Resource Management Standing Committee Annual Reports
TS-SIS Resource Management
2022-2023 Annual Report
The Resource Management Standing Committee met twice virtually during the academic year with an in-person roundtable discussion planned for AALL in Boston in July. Attendance at the meetings this year was robust, and the conversations consistently lively and engaged.
The most pressing items for members in both meetings centered around working with vendors. The following concerns were raised and discussed amongst the members:
- Titles being discontinued with little or no notification
- Impact of representative turnover
- Managing the transition from print to electronic
- Whether or not to use multi-year deals vs paying for titles a la carte
- How to navigate archival issues in the digital space
- Discoverability in vendor platforms such as VitalLaw
- How to decide what to cancel, and the workflow associated with massive cancellations
- Impact of print cancellations on law firms
- Reliable access to vendor platforms
- Study aid packages – print/standing orders vs electronic access
As the discussions showed, there is a significant commonality of issues happening across all libraries and among members. While individual experiences varied, members are largely concerned with working and troubleshooting with vendors, identifying the most efficient ways to manage print and electronic collections to benefit patrons, and discoverability of what is purchased. Some members participated in listening sessions with certain vendors and reported on the status of archival content on electronic platforms, access stability, and how to get vendors to work with librarians in advance when titles cease from one format to the next. These topics are all on-going and should be continued in the future.
In partnership with NELLCO, an ebook webinar was planned for April, but unfortunately had to be postponed until Fall 2023. There were 116 registrants, demonstrating significant interest to learn about ebooks from a practical perspective. The webinar will cover workflows, best practices, and address challenges that exist in the e-resource lifecycle for ebooks. Attendees will learn insight on how to manage perpetual vs licensed ebooks, the differences in EBA and DDA, inconsistent vendor nomenclature surrounding ebooks, DRM, and DRM-free acquisitions. A new date will be posted late summer/early fall.
Laura Fouladi left AALL after accepting a new position in a non-law library, and thus stepped down as co-chair in February 2023. Michele Pope will begin her term as incoming co-chair for 2023-2025 after the annual meeting, with a second co-chair to be named during the summer.
Elisabeth Umpleby, Co-Chair, 2021-2023
2021-2022 Annual Report
TS-SIS Resource Management Standing Committee
The Resource Management Standing Committee met quarterly this year, with three excellent discussion meetings, one webinar on disasters and disaster planning, and then a roundtable discussion at AALL in Denver in July to complete the year.
One of the committee’s first action items was to follow up on last year’s assignment from the TS-SIS Executive Board to look at collection development policies. A discussion resulted in the decision to rely on our colleagues in the Academic Special Interest group to maintain a comprehensive list of collection development policies. Law firm and government collection development policies are specific and specialized, and as such the group will leave those collection development policies to the individual libraries.
The October, December, and February meetings included discussions focused on a range of topics, including:
- Annual program ideas
- Vendor issues, specifically Wolters Kluwer billing problems
- DEIB in our catalogs
- Future roundtable ideas
- Getting Technical Service librarians involved in AALL
In April, the group hosted a webinar on disaster and disaster planning. The program included details on how to assess and prepare for disasters, how to respond to disasters in your library, such as floods, fire, pests, and mold, and how to recover and get back normal business. The webinar included a guided checklist, a supplies checklist, documentation on how to handle water, mold, and pest threats, a list of resources, and a flowchart for dealing with disasters.
The membership has great interest in leadership and mentorship, and the well attended Denver roundtable centered around how to entice members to become more involved in AALL. Obstacles such as not outreach, not enough internal support, and how to actually get involved were identified. Other topics included promoting the work we do, and how to market ourselves. What is the impact of centralization on Technical Service departments? Do we need to re-evaluate how our units are described? Is a name change from Technical Services to something else in order? Perhaps Information Management, or Resource Access and Discovery?
As this year ends, Karen Scoville will cycle off as co-chair. Elisabeth Umpleby will remain for one more year, and Laura Fouladi will join as incoming co-chair for 2022-2024. For 2022-2023, the committee will begin discussions on ebooks, a continued conversation about mentoring and leadership, how to get Technical Services librarians involved in AALL, and weeding/cancellation workflows.
Karen Scoville, Co-Chair, 2020-2022
Elisabeth Umpleby, Co-Chair, 2021-2023
2020-2021 Annual Report
TS-SIS Resource Management Standing Committee
Over the past year, the Resource Management committee was primarily focused on creating a space for our members to collaborate and share their experiences navigating the COVID-19 pandemic. One of our first actions was surveying the group to ascertain what types of activities they were interested in. Members were given the chance to select how often they wanted to meet, what topics they wanted to discuss, and provide feedback on how the committee get best support them during the 2020-2021 year. We received a total of 8 respondents, the majority of which indicated quarterly meetings would be the most effective. Moreover, the survey indicated that members were interested in the following topics (listed from highest to lowest ranked):
- Impact of COVID-19 on collections,
- Database maintenance,
- Managing budgets,
- Print continuing resources,
- Discovery services,
- ILS migration,
- Managing change,
- Space management,
Guided by feedback from the survey, we set out to schedule quarterly meetings, however after our first committee session, we discovered a level of engagement from committee members that warranted hosting monthly meetings from September 2020-December 2020. The consensus among committee members was having these monthly discussions served as an effective outlet for discussing and working through issues each of us were facing at our own libraries. By sharing our expertise and wisdom with one another during such a difficult time, the resource management committee emerged as a valuable community of colleagues willing to help others.
Since the Resource Management Committee was still in a state of transition at the beginning of the year, a good deal of our initial work was involved in working on the membership roster and bringing the My Communities space for the committee up to date. Previously, Resource Management had been primarily responsible for proposing and hosting round-table discussions at AALL Annual Meetings. Because of this, the committee’s My Communities space was open to the entire membership to join and was used more as a message board to alert interested TS-SIS members about the upcoming topics. As a result of this policy, the roster had over 100 members.
Since Resource Management would now be acting as a more traditional committee, we needed to realign the My Communities space to reflect this change. Specifically, a decision was made to limit access to the space to active committee members only, and to use the main TS-SIS list for any general, Section-wide communications. To this end, Karen Scoville drafted an email to send out through the Resource Management My Communities list, alerting them to the change in the committee structure, and asking those who wished to remain involved to respond so they could be added to the roster.
Once we had the definitive list of committee members, Karen worked closely with Alan Keely to update the My Communities space. When the update was complete, we were able to begin using the My Communities mechanism for official communications and documentation. Going forward, the management of this space should be much more straightforward.
As the year progressed, the resource management committee was asked to review how the Technical Services Special Interest group collected and organized collection development policies. While our colleagues in the Academic Special Interest group have compiled a comprehensive list of law school library collection development policies, we recognize that the diversity of our membership requires us to also incorporate firm and government library collection policies. As such, we propose collaborating with our academic colleagues relying on them for access to law school policies. Moreover, in the 2021-2022 committee cycle, the resource management committee will put together a sub-group to explore how to effectively collection firm and government collection development policies.
As this year ends, Liz Graham will cycle off as co-chair of the resource management committee, while Karen Scoville will remain having tapped Elisabeth Umpleby to serve as co-chair in the coming year. This year’s resource management committee will conclude with a roundtable discussion covering topics such as: systems, budgets, leadership, and managing resources during the pandemic.
Elizabeth Graham, Co-Chair, 2019-2021
Karen Scoville, Co-Chair, 2020,2022