Tag Archives: erms

Budgets and resources and sanity, oh my!

I’m learning the local budgets at MPOW these days (as the guy wearing the Electronic Resources hat) and it is impressively squirrely. Without digging myself into a hole (since the library, university, state system, and state – let alone the country – are already impressively in the hole) of overly-transparent-ness: “Wow.”

Do you buy your electronic database subscriptions title by title?  Do some come in a “package?”  Do you get some via a consortium?  Do you know what your list price is for each database? Do you know how much you pay for each database “item?”  Which databases are “comes with” databases, which of these actually come free with your main subscription(s) and which have small surcharges attached?

How about your budget process? Do you get one lump sum budget with cost-centers? Do you get 2 or 3 (or more!) budgets with some things being bought wholly from one budget while others are bought with different amounts from multiple budgets?  Are we ready for one of those budgetary pots of money to disappear with the new Chancellor?  Are we ready for a possible 5% “give-back” to the State? *weep*

I was going to say “Actually it’s not as bad as all that…” but actually… well… it is.  If not worse.

Fun task #1: Report (for University Library Committee meeting) [see previous post for adventures on this front]

  • #sessions & searches (monthly, semesterly, academic yearly)
  • price per search (monthly, semesterly, academic yearly)
  • top 10 (heavily used) and bottom 10 (lightly used) databases
  • Future: map databases to departments and # of students served

Fun task #2: Identify items purchased in past few years with Performance Funds that have renewals attached and move ongoing commitments from Performance Fund to Library Budget items

Fun task #3: Budget training

Alright, enough kvetching.  I’m off to go make it happen, and I’m just the guy to do it.

ERMS prequel

Used to be (at FPOW) I would spend 20-25 hours a month manually gathering database usage data and manually updating this huge spreadsheet with all kinds of fancy cross-links to summary sheets which took me a good three years to build and which I continually tweaked.

Well, a job change a few years ago basically killed that beautiful spreadsheet (different databases, forgot what I did where to make it work right, no time to even glance toward database stats, and other huge little stuff) and I’d been wanting an easy way to skip most of the manual stuff.  Enter SUSHI & COUNTER standards.

After being asked for a recommendation on an ERMS a year (or more) ago those 20-25 hours a month seemed like waay too much hassle.  I explored a bunch of options, never wrote up the process, and in the end we went with Serialssolutions 360 Resource Manager and 360 Counter products as an ERMS and Assessment combination.  (long story short, it meshed well with the rest of our stable of SerialsSolutions products – we don’t do 360 MARC Records since we use the 360 Core A-Z list for all periodicals access)

Time passed, other priorities reared their ugly heads.  More on the story in the next post…

I encourage people to get a handle on their eResources however you may, I had a spreadsheet which did everything except sliced bread.  Now I have a hosted ERMS which I … well I’m getting ahead of myself.

/end backgrounder