How Libraries Can Streamline Student Access

CENTURION Pretoria, South Africa, 19 May 2020 Settling into new ways of working has created challenges for many of us and, whilst we have for the large part been able to adapt ourselves, it has required some creative thinking in places. Sabinet understands the difficulties our libraries and library managers have undergone since the initial lockdown was implemented. With public spaces still barred from being public, providing access to library resources feels near-impossible.

Ultimately, end-users still require this access. Students and researchers have tried their best to not have their studies grind to a halt during this time. Those working on projects, assignments, theses, and other demanding tasks require access to the resources necessary to complete these and, if their libraries are not able to assist, they are left rather adrift.

Libraries making use of WorldCat® Discovery, a powerful cloud-based application, are able to offer students and researchers the ability to not only see all available resources in their library but also all electronic resources they have access to as well. With robust search functionality and the ability to filter results thoroughly, finding what they are researching is made much easier. And that single search can gather results from across the globe because WorldCat Discovery connects libraries across the world.

Sourcing information on both a local and global level is fast, reliable and, most importantly, user-friendly. Further, libraries can even integrate Open Access content into their library’s catalogue, creating a one-stop-shop solution for their end-users. Rather than requiring students to search multiple sources, WorldCat Discovery offers a single interface where all their research sources can be accessed.

Working remotely means that off-campus authentication and access is imperative. With authentication being handled by EZproxy, downloading content becomes a natural part of this process and gives students easy offline access to electronic resources. As far as security is concerned, it is worth noting that EZproxy is trusted by thousands of libraries around the world and was engineered around the ideas of maintaining user privacy as well as resource-copyright integrity.

As libraries, the end goal is, ultimately, to create an easily navigable route for end-users to search, find and get access to the resources they need whenever they need them and wherever they are. WorldCat Discovery and EZproxy form part of an even more extensive range of tools that enable libraries to maximise their impact. With access to all the modules of WorldShare® Management Services, libraries can experience significant cost-savings, workflow improvement and end-user value-adds. Library management can reap the rewards too.

Even before lockdown, the need for a little more time in the day existed. With the implementation of software solutions which can save costs and streamline workflows, librarians can have more time available to assist staff, researchers, students or faculty members who might have more pressing needs. Further, through workflow improvement, centralization of resource-sharing tasks and the general speeding-up of request fulfilment, the gap between a student requesting a resource and actually accessing that resource shrinks drastically.
  
In these challenging times, the ability to watch trends as they develop and being able to track them means libraries need to put themselves in a position where prediction and ‘planning for the future’ become that much easier. The is made possible by the sophisticated reporting and analytics modules of the WorldShare Platform.

For libraries looking to extend their use of the WorldShare Management services platform, we realise that there is stress related to change, implementation and having to become familiar with new systems.

At Sabinet, we do understand this and so we have done our best to alleviate these stressors by offering: 

  • Free training on how best to use our software,
  • local support without the worry of international time differences,
  • the safety and reliability of cloud-based operations and backup, and
  • a simple software which requires minimal IT skills or even a systems librarian for implementation.

At Sabinet, we are well aware of how mountainous an undertaking this might seem and, as such, we aim to offer ways of implementing our management solutions which make the transition that much easier for libraries. For any queries or questions, feel free to contact our support staff.

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