The last few weeks have been full of little stuff; small things that we (in the periodicals dept) are working on to improve access to periodicals.
GetTeXt, Find It, or Get It?
Librarians named our SFX button/linking service “GetTeXt” quite awhile ago. The sad truth is, however (and anyone running a link resolver will understand this), that many times no full text is actually available. Many times interlibrary loan requests must be made. Or perhaps trips down a flight of stairs to the bound periodicals stacks. Inconveniences for sure. So, due consideration is being made to the possibility of changing the name of this service to “Find It” or “Get It” or maybe “Get It Occasionally”.
Marketing Journal Subscriptions
Twenty years ago Murphy Library subscribed to around 1600 journals and all were available only in print. As we prepare for another round of subscription renewals and possible cancellations, I noted today that we now subscribe to under 800 individual journals subscriptions. Our large package deals with Elsevier and Sage add thousands more titles, but the tide has definitely turned. Because all the full text content from aggregator databases (like Academic Search Premier) can sometimes obfuscate our individual subscriptions, I decided we should somehow highlight these or our users would never think to select one from a crowded GetTeXt menu. So, by adding a little extra text and an icon, our individual subscriptions now are listed first in our GetTeXt menu and will hopefully grab some much-deserved attention.
Locating Print/Microform Titles
Another annoyance fixed was better labeling for our print/microform periodicals locations in GetTeXt. For example, simply labeling the location as “bound periodicals” does little to actually inform users where they need to go to locate the item. Our resolution was to add a small graphic that links into a new window showing a floor plan. Another very small fix that we hope will make locating our titles much easier.
I just ran into a great tutorial on how to use Zotero from Jacob Glenn over at the University of Michigan. I’ve had Zotero loaded for months, but haven’t gotten very far with it until I cruised through this tutorial. Thanks Jacob! I was really impressed with Zotero’s citation quality and I plan to teach students about Zotero next fall. If you haven’t downloaded Zotero yet, now is a great time to check out this fabulous citation manager. Oh, and it’s free!