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Access Lab 2020 - programme


Simplifying the future together

19 March 2020

Online event

Opening keynote: The Future of Library and Information Services

– Nick Poole, CEO, CILIP

The future is coming at us fast. Population growth, the Internet of Things and the needs of an increasingly connected society are already placing greater demands on the library and information profession than ever before. The only way to meet the challenge of increased scale and complexity is by working smarter, not harder. In this opening keynote address, CILIP CEO Nick Poole will explore how librarians and information professionals can upskill to meet the demands of our future audiences – whether by creating great customer experiences, harnessing the power of AI, machine learning and automation or helping our users successfully navigate an information-rich world.

Plenary 1: From raw content assets to personalised, digital products – how to modernise your knowledge for the digital age

– Sam Herbert, co-founder, 67Bricks 

The rise of data and artificial intelligence (AI) has helped create a brave new world that serves a new generation of customers. The smartphone cohort, who use Google, Amazon, Instagram and Uber on a regular basis, have a new set of requirements from their information suppliers. They expect tailored, digital solutions and personalised insights as standard. If they don’t get it they will go elsewhere. Providers are having to re-examine their whole operation as a result, and need to harness new technologies such as AI to help them evolve from being traditional content providers to data-driven product companies. Standing still is not an option. In this presentation, 67 Bricks’ Sam Herbert will examine how organisations can enrich their data and apply modern content processing techniques to deliver what customers need. We will look at pioneers in aerospace and healthcare who have acted early to future-proof their companies and lock in business, and we will examine the threats and opportunities for those in more traditional, risk averse industries. Data is at the heart of everything. Increasing data maturity will fuel innovation and power the transformed products and services that customers demand going forward. As part of this presentation, 67 Bricks will also introduce the Product Development Data Maturity model – a step by step guide that helps publishers and information companies plot a course from where there data is now and where they need to get to to deliver the information products of the future.

Panel debate: Privacy vs Personalisation

– Jon Bentley, commercial director, OpenAthens (panel chair)
– Sebastian Kohlmeier, senior manager of program management and business operations, Allen Institute for AI and Semantic Scholar
– Peter Reid, digital services librarian, Bath Spa University
– Ganesh Gupta, student partner, Jisc

We all want best for our library users. Our challenge is trying to deliver personalised services that meet users’ needs whilst preserving privacy and keeping personal data safe.
We’ve seen the impact of GDPR legislation on countries outside the geographic boundaries of the European Union. Proposals for a new EU e-privacy regulation complement aspects of GDPR that touch on electronic communications and have a particular focus on user consent.

If implemented well, federated single sign-on has the potential to help organisations comply with these regulations whilst also offering library users the personalised services and privacy they desire. But what steps do we need to take as a community to make sure we’re doing the best for our library users?

Our panel session will discuss some of the issues around privacy and personalisation and share ideas on how we can improve our service offer to researchers and students, wherever they are in the world.

a) Digital library insights

Context aware unified library services: An open architecture for digital libraries to offer a seamless user journey to content.

– Alvet Miranda, Senior manager of South/West Asia, Oceania and Africa, EBSCO

A digital library consists of many systems such as website, discovery, federated access, knowledgebase, link resolver and others. This often leads to a fragmented user experience as users journey through these systems to the source of content.

This presentation introduces an open architecture that applies systems thinking to view the various library systems as sub-systems that can be further aligned to realise the purpose of the main system a.k.a. the library.

Using design thinking the architecture recommends how essential sub-systems can be configured to offer a seamless user journey to content. It goes on to highlight certain capabilities of these sub-systems that when combined can make a digital library context aware and meet the precise information needs of its diverse users.

What OpenAthens can do for you: creative applications for the academic library

– Scott Anderson & Krista Higham, Millersville University

OpenAthens offers end users a personalized single sign-on experience and administrators a streamlined setup of logins into their electronic resources and services. It can also take authentication a step further, supplying ease of access and usage reporting opportunities for library tools outside of the norm, including ILL services and beyond. Millersville University has worked in partnership with EBSCO and OpenAthens to support usage reporting for consortial dual-institution programs, access to the university ILS (ExLibris Alma), automated authentication to and submission of ILL requests through APIs (ILLiad), librarian access to LibGuides, and granular, customized usage statistics. Looking ahead, the library team continues to find areas where creative OpenAthens deployment can create efficiencies for their library (including linking functionality based on user identity and student access to niche resources on a semester/course basis) and institution at large.

b) OpenAthens - looking to the future

Single sign-on and identity: integrated technology for an integrated future

– Jon Bentley, commercial director, OpenAthens

Our digital identity has become a key unifier across digital library platforms. Single sign-on is a standout benefit from a common ID but the technology that ties together the user experience can be complex and have unexpected consequences. This session will discuss:

  • What is a digital identity? Who owns and validates this identity in the library context?
  • Does it contribute to a lifetime of learning?
  • How a user-centered approach to digital resources can be enabled by single sign-on and enable the digital platforms to work together. An approach that empowers engagement and protects privacy.

OpenAthens service desk charter

– Joe Bromley & Iain Allchurch, support analysts, OpenAthens

Let us take you through the OpenAthens service desk customer charter and what it means to our support team, but more importantly what it means for our customers. The support team at OpenAthens strive to deliver the best possible experience for our customers, and we are proud of the strong relationships we have built – and continue to build. Our customer charter gives us a way of letting customers know what to expect when they need help with our products and services, and an opportunity to give us feedback.

OpenAthens roadmap and future plans

– Jake Smallridge, product manager, OpenAthens

Jake will talk through the key themes and problem areas we will tackle over the next 12 months to continue making OpenAthens the best it can be. A quick deep dive will give you look at some of the things we are most excited about. Rounding up, Jake will outline our new approach to implementing our product roadmap, how we align priorities alongside our product vision and how this will impact our roadmap in the future.

d) Library case studies

When WAM went bam: OpenAthens and Alma implementation

– Karen Abel, Subscriptions and E-Resources Coordinator, University of Leeds

In 2019, Leeds University Library migrated LMS from Sierra to Alma. In hand with this came a change of e-resources authentication from Web Access Management (WAM, supplied by Innovative with Sierra) to OpenAthens. This is a story of two halves: first focussing on the complications of migrating both LMS and authentication systems simultaneously and how the differences in authentication management between Sierra and Alma were discovered and solutions introduced. The second focusses on the set-up of OpenAthens with each individual publisher, giving an overview of the substantial correspondence between us, the publishers and OpenAthens and homing in on some detailed examples of the types of issues that came up and how these were resolved. The perspective is that of someone new to OpenAthens embarking on a lead role in the establishment of OpenAthens authentication for the Library’s e-books. Through this project she now has familiarity with the steps that need to be taken and the issues that may arise. This case study may be useful for those in a similar position who are looking to gain an understanding of the practicalities of establishing OpenAthens with e-resource providers and / or who are moving LMS whilst also adopting OpenAthens.

Easier Access to Content from Anywhere

– Johan Tilstra, Lean Library, and Andrew Cheney, Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust

Research happens everywhere. Having a diverse collection of content available for users is important. But, if the users can’t easily find or access that content, it can lose its value. Andrew Cheney and Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust recognised that issues his users were facing when trying to access content, specifically off-site. They utilise OpenAthens to help authenticate users, but users don’t always recognize the path to finding that authentication.

In this session, Johan Tilstra, founder and CEO of Lean Library, and Andrew Cheney will discuss how Lean Library, which integrates with OpenAthens, and Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust have partnered together to help simplify access to content for users. They will discuss the issues Mersey Care’s users were facing, what lead him to turn to Lean Library, and what the results have been since implementation and how users have benefitted.

Chalmers University of Technology case study (title TBC)

– Richard Burkitt, director of SaaS innovation, EBSCO

This session will include a case study on Chalmers University of Technology’s FOLIO launch which included an OpenAthens integration. At the outset the project aimed to increase ease of access and support logins for various user groups, including community walk-in users. Integrating a SAML-based, library-centric tool like OpenAthens helped answer questions about how to increase visibility of resource usage, provide actionable statistics, and empower the library to meet security, privacy, and UX recommendations in the digital library environment.

Gwendolyn Brook Library's switch from EzProxy to OpenAthens: How and why one small urban university’s library elected to make the change and what it learned

– Joanna Kolendo, e-resources & reference librarian, Chicago State University, US

After the webmaster, who was responsible for maintaining the EZproxy server, left Chicago State University’s Gwendolyn Brooks Library, the eresources librarian began to investigate alternative authentication systems that could be maintained outside the institution. This presentation will chronicle the reasoning behind the change to OpenAthenslack of staffing and need for deeper analytics/statistics.  It will also discuss the implementation process and introduce future plans. 

e) Publisher insights

Librarians are users too

– Eileen Jamieson, serials and information librarian, Geological Society

Discussions about the user experience generally focus mainly upon the ‘Reader’, but the Librarian is a user too. While there is some overlap in how ‘Readers’ and Librarians use publishers’ platforms, there are differences between them. This session aims to describe the user experience of a Librarian. It will detail some of the problems and frustrations caused by, for example, authentication, ‘hidden’ or absent information, obscure terminology, platform changes, and getting assistance when there is a problem. I will make a few suggestions for improvements and invite the audience to add to them.

“Tips and pitfalls” – When BMJ Best Practice moved to OpenAthens Keystone

– Elin Svensson Goodwin, product manager, BMJ

To tell the story of when BMJ Best Practice had to upgrade very quickly to OpenAthens Keystone, using the RA21 guidelines. It is a story of highs and lows and some valuable lessons learnt. We will answer and discuss the questions: Why did we do it?, What happened?, What could we have done better, and what should be our next steps?

f) Privacy, personalisation and the user journey

Helping users get on the right path even if they start off on the wrong foot

– Scott Ahlberg, COO, Reprints Desk

As publishers, librarians, and vendors, we all know what we want users to do when they’re looking for content. But experience indicates they’re going to do whatever they want. If a user starts at Google, maybe they’ll find their library’s subscription to that journal article they seek, or maybe they won’t. Studies show the success of such journeys depend in part on user behavior and in part on the metadata and access infrastructures in place. We often compete with fast-and-free services that come up readily in web searches, but don’t always produce legitimate resources. This session will start with a review of past attempts to address discovery and delivery problems, and then shares a case study of a publisher and two vendors working together on a new solution. Can we simplify the future together by guiding users toward the path that will lead to an authorized source of the content they need, even if they started off on the wrong foot?

Change of identity, loss of personalisation? The challenges and opportunities of personalisation in access management

– Peter Reid, digital services librarian, Bath Spa University

A balance needs to be struck between usability and privacy, and professional librarians have historically had a commercially-disinterested stake in both. The tension is acute in identity management when brokering access to platforms requiring personal accounts.

This talk argues that librarians should be a leading and robust participant in identity and access management. It also reports on the migration of services and software to a new single sign-on solution at Bath Spa University between 2017 and 2019.

Is there a way that the clear user benefits of personalisation can be sustained given the technical and ethical challenge it presents?

Saying 'no' to publishers personal data gathering – our experiences

– Sally Hoadley, Jerome Farrell, Hannah Wise, University of Surrey

In today’s academic environment, there is a growing conflict between GDPR requirements and providers’ increased pressure on releasing our users’ personal information. This session details our own experiences of challenging these requests using examples of three suppliers, and the outcomes we managed to achieve. Working heavily with OpenAthens who aided with the technical elements for a successful resolution. It will encourage discussion amongst participants about their own experiences and how we as a community can resist these requests, especially in the constantly changing political landscape.