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The AALL Spectrum® blog is published by the American Association of Law Libraries. Submissions from AALL members and other members of the legal community are highly encouraged. Opinions and editorial views expressed are those of the authors and do not represent the official position of AALL. AALL does not assume any responsibility for statements advanced by contributors. Previously, the AALL Spectrum Blog was located at aallspectrum.wordpress.com.

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12/8/2014 1:30:23 PM

E-books and Collection Development

I attended a session on e-books at the most recent Annual Meeting, and I learned that a lot of law libraries had recently started collecting e-books, while some hadn’t started yet. We at Young Law Library at the University of Arkansas aren’t scheduled to provide access to e-books until this month (through the Mid-America Law Library Consortium, or MALLCO), but we have been able to access them for a couple of years through the main campus library. This post will describe my library’s experiences with e-books from a collection development perspective. I hope it may provide e-book newcomers with things to consider, and e-book veterans with the urge to leave advice in the comments section.

One of the other reference librarians and I are the monograph selectors, and we pass the titles on to the serials and acquisitions librarian. We were aware of the existence of e-books, but they weren’t really on our radar since our patrons haven’t been asking for them. They began to affect our collection development decisions last spring, when the serials and acquisitions librarian would reply if a title was already available as an e-book through the main library. My response at the time was “okay, never mind then,” but after speaking with technical services librarians at the main library about their dealings with e-books, I became convinced we needed to specifically address e-books and e-book/print duplication in our information development policy.  

One issue to consider is the permanence of an e-book. When a library has an e-book account, it has access to a pool of titles. For example, our main campus library has an account with ebrary, which is owned by ProQuest. Titles accessible though ebrary (but not actually owned by the library) have a catalog record with the series title “ebrary electronic books dda” (demand-driven acquisition). When a particular title is downloaded a set number of times, the purchase of the e-book is “triggered” and the “dda” is removed from the series title. If an e-book purchase has not been triggered, the title can stay in the pool unless it is removed by the publisher or by the library (for example, if a publisher raises prices more than the library accepts). This particular scenario occurred at our main library, but fortunately the titles we held back on ordering in print have remained.

Another issue is coverage. When we get the e-books through our consortium (through EBL, which like ebrary is owned by ProQuest), we will have access to 12,000 titles, limited to K-classified materials. Since we collect in certain subject areas (Native Americans, agriculture) that fall outside K, we will still need to factor in the main library’s e-book titles when making print purchasing decisions.

As of now, we are deciding on a case-by-case basis which e-book titles we want to duplicate in print. This may change once our own e-book account is made available to our patrons.

Are e-books an established part of your collection? Are they addressed in your collection/information development policy?

Posted By Colleen Williams at 12/8/2014 1:30:23 PM  0 Comments
12/5/2014 11:14:47 AM

Rutgers Law Library Switches to Koha: the Open Source ILS

After much research and deliberation, we decided to make the switch from Millennium to Koha.  We are the second law school library to switch to Koha, although there are many public and academic libraries using it across the country.  The driving factor for us was the cost-savings associated with going open source.  Although Innovative Interfaces offers a great product with a lot of functionality, we felt the level of functionality available with Koha is sufficient for us.  We were also very comfortable with the third party vendor, ByWater Solutions, assisting with the implementation.  In addition, Koha has an active user community and is constantly in development and improving.

So far, the process of transferring records from our old ILS has gone smoothly.   I have been using “create lists” and export functions in Millennium to extract the data, with advice from ByWater’s implementation specialist.  I have found her to be extremely knowledgeable and helpful in to walking me through what needs to be done.  In addition, the few issues that I had with Millennium have been addressed quickly and efficiently by Millennium’s customer support.

I just received the test webpage with all of our bibliographic data, and have had the chance to play with it from the both the back-end and the end-user interface.  I have to say that it looks great and we have not even done any customization yet.  I am letting out a big phew!  Here is a link to our test OPAC being hosted by ByWater if anyone wants to see what it looks like more or less out of the box: http://l13.migrate.bywatersolutions.com/

Our go-live date is set for mid-January.  There is still more data to extract, and I just facilitated a meeting with our implementation specialist and technical services staff regarding data mapping from one system to the other.  Next week we have a 2 ½ day training.  So far so good!

Caroline Young


Caroline Young, Head of Access Services, Rutgers Law Library, Rutgers Law School, Newark, NJ



Posted By Caroline Young at 12/5/2014 11:14:47 AM  0 Comments
TOPICS: open source, ils, koha
12/4/2014 5:50:20 PM

Law School Technology - Can You Match The Name And The Description?

When starting a law school and its library, you quickly discover that there is a bundle of technological services and equipment that you need to quickly grasp to ensure the smooth operation of the school.  Picking and setting up the right ones can make the educational life of your students and faculty either very easy or if you get it wrong a nightmare.  In whatever modern electronic age you want to call today, these tools and services are necessary to provide a grounded education that prepares our students practice.

So let us play a game.  Can you match the name of the service with the description of that service?  To be fair you might know the name of comparable service that does the same job.  For example, while my law school uses Canvas, your school might have Blackboard, Moodle, or most likely, TWEN.


Canvas                                                Secure Testing Platform

CLIO                                                  Voice over Internet Protocol

Symplicity                                           Unified Communications Platform

iClicker                                                Personal Information Manager

ExamSoft                                            Intranet Content Management

Crestron                                              Learning Management System

Peoplesoft                                           Content Management System

Lync                                                    Classroom Technology System

Sierra                                                   Print Management

Serials Solutions                                  Computer Operating System

Outlook                                               Business Enterprise System

LibGuides                                           Classroom Response Service

SharePoint                                           Career Services Management

Windows 8                                          Practice Management Service

VoIP                                                   Library Management System

PaperCut                                             Electronic Resource Management

For librarians aspiring to become directors or to have greater role in their school or library’s technology, you need to work on understanding these services and how they interplay.  They are the foundation upon which we are building legal education.

Edward T. Hart
Assistant Dean for Law Library
UNT Dallas College of Law
Dallas, Texas

Posted By Edward Hart at 12/4/2014 5:50:20 PM  0 Comments