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How libraries can streamline student access


Centurion, Pretoria, 19 May 2020
Read time 3min 50sec

Settling into new ways of working has created challenges for many of us and, while 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 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. 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 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 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 that 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, centralisation 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 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 that 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 that make the transition that much easier for libraries. For any queries or questions, feel free to contact our support staff.

Sabinet

With a sound performance history of over 35 years, Sabinet has firmly established itself as a leader in facilitating access to a wide spectrum of high-quality and credible information sources. Over the course of the last three decades, Sabinet has built a strong local and international reputation for providing Africa's information to the world and the world's information to Africa.

Sabinet's mission to support libraries' technical processes, promote resource sharing and enable access to information sources is underpinned by its commitment, partnerships, understanding and support.

Sabinet's roots are in library support services, where it is recognised for providing central platforms for collaboration and resource sharing among libraries.

With regard to all of the above: just because we’re working a little bit differently in light of the lockdown, doesn’t mean we’ve had to make any sacrifices to the services we provide. Our performance is still sound, we’re on-mission now and always, and our roots remain unchanged and, more importantly, sturdy.

Editorial contacts
Sabinet Jeanine Liebenberg jeanine@sabinet.co.za
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