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Friday, June 7 • 3:15pm - 4:15pm
Trial by fire and then some for electronic resources: connecting the community through customer service

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Electronic resource troubleshooting can feel like putting out a fire every day in a library. When a real fire comes along as Kansas State University experienced this past summer, one learns not to take electronic resources and the fact that they are working for granted. Regardless of integrated library system or discovery layer, getting databases and online subscriptions back up is especially critical for a collection without a building. Getting back to a sense of “normal” involves rethinking priorities, staffing, and the nature of the resources in given circumstances. The Jane Hale electronic resource ticketing system was staffed with more intention resulting in more timely access to the electronic resources. Relocation of ticketing staff to a different building off-campus created more empathy for the users.

The May 2018 fire coincided with the end of the fiscal year, cancellations, and renewals. Damage to the University Data Center housed in Hale Library meant the proxy server had to be rebuilt from an old configuration file with a dated user file for temporary authentication. Jane Hale ticketing staffing and processes were not in an optimal place. Earlier in the fall of 2017 the acquisitions unit began a study of its Jane Hale ticketing system for electronic resource issues and problems. Combining the fire event with the Jane Hale ticketing system as a framework yielded growth in customer service orientation. The community of vendors, librarians, and patrons demonstrated an outpouring of support and kindness.

Lessons learned include creating good relationships before something goes bad and fostering a sense of community. Communication both internal and external is very important. The disaster response for electronic resources became an effective continuity plan: deciding what is essential and how to use communication and other skills to meet the needs of the library community.

avatar for Mary E. Bailey

Mary E. Bailey

Continuing Resources Librarian, Kansas State University
avatar for Christina Geuther

Christina Geuther

Electronic Resources Librarian, Kansas State University
I manage electronic resource license records in Alma, negotiate license terms with vendors, and troubleshoot electronic resource access for K-State Libraries.

Michelle Turvey-Welch


Friday June 7, 2019 3:15pm - 4:15pm EDT
Lawrence Welk Room - Mezzanine