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Mega Database Review: How to Have What You Want and Want What You Have. MLA Conference | October 6, 2010 Mary Anne Erwin, MLS & Emily Scharf, MALS Instruction & Liaison Services | Webster University Library. Today we will discuss.

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mega database review how to have what you want and want what you have

Mega Database Review: How to Have What You Want and Want What You Have

MLA Conference | October 6, 2010

Mary Anne Erwin, MLS & Emily Scharf, MALS

Instruction & Liaison Services | Webster University Library

today we will discuss
Today we will discuss
  • A comprehensive review of databases used at Webster University by 12,000 students around the US and overseas.
  • Explain the review process, talk about successes, what we would do differently and the outcomes of this review.
a word about public institutions
A word about public institutions
  • Webster University does not have to bid for our databases
  • This review can also work for public institutions

Photo credit: Flickr user beautifulcataya 9/8/09

why did we do this
Why did we do this?

Photo credit: Flickr user alexanderdrachmann 4/13/06

background
Background
  • Instruction & Liaison Services Department creation
  • New staff member in charge of databases
special projects 4 year cycle
Special Projects - 4 Year Cycle
  • 2010 – Database review
  • 2011 – Weed main collection
  • 2012 – Journal review
  • 2013 – Standing orders/weed reference collection
slide7
Goal
  • Do our databases support the current curriculum?
  • No mandate to cancel – only review
who participated
Who participated?
  • Library administration
  • Subject Liaisons
    • Faculty
  • Faculty, students and staff via Library satisfaction survey
  • Reference Librarians
  • Entire library staff
    • Some Library student workers
    • Faculty Development Center staff
library administration
Library Administration
  • Shared goals
  • Communication
  • Support
faculty staff students
Faculty (staff & students)
  • Faculty contacted at discretion of their subject liaison
    • Subject & related databases
  • Library’s user satisfaction survey - Spring 2010

Please rate your satisfaction with library materials.

__Very Satisfied __ Satisfied __Neither Satisfied or Dissatisfied

__Dissatisfied __Very Dissatisfied __N/A

    • Access to online materials (e.g., databases, full-text journals, ebooks)
    • Quality of online materials
reference librarians
Reference Librarians
  • Reviewed 8 databases
    • E.g. Credo Reference and Gale Virtual Reference Library
  • Communicated with the subject reviewers regarding subject databases
  • WWWDD (What Would We Do Differently?)
    • Sought their input in a more formal way, earlier in the process
    • Perhaps ask which databases they use and why
library staff survey
Library Staff Survey
  • 38 general/multi-disciplinary databases
  • Academic Search Premier
  • WorldCat
process procedure
Process/Procedure

Photo credit:

Flickr user YSPsculpture

5/6/10

procedure
Procedure
  • Databases assigned to liaisons by subject
  • A master list was made to store all info
  • Reviewers completed a review sheet for each database and gave databases a rating from 1-4
  • Library staff survey
  • Liaison meeting
  • Management team meeting
master list
Master List
  • Database Name
  • Vendor
  • Liaison
  • 2008 Proxy Server Stats
  • 2009 Proxy Server Stats
  • 2009 Pricing Info
  • Check with...
  • In federated search now?
  • Scoped for federated search?
  • Subscription End Date
  • Ok to renew early?
  • Explanation for cancelation/keep
  • Reviewer's Rating (1-4)
  • Link to review sheet
  • Liaison Meeting Rating
  • Savings ($)
  • Notes
rating system
Rating System
  • Started with a scale of 1 – 5
  • After discussion, ended up with 1 – 4 scale
  • Ratings:
    • 1 = Cancel
    • 2 = Questionable, Cancel If______
    • 3 = Important, Fills Niche
    • 4 = Essential
  • WWWDD: only one “4” rating per subject
sample comments and ratings
Sample Comments and Ratings
  • Rating : 1, Cancel Books in Print“…it does not seem worth the money to keep a resource that mostly replicates other information and whose usage has dropped by half in the last year (2008 to 2009).”
  • Rating: 2, Cancel If… Kids Search“Due to the incongruent nature of this database (a kid-friendly interface that is searching advanced article databases), I would recommend we cancel this if we ever needed to pay for it.”
slide19

Rating: 3, Important, Fills Niche CQ Researcher“It is a valuable resource due to its background information and breadth of content types. …we have no comparable resource online.”

  • Rating: 4, Essential JSTOR“Since this is a digital archive of scholarly journals, many historical articles are available in full-text that may not be available in full-text through other databases.”
review sheet
Review Sheet
  • Some categories on this sheet were transferred to our master list
  • Each reviewer had two months to review their assigned databases
  • Sample review (for a 1 database)
surveys
Surveys
  • Library Staff – General/Multidisciplinary DBs
    • 34 responses
    • 27 of 40 full & PT staff
    • 7 Student workers
  • WWWDD?
library staff survey results
Library Staff Survey – Results
  • Academic Search Premier
    • Most highly rated database
      • 69% of respondents rated it “4 – essential”
  • Books in Print
    • Lowest rated database
      • 35% of those with an opinion rated it “1 – cancel”
      • 22% rated it a “4 – essential”
    • What we learned from (a) student and faculty
process procedure finale
Process/Procedure - Finale
  • Liaison meeting
  • Management Team meeting
    • Submitted list of databases recommended for cancellation
    • Approved!
results
Results
  • Cancelled 15 databases
  • Saved/reallocated $60,000
    • Plus reduced acquisition, training & maintenance costs
  • Afforded new databases
  • Ready answers for questions as they arise
    • MOREnet
    • Stat-USA
what we learned gained
What we learned/gained
  • Focus on best DBs for our users

= have what you want

  • Confidence in/knowledge of our DBs

= want what you have

  • Instruction Opportunities
    • Library staff were unsure/no opinion about 53% of our databases
        • Summer Learning Series
contact us
Contact Us
  • Mary Anne Erwinmaerwin@webster.edu(314) 246-7841
  • Emily Scharfemilyscharf99@webster.edu(314) 246-7818

library.webster.edu

questions
Questions?

Photo credit: Flickr user Oberazzi 12/9/06