs which may in due course take their place amongst heavily borrowed library titles.




Fifty Shades of Grey

James, E L



Wanted Man,A:Jack Reacher

Child, Lee



Affair,The:Jack Reacher

Child, Lee



Casual Vacancy,The

Rowling, J K



Bones are Forever

Reichs, Kathy



Fifty Shades Darker

James, E L



Last to Die:(Rizzoli & Isles 10)

Gerritsen, Tess



Aliens Love Underpants!

Freedman, Claire



Fifty Shades Freed

James, E L



11th Hour

Patterson, James


Period eleven (4 weeks from 7 October to 3 November) ©2012 Nielsen Book Services Limited [trading as: Nielsen BookScan]



Panlibus Magazine | Winter 2012 |

we are your txt people Our fully library integrated txt system allows you to send and receive txt messages to multiple people in an instant using your computer. simple :) 2 way communication that is quick, to the person, to the point, secure and cost effective. clever ;)

• Capita certified • Inform customers of reservations in seconds • Overdue Reminders managed and sent instantly • Save staff time and reduce cost

ssages: schedule metime set the day and tem deliver and let the sys


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Nottingham Trent University

Teaching and Learning, Connected

Running an effective reading-list service – it’s all about collaboration at Nottingham Trent University

strategy, led by course requirements rather than by guesswork, and supported by integrated and scalable technology. The library was certain that change had to start with academics – where the acquisitions workflow Now running for its third full academic starts. Rather than acting as administrators, year, the reading-list management service the library staff would join academics to form at Nottingham Trent University provides a partnership in the management of lists and library-supported lists and content for all the subsequent development of course-driven taught courses and modules. Adoption of acquisitions policies. Layers of relationships the reading-list service at the university, the would form across the university to bring about UK’s third largest provider of undergraduate this cultural change and support the requirement education, now approaches 100 per cent of the for a ‘basic onlineness’ for all taught courses. university’s academics across all subject areas. This would be supported by the robust systems In acquisitions, throughput time has reduced integration, internal adoption and adaptation of from 72 days to 35 days and the provision of an the Talis Aspire Reading-List software. improved service continues to ensure resource After two years, the Nottingham Trent availability for over 26,000 students. University reading-list service reached 70 But it wasn’t always that way. Only three per cent of list coverage. And in its third year, years ago, negative feedback from student the service has now achieved 100 per cent surveys pointed to problems in library adoption. Today, only items on the reading-lists workflows. A traditional budget and acquisitions are approved for acquisition by the library and approach meant that stock selection was done provided to students, making budgeting and by academic liaison staff with varying levels of stock management more predictable. This sort success and little involvement from academics. of improvement doesn’t need large budgets, or Students frequently complained that even increased human capital investment. Instead, ‘essential reading’ items were not available, it enables service efficiency, and enhances and the library itself had only a partial view of learning experiences through active collaboration what books it needed to provide. In addition, between academics, library and students – and the university’s ‘e-first’ strategy was becoming software service providers. Something that the increasingly difficult to deliver. Talis Aspire Reading-List module both facilitates A critical element of the library’s challenge and requires. was its interactions with academics, and insufficient technology to support the service. Librarians became involved only Reading-lists were often passed directly from after the list had been produced, at the academic to the student, bypassing library which point the librarian’s role was and academic liaison staff and making planning largely administrative. and budgeting difficult. All staff involved were Mike Berrington, Deputy University suffering from ‘spreadsheet overload’. Student Librarian at Nottingham Trent concerns revealed a pressing need to engage academics in a collaborative acquisitions University Karen Halliday Senior Product Marketing Manager Talis Education Limited


NTU has sought to make the most of the ‘openness’ of Talis Aspire to develop local service enhancements which benefit all three cohorts of list users. Dr Richard Cross, Nottingham Trent University

The selection of Talis as the university’s readinglist software partner has enabled the university library to transform its services. In turn, the university and a cohort of Talis Aspire ReadingList customers in over 45 other universities and colleges, has helped shape the development of the software through an active user community and agile development processes. This participation in innovation, combined with the dedication and expertise of the library staff, and the clear support of the university’s senior management team and academic departments, has delivered substantial changes at the the university – course-driven acquisitions and seamless processes to support learners. And what’s next for the university library? It’s now continuing its collaboration with Talis and is a beta partner for the next major development of Talis Aspire – Digitised Content.

‘Resource lists are inextricably linked to directed student reading, which is a core activity in all universities, especially in those with large numbers of first-year undergraduates. Mike Berrington, Deputy University Librarian at Nottingham Trent University

FIND OUT MORE Tel: 0121 374 2740 Email: Web: Web:

Panlibus Magazine | Winter 2012 |


MONEY AND RESOURCES? A SUBSCRIPTION TO BOWKER BOOKS IN PRINT® COULD BE THE COSTEFFECTIVE SOLUTION YOUR LIBRARY NEEDS. This online English-language database from Bowker® is the one-stop resource offering a wealth of bibliographic and enhanced data, as well as many other value-added services, for both librarians and library users. The data is sourced from our ISBN agencies and publisher relations team in the UK, so you can be assured of comprehensive coverage and up-to-date information. In one resource, you can offer your library users: • Access to information about e-books, audio books and videos, as well as traditional books • An easy-to-use search interface with countless routes for investigation and many ways to refine results • Cover images, tables of contents, professional reviews, full-text previews, author biographies and more, to help make informed selections Whilst your librarians can benefit from: • List management tools to save titles and streamline workflows • Access stock availability information and links to vendors • The option to restrict market access to UK only, via the Administrator settings

TRY BOOKS IN PRINT® TODAY TO SEE IF IT CAN HELP YOUR LIBRARY! Free trials are available, contact Bowker at to find out more.

Laptop loans

Laptop loans – how to make it work! Having a loan service of laptops for students is highly desirable. But how can the logistical problems be overcome? Vikki Stapley Marketing Manager Bretford Manufacturing Ltd

With the rise in tuition fees of up to £9000 per year, a student’s expectation of services provided in the University has grown significantly. With this in mind, recent surveys show that up to a third of students want the facility to borrow IT equipment including laptops, netbook or tablets and, as a result, this is now a fundamental requirement for prospective students when choosing a university. However, implementing an equipment loan facility into your college or university raises a number of logistical problems, and many universities are worried about the potential costs and drain on valuable staff resources to effectively manage such a facility. They also have concerns about to how they reduce the risk of theft or loss of equipment and keep all the equipment charged and updated ready for use. Swansea University had a desire to implement a self-service laptop loan solution as part of their move towards more flexible campus buildings and services, and away from reliance on large areas of fixed PCs. Self-service library books have been in place for a number of years, and Swansea University were keen to expand on this to implement a self-service laptop loan solution in their main library building, and also in a newly developed study area. “We envisaged the use of self-service lockers as a supplementary service to our fixed, open access PCs – the laptops would cater for students who didn’t need the ’full fat’ service as supplied on our PCs, whilst also allowing them to bring the device to where they were studying in the building (rather than move to a fixed PC),” explains Glen Donnachie, IT Support Manager, Swansea University. The desired solution needed to be a low maintenance and secure service that could be operated 24 hours a day, crucially, allowing a student to self-issue a laptop in the quickest possible time and then use the netbook just as quickly. “Obviously, we were also keen to

ensure that we only loan laptops to known, valid students and that the students have to return them in a secure manner, too,” says Glen. It was a fair collection of requirements: students to have 24 hour access to the laptops, getting to use the equipment quickly, low maintenance, available to valid students only, keeping track of returned laptops and having a solution that fitted in with university’s existing systems. The university found one solution that met all these requirements, and that was the Bretford Myritrac system. This system allowed them to take control of all aspects of managing the loan process: allowing them to control who can access the equipment, identifying each user, monitoring usage on a daily basis and providing a secure place to store, charge and simultaneously update all the laptops ready for use. The MyritracTM system facilitates the self-service deployment Swansea were looking for, saving valuable staff time and helping to reduce damage, loss and operational costs significantly. “The Bretford Myritrac solution from the outset was the clear and obvious choice”, explains Glen. “Our security requirements were fully met, and the ability to read our existing student cards for verification was also key.” The University then came up with one more challenge. They wanted to launch the service with little or no publicity or instructions. And, in fact, students started using the system and found it quite intuitive; there was no need to introduce extra directions or instructions or carry out training. Staff support training requirements were minimal too. “It’s innovative solutions like this that will help us towards providing a reactive, student focused service and help enhance their experience,” Glen says. The success of this solution at Swansea University can easily be gauged by the fact that they have now placed another order to increase the numbers of lockers across their campus. In addition to the lockers installed in the Library and study areas, Swansea are now working with their College of Business, Economics & Law to install the system in student-facing areas in academic buildings.

FIND OUT MORE Tel: 01753 53 99 55 Web:


Panlibus Magazine | Winter 2012 |


Keep kids reading making the most of digital opportunities Neil Wishart Director Solus UK Ltd

During dinner at this year’s Library Association of Ireland, Public Libraries Section Conference (7th – 9th November 2012) we were involved in an interesting debate regarding whether children in 100 years would be able to read or write and whether the use of physical books was critical to this. The consensus from the librarians at the table was, perhaps understandably, that there should always be a place for physical books in the library. At our lightning session the next day, we referred to the conversation and offered the opinion that whilst children in 2112 would be able to read... they may find traditional writing and spelling more challenging.

What’s key is the ability to read; the medium doesn’t matter. Libraries Online is the subject of this Panlibus edition - perhaps it should have been Digital Opportunity? Far from being a negative, the quick shift towards touch devices which are intuitive to use for young and old alike makes libraries accessible like never before. The Reading Trust 2011 Survey highlighted the fact that three in ten children lived in houses without books. When asked by a teacher to bring in a book to discuss in class, one boy in London produced an Argos catalogue, explaining: “it’s the only book my family have”. The same survey found that 85% of children (815 yrs) owned at least one games console and 81% owned a mobile phone. Fast forward less than one year to October 2012 and 53% of teenagers in the UK owns a smartphone (what will it be after Christmas?) and one in ten three year olds uses a tablet. In short, it soon won’t matter if the boy’s family doesn’t own a book (no matter how tragic that is). If the library or school can appeal to him enough, he’ll give reading a chance and rather than downloading yet another free game for his phone or tablet, he’ll use it to access the library and read a free book! Libraries have an opportunity to connect to audiences that would otherwise have been lost to them and help with the ultimate requirement, that children in ten years (never mind 100) can and do read! Being online, releasing apps, creating “Community Spaces”, adopting social media, building games, etc, either alone or combined won’t make the difference.

Connecting with people, appealing to them, showing them what is accessible and possible, will. It is also important to let people know that services exist. Too many times recently we’ve been showing library apps to non-library users and whilst they have been senior managers in local authorities, or partner organisations such as the NHS, they’ve been amazed that you can borrow eBooks and magazines free of charge from the library. If people working for the same or partner organisations don’t know the secret, it’s easy to assume the wider community don’t know what’s available. It’s important to note that smartphones and tablets, whilst mobile by nature and used for accessing data remotely, can be used to connect to other hardware, both inside and outside the library. Mobile devices and apps can connect to self-issue machines, to digital signage and to other products that can be used to engage users. Remote access is convenient; linking devices to hardware or stock using RFID is cool and provides another reason for people to be physical rather than virtual users. To close, we’d like to share some really positive news. Edinburgh Libraries recently announced that their strategy of adopting and combining technology, space and social media has led to a significant upturn in their statistics: • Visits - up 9.5% year on year • Issues - up 3.9% year on year • Virtual visits and issues up 251% year on year This is a fantastic achievement and shows that digital opportunities can yield significant results.

FIND OUT MORE Email: Web: | Winter 2012 | Panlibus Magazine


Prism product update

Prism product update Terry Willan Business Specialist Capita Prism is the resource discovery solution serving the users of Capita customer libraries, both academic and public. Integration with the local system, Alto, also gives Prism users the full range of availability, delivery and account services, through their web browser and mobile devices. Features are continually added and enhanced through frequent releases. Furthermore, continuous improvement to the infrastructure ensures that Prism remains fit to grow in features, users and data. Substantial changes in the Prism infrastructure will soon be powering some major developments for an exciting 2013.

Renewing loans and reserving items online through the catalogue are important activities for users and Prism has always supported them. Recently, a new renewal workflow shows users renewal outcomes immediately in context, and a clear message is given where renewal is disallowed. For reservations, users can now see immediately whether an item is reservable, and if it is not, they can view an explanation. The convenience of self-service is enhanced in the latest release where users can set a new PIN if they have forgotten it, allowing them to quickly continue with what they want to do. There is also an option to enable users who have charges on their account to pay them online through the library’s payment service provider. Other recent developments include browsing through a set of results at the item detail level with buttons to view the next or previous record.

More social features are in development, including the ability to add reviews and to tag resources. Social features enable users to actively engage and contribute to the catalogue by sharing their experience of the resources to the benefit of each other. This has been one of the areas of focus in recent Prism development, starting with star ratings. Where appropriate, user-contributed content is shared across libraries of the same type (academic or public) giving each library much more content. The library can activate each social feature separately through the administration console. The ability to create and manage lists of resources in Prism has been popular with both public and academic library users. This has recently been enhanced by allowing users to make lists discoverable by others and to annotate them with a description and tags. Users can now discover such shared lists. Librarians have a range of moderation options but are finding that a relaxed approach works well and helps to encourage extensive and enthusiastic use. Integration with the Open Graph API recently means that rich content from the catalogue is surfaced in Facebook, an important part of the outreach of libraries. This can be seen in the Facebook pages of numerous customer libraries.


By default, enrichments in Prism are available from BDS and the textual enrichments are now more integrated, with indexing to improve discovery as well as display of the table of contents, author notes, descriptions, reviews and back cover copy. Library users increasingly expect to be able to search and discover all of the library’s diverse resources in one place. This is a key area of development for Prism which will begin to benefit libraries in the new year. Libraries will be able to augment the catalogue to give users unified search results across the range of content available through the library. This is beginning with archival and local history data and will extend to e-journal articles, e-books, digital content, institutional repositories, dissertations and more. A richer discovery experience for users can also be achieved by providing recommendations and search suggestions. Development is in progress to aggregate loan data by library type to drive recommendations for resources similar to the one being viewed. Data from other sources such as lists will be added later as well as personalisation to continually improve the relevance of the recommendations. The data model is being

Panlibus Magazine | Winter 2012 |

developed to provide author data with persistent IDs across catalogues to improve author searching and to enable Prism to suggest similar authors. An autosuggest feature will provide options to auto-complete users’ queries as they type, and related searches through features such as ‘Did you mean...’ will provide users with more options to find what they are looking for. The ability to provide more for library consortia is another outcome of the Prism infrastructure developments. It will be easier for libraries to combine their data, enabling users to expand the scope of their search to the holdings of neighbouring or associated institutions as well as supporting tighter consortial arrangements with combined holdings and agreed usage rights. Integration with the local system is vital for providing users with the rich range of services they expect. Prism is continuing to deliver more in this area, soon allowing users to amend their contact details and to set their preferences for how they are notified by the library about nearly dues, overdues, reservations ready and other communications. As changes continue in libraries, technology and the way people discover and interact with content and each other, Prism is well placed to fulfil the evolving needs of libraries and their users.


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Panlibus 26  

The theme for this issue is ‘libraries online’, focusing on tools and media that public and academic libraries can utilise.

Panlibus 26  

The theme for this issue is ‘libraries online’, focusing on tools and media that public and academic libraries can utilise.