November 16, 2017

Electronic Resources & Libraries Preview

ERL2016_logoIf the unofficial slogan of ER&L’s host city is “Keep Austin Weird,” the conference could be summed up as “Keep Libraries Current.” For the latest trends in how the changing digital landscape continues to impact libraries, particularly in the academic arena, head south by southwest to Austin, where the 11th annual ER&L conference will follow the iconic music, film, and interactive festival by a few weeks, April 3–6, at Austin’s AT&T Executive Education & Conference Center, the University of Texas at Austin, and online. (The timing marks a shift for the library gathering, which usually occurs earlier in the spring). The event is collocated with, and overlaps, the second annual Designing for Digital library UX meeting, to be held April 6–7.

On trend

Among this year’s trending topics, as identified by Bonnie Tijerina, founder of ER&L, are discovery and assessment of our organizations and users, in which presenters look to data to help analyze the use of materials, student success, and the impact of discovery tools, plus how best to tell stories with data. Data itself is also a focus, encompassing topics such as data visualization, data wrangling, and data privacy and security. Ebooks, though now a mature category, remain a focus, with sessions on ebook programs, plus user research and user experience of ­ebooks. Organizational and individual strategies round out the lineup, with sessions that include stories of reorganizations, useful collaborations, best practices in staff training, and the all-important “how to maintain sanity in an ever-changing environment.”

In each of these key areas, Tijerina identified representative sessions, among them Discovery: Beyond Initial Implementation & Participation…and into OPTIMIZATION, presented by Julie Zhu, IEEE marketing, sales & design; Shafeek Fazal, Stony Brook Univ.; and Scott Bernier, EBSCO (Apr. 5; 4:30–5:15 p.m.; Rm. 204); True Impact: How To Measure and Drive Deeper User Engagement? presented by Tom Humphrey, Kanopy; Anne Cerstvik Nolan, Brown Univ. Lib.; John Jax, Univ. of Wisconsin–La Crosse; Mark Pomelia, Rhode Island Sch. of Design; and Trey Shelton, Univ. of Florida Smathers Libraries (Apr. 5; 3:30–4:15 p.m.; Rm. 203); The True Cost of the e-Resource Lifecycle: A Case Study of e-Book Frontlist Purchases, presented by Amanda Bielskas, Colleen Major, and Melissa Goertzen, Columbia Univ. Libs. (Apr 6.; 9–9:45 a.m.; Salon A/B; Tijerina’s own Sharing and Reuse of Scientific and Research Data: Risky for Privacy? is presented with Todd Carpenter, NISO (Apr. 5; 9:45–10:30 a.m.; Rm. 203); and Gender and Negotiation, with Jill Grogg, LYRASIS, and Beth Ashmore, Stamford Univ. Lib. (Apr. 4; 9:45–10:30 a.m.; Rm. 204).

Actionable Info

In addition, attendees might want to keep an eye out for the concurrent workshops that cover altmetrics for impact assessment, copyright, accessibility, how to promote electronic resources via social media, and how to Create a Course Content Student Affordability Program on Your Campus.

Last year’s conference saw the introduction of the 15-minute lightning session format, to positive reviews. Some notable examples this year include: So You Want To Teach Coding Workshops? 10 Things You Need To Know, Telescope Bibliographies and Astronomical Data, and A Donut for Your Thoughts: 5 Minute Usability Testing with Optimal Sort.

Other sessions that jumped out at LJ staff include Curating Institutionally Created Audio and Video Content for Accessibility and Discoverability (Apr. 5; 2:30–3:15 p.m.; Rm. 105) and Accessing University Collections Using Mobile Apps: Maximizing Awareness and Usage (Apr. 5; 4:30–5:15 p.m.; Rm. 105). Sessions likely to see packed crowds as they provide actionable solutions to all-too-common issues include Small Staff? No Problem: Developing New Products and Programming Out of Scarcity (Apr. 4; 10:45–11:30 a.m.; Rm. 203) and Cut to the Bone: How Smaller Campus Libraries in University of Wisconsin System Are Surviving Epic Budget Cuts (Apr. 5; 2:30–3:15 p.m.; Rm. 203).

For much more, the full schedule is available at http://electroniclibrarian.­org/conference-info/search-the-2016-sessions.

This article was published in Library Journal's February 15, 2016 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Meredith Schwartz About Meredith Schwartz

Meredith Schwartz (mschwartz@mediasourceinc.com) is Executive Editor of Library Journal.

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