In today’s electronic resources world, we are faced with a multitude of ERM products to evaluate and consider for purchase. If a library chooses a commercial product, it requires thousands of dollars not only to purchase the product, but to populate the data as well. Often, our internal customers find these products too difficult to use and interpreting the ERM fields is challenging. Alternatively, if an open source product is chosen, that library would still have to invest hundreds of man hours in order to configure the product to the individual library’s needs. Often the data provided in the open source products are important to ER librarians, but do not necessarily get at the heart of what a subject selector needs to make informed decisions when evaluating resources. In short, when it comes to licensing and understanding ER information, subject specialists and ER librarians often experience a disconnect over what information is really important, and subject specialists often depend on the ER librarian for interpretation.
At the University of Houston, we responded to our subject specialists’ needs to have relevant and up-to-date licensing information by building a better mousetrap, or ERM tool, which we have called the Electronic Resources Licensing Repository (ERLR). We used ERMI definitions to determine the fields for the repository and built the tool in-house. The ERLR is not meant to supplant the ERM we currently use, but rather to give subject specialists access to relevant information quickly and easily. Also, the ERLR contains additional information not typically found in commercial ERM products.
This presentation will discuss how we designed and built our ERLR, how we populated both the ERLR and our ERM, and share feedback survey data we gathered from the library’s internal customers on the usefulness of the ERLR.