CCM Beta Trial Introductory Events

We recently held events in Manchester and London for members of RLUK to introduce the CCM tools Beta interface and provide some context to those trialling the interface. These included real world case studies, as well as an opportunity for hands on experimentation.

The presentations generated wide ranging discussion about the national context for the CCM tools as well as potential applications. Ideas were flowing as delegates started working with the tools and thinking about how they might be applied within their own local context, with excitement about the opportunities beyond the obvious ones relating to making space on the shelves. This was also an opportunity for us to get initial feedback as delegates began to work with the facilities.

The main elements of the programme are given below; there are links to the presentations as well as background material; hands-on examples are now included on the CCM forum for RLUK members involved in the Beta trial.

The limited scope of current activity means the Beta trial is restricted to RLUK members only, but we will be looking at ways of broadening access as we gather feedback towards the end of the year.

CCM tools Beta Trial: Introductory Event Programme

The National Context

London: Dr. Mike Mertens, Deputy Executive Director and Data Services Manager, RLUK.
Manchester: Michael Emly, Head of Collection Services, University of Leeds Library.

This presentation provided the broader context within which the CCM tools are being used, looking at the changing national landscape as well as the changing role of RLUK.

CCM tools ‘The Bigger Picture’ Slides

Group discussion:

How local decisions can affect the wider national context for collection management. (See Leeds Case study extract).

Case Study 1: Sheffield University

Gary Ward, Head of Capacity Management, University of Sheffield Library.

Gary discussed the way the CCM Tools were used in an actual withdrawal of stock procedure at Sheffield during 2012. The CCM Tools were used to identify last copies amongst titles considered for withdrawal and to identify copies held in eight or more other libraries besides Sheffield, which were then considered candidates for withdrawal. This supported the withdrawal of over 1100 items, freeing significant shelf space, whilst taking into consideration the continued availability of materials for researchers. The presentation covers the background to the case study, the case study itself, the findings and finally some recent developments that have occurred since the case study.

University of Sheffield case study slides

Case Study 2: York University

Ruth Elder, Collection Space Management Co-ordinator, University of York Library.

Ruth addressed the way the CCM tools have been used to support “business as usual” practice at York in the context of creating a “Collection Profile.”  This pulls together a wide range of relevant information into one accessible location in a graphic manner, which can shared with those who it is most relevant to inform their decision making – such as subject librarians, senior library managers and academic departments. The presentation discusses the work flow involved. The Collection Profiles have received a positive reception at York and are now embedded as part of the 5 year Content strategy.  They are encouraging and facilitating discussions between the library and academic departments in regard to evaluating stock selection and use, contributing to more positive collaborative relationships.

University of York case study slides

A more detailed description of the Case Study is also available “Identifying titles for potential purchase using the Copac Collection Management tool

Copac Data: an introduction

Shirley Cousins, Copac Manager, Mimas, University of Manchester.

The way the Copac deduplication is carried out has some implications for the CCM search. This is summarised on the CCM forum for RLUK members. In addition, as a union catalogue Copac is dependent on updates from our contributing libraries, which in turn affects the currency of the picture you see within CCM. Update frequency varies from weekly or monthly for most large institutions, through to historic collections which are and largely unchanging so may only provide an annual refresh. You can check the currency of the data from any institution at:

http://copac.ac.uk/about/library-update/

This page also shows where a library has changed their library system and we are awaiting a reload, so the catalogue has not been updated as recently as would normally be the case.

Hands-on

The hands-on provided an opportunity to follow some structured exercises, plus time for unstructured experimentation. A hands-on worksheet is available to CCM users on the User forum.

Action Planning

There was an opportunity to prepare an Action Plan to take away. You can download a copy of the Action Plan Template for CCM tools.

 

CCM Beta trial: laying the groundwork

Since the CCM project restarted there has been a lot of background activity across a range of areas, addressing technical and user support issues.

Technical development

The alpha CCM tools UI developed iteratively and went through several incarnations, with variants running in parallel as they were in use by different project members. To take the alpha interface out to a wider audience we needed to move it to a new, stable, location with supporting Web pages. This work has now been completed ready for further testing.

As part of this process we undertook a review of the interface and introduced a number of changes:

  • A CCM microsite has been created;
  • The interface has been tested and changes made to improve stability and make maintenance easier;
  • We have introduced a login to control access to the interface. For ease of implementation in the beta trial the login uses the latest version of the RLUK database login mechanism, created for the new RLUK database currently under development;
  • A number of additions have been made to the facilities, some expanding on trial facilities, others in response to requests arising from testing carried out last year;
  • A review of the interface has been carried out by Mimas staff outwith the earlier stages of the project. This has resulted in a number of changes to wording and improved consistency of presentation.

The new CCM microsite has been developed from the existing Copac stylesheets. The need to introduce new web sites for related but separate purposes has highlighted the issue of site maintenance. Given limited resources site maintenance could easily become a burden which means sites become out of step, updates may be missed etc.

To minimise this problem we are establishing a set of stylesheets that allows us to maintain a Copac ‘family’ of web sites efficiently. Basic layout and functionality will be maintained across all versions of the site by changing a single sylesheet, whilst the superficial appearance of the site in terms of colours, logos etc. will be handled separately for each member of the family. This should allow us to create new web sites as required with relative ease and to maintain them effectively, avoiding duplication of effort and minimising the likelihood of the sites becoming out of step. Once this work is complete the CCM web site will be migrated across to the new stylesheets, though from a user perspective little will change.

Support and training

Something that became clear from our earlier work is that the use of the CCM tools would benefit from more support than we would normally provide for Copac. As an interface it is both less familiar and, in many ways, more complex that the Copac search interface, so we have been looking at various forms of support.

  • We have begun developing online case study exemplars. These will be made available on the web site offering users an opportunity to work through a case study to get an understanding of the workflow for a particular activity and the various tools available.
  • Context specific help pages have been created. These will support users directly, but they also provide content that can be re-used within the case studies, so we’re not duplicating effort. Tying the case studies to the help pages may also assist with familiarising users with the help that is available to them when they come to carry out their own collection management activity.
  • We are at the planning stage for an introductory user ‘training’ session. This will introduce potential users to the CCM Beta trail and provide an opportunity for people to familiarise themselves with the interface and the way the facilities can be used. We are also hoping to gain feedback on the support available and any gaps.

Community collaboration

The CCM tools are a way of supporting wider library collection management activity and decision making. Mimas can support use of the tools in terms of answering questions about the interface, but we are not best placed to look at the planning that goes in beforehand and how the data may be used afterwards. In the wider context it is the library community that has the expertise and we want to encourage users to share experience and provide support for one-another.

With this in mind, we have begun work creating an online user forum. We use WordPress for our blogs so we’re working with bbPress, which is a forum plugin for WordPress. This has been a bit of a learning curve for the programmer for whom this is all new, but it is looking promising and we will be testing it shortly.

At the start we feel it is important to ensure CCM users are getting support so we’re developing a forum engagement plan to try to encourage use of the forum and get it off the ground as the Beta trial begins. Over time we hope users will begin to work together through the forum, supporting each other. We will be logging forum activity and assessing how well this has developed as part of the overall beta trial assessment.