You Can’t Spell Absence without Ab

My spouse and I have a running joke concerning all the words you can’t spell without ab: abnormal, fabulous, flab, absent… you get the idea. I certainly didn’t intend to go the better part of a year without posting, that’s for sure. Sorry for leaving you all with a cliffhanger. It turns out that ERM implementations combined with Other Stuff Going On hasn’t produced prolific blogging, and now that I’m working on some other things in my day job, I’m going make a few more general comments than originally planned.

1. Know why you are getting an ERM. It’s not the solution to all your e-resource problems; you need to be clear going in on what led someone to plunk down the big bucks.

2. Understand whether software really addresses your reason(s) for getting an ERM. If you have communication problems among library staff, for example, an ERM could help by exposing information to more people. But if the communication problem is that your license negotiator hoards signed agreements and doesn’t share the terms, the ERM probably won’t solve that.

3. Don’t confuse ERM with the need to re-evaluate, streamline, and change staffing and workflows so you can work effectively with electronic resources.  It seems not uncommon to look at staff processes along with an ERM implementation, and I think that’s fine – as long as enough background work has been done to understand the probable causes for getting an ERM, regardless of whatever reorganization may take place.

4. Remember why ERM systems were invented in the first place. We’ve all struggled to capture data that can’t be easily stored in the ILS.  Sure times change, and there may be added benefits in an ERM that weren’t thought of a few years ago, but when you’re planning for ERM I think it’s worth reminding yourself of this often. Start with your core functionality and top priorities and work from there.

That’s all for today, kids.  If you’re reading this, thanks for hanging in with me for the past year!