Archive for the 'About' Category

Breaking Radio Blog Silence

I know that many current and potential ERMes users have been wondering what in the world is happening with ERMes and when the next release of ERMes would come. I also know that the lack of concrete information has likely been perplexing and discouraging. Please take heart and know that as an open source electronic resource management system, ERMes is still evolving just as the user community keeps growing!

Here is an overdue update:

  • We’re working with a development partner that would help facilitate multi-user access. We saw a demo of his work last May and believe that it has the potential to be a non-MS Access, optional ERMes add-on that would  fill the need of read-only access to ERMes data. This work will continue  through the fall.
  • Though we have four top priorities for the next release, the one that I am asked most about is serials management at the title level. However, as Bill and I begin to ponder the implications and discuss options, we realized that, because managing e-journals was not part of my e-resource management work, we would be delving into unknown territory. Thus, we became concerned that the options we were considering were inappropriate, and the last thing we want to do with ERMes is create a tool based on guesses that – like many other ERMS – doesn’t meet users’ needs. So, in the coming weeks, I will be posting a short survey, and seek feedback from ERMes users that *do* have e-journal management expertise  to determine exactly what serial management at the title level should be in ERMes.
  • In August, I began a new position at the University of Connecticut’s Homer Babbige Library and Jen Holman took over my e-resource responsibilities at UW-L. Because of the transition, and the above challenges, William  and I decided that, it would be best to pause development until we were more comfortable and certain that the new developments met our expectations and would be what users want. Though such changes mean development delay, I am thrilled that these changes mean that I will be managing e-resources in a new environment where I can explore whether ERMes might or might not work at a much larger institution. Additionally,  Jen’s experience with access and serials management have already lead to some beautiful tweaks and new reports in ERMes!

Soon, I will be posting a link seeking feedback about serials management and new how-too information, but in the meantime, apologies for the blog silence!

Back from New Orleans

On June 26, William and I had the pleasure of presenting at this year’s annual American Library Association conference with Benjamin Heet and Robin Malott from the University of Notre Dame.  We had a good audience and for me, it was fantastic to hear more about CORAL, and to be able to see the unique characteristics of CORAL and ERMes as open source ERMS.

As we noted in the program, CORAL is often described as well-suited for large institutions. The CORAL feature for e-resource workflow tracking that e-mails alerts and the module for managing licenses were two of many highlights for me. ERMes on the other hand, is primarily used by small to medium-sized organizations. Right now our instance of ERMes has 384 resource records and ERMes’ reports are a feature that I rely on heavily for quickly determining cost-per-use, cost increases, renewal time periods, and lists of resources by subject and source.

Presentation materials are available via SlideShare:

Open Source Electronic Resource Management Systems: CORAL and ERMes

Speakers’ Notes

PowerPoint Slides

Program Description: To tame the complex and ever-changing electronic resource management landscape, electronic resource management systems need to be flexible, evolving and affordable. Two such systems are ERMes and CORAL, developed by libraries for libraries and made freely available. ERMes runs in Microsoft Access and is suitable for small and medium libraries. Released in summer 2010, CORAL, is a modular, web-based system. Presenters will discuss the development, use and future plans for each system.

ERMes Webinars

William and I have arranged for our staff library services organization (Wisconsin Library Services, WiLS) to host two free ERMes info/training sessions.  Below are descriptions of each session and a link to register, but if you have any questions please let us know ( or  We are particularly interested in the September 16th sessions as this will help us with future ERMes development.

WiLS is hosting two session on ERMes, the Open Source Electronic Resource Management System developed by William Doering of UW-La Crosse to help Galadriel Chilton help manage their campuses Electronic Resources.   The first session on September 10 is primarily intended for people who are interested in, but not currently using ERMes.  The second session on September 16 is an update for current users.

September 10, 2010; 2:00-3:30 CDT
Introduction to ERMes
(Open Source Electronic Resource Management System)
In spring 2008, William Doering created a basic ERM system (see flyer) to help Galadriel Chilton manage the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse’s Electronic Resources. Now in its third release, ERMes is used by nearly 43 libraries world-wide. In this informational session, Bill and Galadriel will share the history and goals of ERMes, discuss what ERMes can and cannot do, and answer participant questions about this freely available e-resource management tool. Register for free session.

September 16, 2010; 2:00-3:30 CDT
The New ERMes

With the primary release of ERMes 2010.05 available, William Doering and Galadriel Chilton wish to provide ERMes users with an update of their ideas for this open source ERMS. Because their goal is to drive enhancements from user needs, this session will consist of a brief overview of future plans as well as significant time for discussion and questions. Please feel free to submit questions and discussion topics prior to the event ( or Register for free session.

New Release Update

The snow is long gone and we are very, very close to releasing a new version of ERMes! We’re working to resolve a known bug, update the license, and finish a few interface tweaks. While the new version will include release notes, revised documentation will probably come a bit later. Thanks for your patience, and apologies for the delay!

A Place for ERMes Users

If you use or are interested in ERMes and would like to converse with other users, there is a Google Group just for you!

This group is a forum for user-to-user interaction be it theoretical discussions about e-resource management or practical questions about data entry in ERMes.

ERMes Receives Coutts Award for Innovation in Electronic Resources Management

William and I are extremely honored and excited to share the news that ERMes has received the 2010 Coutts Award for Innovation in Electronic Resource Management!

Determined by the Collection Management and Development Section (CMDS) of the Association for Library Collections & Technical Services (ALCTS), this award “recognizes significant and innovative contributions to electronic collections management and development practice.”  Here’s the official press release.

We will invest the award funds right back into ERMes with me continuing to improve user documentation and the interface while William plans to seek the programming expertise/knowledge necessary to enhance functionality.

Though I believe passionately in librarians’ ability to change the world of e-resource management, ERMes would never have grown to be a little ERM that could without librarians’ willingness to use it, enhance it, and tell us your ERM dreams.

So thank you ERMes users, we are so grateful for all 35 of you!

Instructions> ERMes v. 2009.05

Basic instructions for ERMes v. 2009.05 are now available on the ERMes website. As with most documents, I could keep writing for a long time; however, I also think that it is in the best interest of ERMes users for me to post what we have and consider the instructions – like ERMes – a work in progress.

I plan to continue adding text, illustrations, and short video demos as I am able. I know that Norma is also working to include a video demonstration to support her instructions for creating COUNTER reports in ERMes.

Please feel free to…

  • Let me know what additional documentation you want/need; so, that I can prioritize by demand.
  • Download the MS Word version of the instructions, add to or edit them, and then send your revisions to me so that I can incorporate them into the ‘master’ version.


Thanks from Minnesota

I’d like to thank William, Galadriel, Norma, and Jen, for sharing their wonderful work with the larger library community. I’m the e-resources librarian at Gustavus Adolphus College, and we’ve been looking for an affordable ERM solution and were very excited to read about this ERM in William and Galadriel’s Computers in Libraries article in September 2008. We downloaded the ERM earlier this spring and have begun entering (and using) vendor data and admin website access data. I’ve had wonderful e-mail discussions with Galadriel about the joys and challenges of e-resources management, and about the structure of ERMes (thanks for adding our suggestion of allowing multiple subjects/departments for a resource!). I look forward to continuing these discussions on the blog. We decided to wait for this new version and instructions before adding more data, and look forward to entering all of our databases and using the newly-improved ERMes to its full potential!

Anna Hulseberg

Welcome from Bill Doering

As the co-originator of ERMes, I wanted to introduce myself to the blog.  I have worked at UW-La Crosse for about 15 years.  I started as a systems librarians which has morphed to include cataloging, all forms of technology and digital initiatives.  I started with Access about 10 years ago when we migrated to Endeavor as our library catalog.  I write Access queries on what seems a daily basis in order to get data out of our system.  I have also used Access to solve other challenges I’ve encountered at my job and personal life.  Yet, I’ve barely tapped the surface of what Access can do.  Several years ago, I put a student on porting some of our most used Access reports to PHP.  That was a huge success.  PHP means that we don’t have to install ODBC drivers, which means that faculty and students can run queries against our library catalog in real time without bothering me.  Yet, I digress.  My taining on Access is somewhat dated now that 2007 has come out.  Does anyone know of good classes to learn what’s new, without starting from ground zero? 

UW-L started developing an ERM because we needed a short term solution to a problem – several people needed access to our e-resources and everything was scattered.  I put together something fairly quickly to solve the problem and thought others might benefit from a database which provided some basic organization.  It’s taken off quickly and code has been greatly inproved during ERMes first year of existence.  I’ve given no less than 3 presentations and written one journal article on what is now ERMes and after one year 14 libraries are using it ERMes in production with numerous other institutions waiting for what is now release 2009_05.

I will be updating the instructions and then taking a new round of enhancements.  I haven’t decided what those will be.  So, if you have ideas, please post those to the blog.

William Doering

New Release > ERMes v. 2009.05

I’m very excited to share the good news that the latest release of ERMes (v. 2009.05) is now available!

Here is what William Doering has to say about this new and greatly improved version:

I apologize for not getting out a new release of ERMes (yes we now have a name) earlier.  But you won’t be disappointed.  This release is a total rewrite of the ERM which includes improved logic, a new interface, and includes new functionality available in Access 2007 (yes, you now have to use Access 2007 to use ERMes).

This release also includes COUNTER functionality and additional ASP code and instructions for creating an A-Z list of databases just in case your Metalib or Libdata instance goes down which it did for us.

This release would not have been possible without the assistance of Norma Dowell from Iowa State University and Jen Holman from UW-L who provided substantial code.  I guess this makes ERMes open source.  If you want to contribute code, please let me know before you start, as we need to coordinate sole access to the Access database code so multiple people aren’t changes things which would need to get reconciled and may in fact conflict.

I will get new instructions to ERMes web site shortly.

Check out the ERMes web site for the new download and migration tips.

ERMes Website

Download the latest version of ERMes, get instructions, etc.

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

ERMes Users

Alverno College Library

Baker College

Beloit College

Bethel University

Birmingham City University

Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health

Capella University

Cardinal Stritch University

Carleton College

Carroll University

Deerfield Academy

Drake University

Florida Institute of Technology

Georgia Perimeter College

Gustavus Adolphus College

Harrisburg Area Community College

Illinois Wesleyan University

Indian Institute of Management Bangalore

Iowa State University

Irish Research eLibrary

Lincoln University (Lincoln, New Zealand)

Loyola University Health Science Library

Manhattanville College

Monterey Peninsula College

National Science Foundation

Nicolet Area Technical College

Northern Michigan University

Northwestern College

Oakton Community College

Presbyterian College

Ripon College

Rivier College

St. Norbert College

Southwestern College

Springfield College

SUNY-Rockland Community College

Technical University of Denmark

University of Alabama in Huntsville

University of Idaho

University of the Pacific - Stockton

University of Wisconsin-Colleges

University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire

University of Wisconsin-Green Bay

University of Wisconsin-La Crosse

University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh

University of Wisconsin-Platteville

University of Wisconsin-River Falls

Viterbo University

Walden University

Wisconsin Department of Employee Trust Funds

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

May 2021