Trials & Tribulations

Since October 2004, we’ve run 47 e-resource trials at UW-L, and I’m usually rather conservative when it comes to setting up trials because of the time it takes to set up and promote them and because it has been an active trial if I receive feedback from *one* person outside the library. When setting up trials, I hope to hear from faculty and students if they would like/use the resource, but what I often hear is a wonderful symphony of very quiet crickets. Additionally, our budget cannot handle additional resources and it seems cruel to play “now you have it, now you don’t” with e-resources.

However, I wonder how to manage the trials that we do set-up. I use a blog to distribute and record trial information; each post is tagged “trial” for easy retrieval. I also have an e-mail folder cleverly called “Trials” to keep track of vendor contact information and correspondence for said trials. Now that we have ERMes, I am pondering the implications of inputting trial information.

This may seem like a very trivial question, but while having trial data in ERMes would be useful, it would mean the slow accumulation data in ERMes that I am going to refer to for a brief period. While I could add and remove the data, I also need a record of past trials for infrequent but necessary reference.

As Anna noted, noted, she and I have had some great e-mail correspondence about these questions that infiltrate and complicate our efforts to manage e-resources effectively.

Right now, when I add a database to ERMes I put “Active,” “Canceled” or “Ceased to Exist” as the status. However, “Trial” would work here too.

How do you manage trials information?

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2 Responses to “Trials & Tribulations”


  1. 1 jsh June 5, 2009 at 7:13 pm

    I think ERMes should be the place for trial information. When someone requests a trial, it would be easy to look it up and quickly view notes about when the trial ran and whether there was any feedback from the community. Also, since some of these trials are seemingly requested every year, it would save some time to have basic data saved in one convenient place.

  2. 2 Kirsten June 8, 2009 at 5:20 pm

    I like the idea of having trial information in ERMes, especially with fields for info like who requested it, comments, and quoted costs. To me, part of the point of an ERM is to contain all these little bit of info, even if they’re not used often. It’s good to know all the info is in a particular place rather than hunting it down.


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ERMes Website

Download the latest version of ERMes, get instructions, etc. http://murphylibrary.uwlax.edu/erm/

Author Affiliations

Galadriel Chilton, Electronic Resources Management Librarian, University of Connecticut

William Doering, Systems, Catalog & Digital Initiatives Librarian, University of Wisconsin - La Crosse

Norma J. Dowell, Library Assistant IV, Iowa State University

Jen Holman, Periodicals & Acquisitions Librarian, University of Wisconsin - La Crosse

Anna Hulseberg, Academic Librarian, Gustavus Adolphus College

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ERMes Articles & Presentations

Presentation: The ERMes Story: A Work in Progress (Galadriel Chilton) part of Open to Change: Open Source and Next Generation ILS and ERMS
ALA Annual, Washington, DC, June 2010

Presentation: The ERMes Story: A Work in Progress (Galadriel Chilton)
Minnesota Innovative Users Group Conference, October 2009

Article: ERMes: Open Source Simplicity for Your E-Resource Management By William Doering and Galadriel Chilton
Computers in Libraries 29(8), September 2009

Presentation: Keeping It All Together: One Library's Strategy for Electronic Resource Management (William Doering)
WAAL, April 2009

Presentation: Getting a Handle on E-Resource Management: An ERM Panel (Galadriel Chilton)
Library Technology Conference 2009, March 2009

Article: A Locally Created ERM: How and Why We Did It By William Doering and Galadriel Chilton
Computers in Libraries 28(8), September 2008

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