Case study: Joining forces - Using library technologies to provide seamless access
[Matt Olive] Hello, everyone. I'm delighted to introduce Mark Sinclair, who's Head of Development at Lean Library, and Linda Van Keuren, who's Assistant Dean for Resources and Access Management at Georgetown University Medical Centre. The title of this session is, it's a case study session, it's "Joining forces: Using library technologies to provide seamless access". Mark's going to draw from the 2021 "Librarian Futures" white paper, which charts librarian patron behaviours, and highlight Lean Library's ongoing partnership with OpenAthens.
And Linda's going to explore her library's decision to adopt OpenAthens' single sign-on and Lean Library. So Linda will provide insights into how these systems work together to benefit researchers and medical staff's seamless access to content. And Linda will also explain the overall benefits to librarians and how library resources are being used. So without further ado, I will hand over to Mark to kick off the session.
[Mark Sinclair] Thank you so much, Matt. Appreciate it. Happy Monday, everyone, no matter where you're located. I hope you're having a great start to the week. And we're both very excited to share some information with you today.
Again, I'm Mark Sinclair, Head of Development for North America at Lean Library, and Linda Van Keuren at Georgetown Medical Centre. So with that, let's move along. And I wanted to share just a short agenda. We've kept it short on purpose today because we mainly want to showcase what has been taking place at Georgetown University Medical Centre. So I'm very excited that Linda was able to join us to share her experience.
Before she does that, we thought it made a little bit of sense for me to kind of set up the scene with Lean Library, to give you a little background on what the heck is this Lean Library thing. And we feel like that will give you a better understanding once Linda showcases her case study. And then we hope to have a little Q&A at the end.
So Lean Library has been around for quite some time now, but something took place last year that I thought I should explain in case you run across it. We are now part of Technology from SAGE. And we came out with Technology from SAGE last fall.
And what Technology from SAGE is really centred around, it's kind of like an umbrella within SAGE for their technology tools. And so of course, Lean Library is part of Technology from SAGE, but we also have Talis and Sciwheel. And this kind of gives you a little breakdown of the three pieces of Technology from SAGE. And it's really about the student workflow, which we like to think of as their preferred workflow.
And we wanted to provide tools that help students along their path. And so I'm not going to spend a lot of time here on Lean Library since I'm going to get a little deeper on that in just a second. But basically, it's a browser extension that brings your users to your content in your library, no matter where they're starting from. The goal of Lean Library is to increase usage of your content and to help you with the ROI of all that content and to make it seamless. We also have, you'll notice up here on the upper left, Sciwheel. Sciwheel is a reference manager.
And it basically allows users to find, collaborate remotely, and create. We're very excited about adding Sciwheel to our family. And then we also have Talis Aspire and Talis Elevate, which have been around for quite some time. And Talis Aspire is a resource and reading list management tool. It supports the student, faculty, and the library. And then you'll notice Talis Elevate in the bottom right is a collaborative annotation tool to help with guided engagement.
And it's a platform that brings discussion into the course content. And it ties into your LMS. And really, our aim here is to connect these tool so that we can share insights and features across the student's preferred workflow. Now, jumping into Lean Library, and I think this, as I mentioned, is important for us to share before Linda jumps in and shows how well the OpenAthens and Lean Library experience has been for her and her institution. So as I mentioned, Lean Library is basically a browser extension. And our goal is to help those students that maybe start, whether we like it or not, they're going to start at Google often.
They might start at Google Scholar. We wish they would just directly come to the library and use your resources. But the reality is they fall back on Google. With the Lean Library browser extension, I'm going to focus on some of our core functionalities here on this page. And if you start in the upper left, you'll see that the first thing we can do is provide them access to your eBook.
So even if they start on Google, we call it the wide open web, we're going to pop up. It's hard to see here, but we pop up in a little window and we let them know that the library has an eBook. So instead of them maybe buying or purchasing, renting a book that the library owns, we're going to guide them and bring them into it. The next thing we can do is, we can take them to content within the library's maybe databases, other places. So if they do a search, we're going to use your knowledge base.
And you'll see here where it says "Streamlined access to aggregator-sourced content." So if they search for an article and they find it on Google, we will pop up and guide them by using your library's link resolver and take them right to that content and open it. In the bottom left, if we haven't found it within the library's collection, we can lead them to open access. And so we currently lead them to over 33 million open access articles that are legal, proper open access.
We can go on from there. And if we haven't found what they're looking for, we can provide a link to the library's interlibrary loan or document delivery service, which again, is a great place to take them to hopefully some better content than they're finding on the web. And then lastly, in the far right, this is something we call our assist messaging. So you have the ability to set up a customized message to your end users, anywhere they are, to lead them and guide them with anything you want to tell them. In this instance, this New York Times may require some more credentials because they're off-campus. So you could put a little pop-up that says, hey, the library has the New York Times, but you'll need a username and password to an off-campus.
Click here to obtain that information. So these are the core functionalities of Lean Library. We also have Lean Library Futures now, which is a very robust and premium tool, which goes even a step further. We can now pull content from the library and push it out to your user, whether it's our integration with Springshare to bring LibGuides and LibChat out to the user, or the fact that we can do a parallel search along your discovery tool. At the same time we're searching, the user is searching on Google and we can provide your discovery list right next to the Google result list, which helps them get into your library and use your tool, your content. So we're very excited about the possibilities of Lean Library and what it can provide.
The one piece I didn't mention here is how we started all off by authentication, which is really why we're here today. So I'm going to leave that to Linda here in a second, but she is going to showcase how, when somebody first downloads Lean Library, they will select their institution. And then when they do their first research, it's going to guide them to authenticate.
And today we're going to showcase that OpenAthens piece. Before Linda showcases her case study, I did want to mention that last year we did a white paper and it was really about the library and the life of the user. And we were kind of looking at the future of the library and patron relationship. And we surveyed over 4000 librarians across 1500 institutions.
We even had some contributions from Springshare site, OCLC and some of our other partners. And the results were very robust. And it's a very in-depth study. And I just wanted you to be aware that if you go to www.librarianfutures.com, feel free to download that report.
I think you might find some good insights in that. I'm going to share just a couple of things we learned. First, we asked the question, where do your patrons begin their discovery? And this was pretty interesting.
And we broke it down by student and faculty. And you'll notice some of the typical suspects here, you know, whether it was Google Scholar or just a general search engine, or the library, or PubMed, or Web of Science, they all had their favourite place to start. But at the end of the day, we found that 79% of faculty and 74% of students were beginning their research outside the library.
And so that's kind of concerning. And it matched up well with our own internal data where we show that 48% of patrons begin their search on Google Scholar. Speaking of Google Scholar, if they have Lean Library downloaded, we auto configure Google Scholar in the background so they do not have to set up the links to your library. Makes that whole process a little easier. We were encouraged, though, because on this question, we asked, would patrons and librarians adopt a comprehensive digital application of their library? And you know what? We found 82% of librarians and 88% of the patrons said they would welcome the library being more deeply embedded in their workflow. And that's kind of contrary to maybe the notion we might have where they just want to be left alone.
So we felt really great about these results because it showed us that we're on the right path and that they do want our assistance. So our partnership at Lean Library with OpenAthens began in 2019. We were very excited when we were able to partner up with OpenAthens. And I'm not going to spend a lot of time here, but just to let you know, we work extremely well with OpenAthens. The authentication process is very straightforward and works quite well.
And I'm going to leave this up to Linda because this is going to be her main showcase today. We're very happy to have our partnership with OpenAthens. And with that, Linda, I will let you showcase your case study.
[Linda Van Keuren] Thanks, Mark. Hello, everyone. I'm Linda Van Keuren, and I work at the Dahlgren Memorial Library, or DML for short. We're in Washington, D.C., and we serve the Georgetown University Medical Centre community.
The library provides resources and services to approximately 6,500 full-time equivalent users. And these are graduate students studying medicine and nursing, and health, biomedicine, and the faculty and staff supporting them. We also supply resources to our researchers and clinicians.
They're at a cancer centre and at a hospital. Our resources are 99% electronic, and that has been our focus for at least 20 years. And like many health sciences libraries, we serve extremely busy users who need timely, uncomplicated access to high-quality information, sometimes even at the patient bedside. For some background on how the library has partnered with OpenAthens and Lean Library.
In 2016, the library decided to move to a federated authentication system from an IP-based authentication system. And so we had a positive long-term business relationship with TDNet, and they had provided our link resolver and our journal finder for many years, so it made sense for us to work with them to implement OpenAthens. And there were several reasons the library chose to move in this direction. One was that it offered better security. Access was granted based on the specific user credentials and not the location of the user. The second was better identity management, and we worked with our IT department to limit access to clinical resources to our Medical Centre users only.
And we also needed the ability to generate granular demographic-based usage statistics. So we planned a gradual implementation of OpenAthens, and it took about a year. And once we completed it, we were able to achieve the goals I just mentioned, and we now use it to authenticate to all of our 25,000-plus items in the library, and we see approximately 300,000 authentications each year through OpenAthens. So after the library transitioned to OpenAthens, we found we were able to focus on another goal that we had, which was the integration of library resources right into the user workflow.
And we aim to improve the user experience and bring the library to the user regardless of where they were working at the moment. And I was actually discussing this goal with our TDNet representative, and he suggested I talk to Lean Library because their browser extension would do just that for us. So in late 2019, Dahlgren began the implementation process for Lean Library. And then in 2021, we became a Lean Library Futures partner, which among other things, provided us expanded abilities, such as the integration of the library's chat window into resource websites.
And as Mark mentioned, we use a Google Scholar functionality where... when a student does a Google Scholar search, it also displays a second search window of the library's biomedical databases right in that Google Scholar window. To give you a little bit more information about the initial implementation of Lean Library, the entire process took 2 to 3 months. And the first step involved setting up Lean Library to authenticate with OpenAthens, both for subscription resources and also then to authenticate to our interlibrary loan system. And this step was very simple, as the two companies were already working together, and we only needed to add the library's OpenAthens configuration information into the Lean Library administration site. Another part of our implementation involved providing the domain names for subscription resources.
We needed to connect to our holdings knowledge base hosted by TDNet, and we needed to configure the look and feel of the extension. And this look and feel included those assist messages that Mark mentioned, and we use those to communicate customized messages to users. And I'll give you a few examples in a minute, when the users land on a specific website.
Once we started using the Futures module in 2021, some additional time and effort were needed to set up that functionality. Dahlgren staff promote Lean Library in a variety of ways, including in orientation sessions. We, all of us have a link in our email signature that leads users to Lean Library. We recommend the use of it in one-on-one consultations and with announcements on the library's homepage. And in the promotional materials, we emphasize with our users that it will save them time, it will streamline their research process, and potentially even save them money on article or book costs.
And now that we're working with Futures, we also let users know that the extension can provide easy access to librarians. So since implementation, we've seen a steady increase in user, and we're also pleased to see that once we gain a user, we retain them. So we see a consistent upward movement in the number of users using the extension each month. Sorry, the slides are acting a little odd here.
So here's an example of the user experience. You saw in Mark's slide a representation of all the different ways Lean Library can integrate into the user experience. And so here's one example from my library that particularly resonates with students. So we let them know that downloading the extension can help them save money on their textbook costs. The library does have a large number of their required textbooks.
So on the left-hand side of this slide, you can see this is a student who's looking on a book..., a very popular bookseller site for a textbook, "Principles of Neural Science." And our Lean Library browser extension pops up here on the right-hand side of their screen and lets them know the library owns the book. And if they follow the prompt, if they click on the button, they will see the familiar Georgetown University single sign-on page. And this page is where they enter the same username and password that they use to authenticate to all other university services.
Behind the scenes in this middle screenshot is OpenAthens, and that is connected into our university single sign-on. The two systems talk to one another. And OpenAthens is confirming in this transaction that the student user is affiliated with the Medical Centre and entitled to gain access to this book in question. So once authentication is complete, the student is taken to the site of the textbook for the full text. And if the same student then goes back to that bookseller site and searches for another book that the library owns, the process is even more streamlined because they do not need to authenticate again. Their credentials will be saved for that session.
So before I leave this slide, I just want to bring your attention, hopefully you can see it, to the final screenshot on the right. And here on the right-hand side is a very small, round icon. And that icon is the library's logo. And I made this a little larger for you on this slide, so hopefully it's easier for you to see. That logo is the Lean Library's Futures functionality.
So the way we've implemented it is, when a user mouses over that logo, they can then access the librarian via email or via our chat. The chat window appears on top of the website that they're working on, a slightly smaller window, so they don't have to leave what they're doing. They can get the help right at the point of need. And this functionality has been added to our library's subscription database site, as well as some Canvas course sites, so the students or the users can stay right within the website and gain access to the expertise of a librarian.
So the library staff have also benefited from having this Lean Library and OpenAthens configuration. We find it very helpful with acquisitions, particularly with book acquisitions. When I'm on a publisher eBook purchasing platform, it's a very quick way for me to double-check that the library doesn't own a book that we are considering purchasing. And we really also are enjoying the use of the messaging and advertising functionality of the assist messages. So we use it in a number of ways, and here's just a few examples.
For example, we are aware that often users at the Medical Centre start their searching at PubMed rather than coming to the library page and then going to PubMed. We also offer, on a regular basis, PubMed workshops for our users. So we program temporary assist messages to appear on the PubMed homepage a few days before a scheduled library PubMed training session.
And the notice informs the user of an upcoming workshop and leads them to the registration page. So our users can sign up for these workshops without ever having visited the library's homepage. We also use assist messages to alert users when a resource is going to be unfortunately cancelled, and will share an alternative sources they can use instead. And another way is to use an assist message on our local newspaper.
So our users have access to the articles, but not through the newspaper homepage. They need to authenticate through a library database. So we place an assist message on the homepage of the local newspaper, letting students know how they can actually read the articles through the database, and we lead them to that database. The library staff believe that both OpenAthens and Lean Library have reduced the difference between the user's workspace and library resources and services. And we all look forward to improving this even further with future refinements of both processes. So thank you for attending our session.
If there's time, Mark and I are happy to answer questions. [Matt] Thank you very much, Mark. Thank you very much, Linda, for a great presentation. We do have some questions that have come through in the chat.
So I'll just take them in the order that they appear to me. Does the extension work on all websites or just designated websites? [Mark] Yes, it does work across. And Linda, you might share some of your experience. Regarding websites, we work across all websites and even browsers.
We let the user stick to their preferred browser and we work with all the different types of browsers. [Linda] And yeah, just to build on that, it does work on any website and you have the control within the Lean Library administration module to tell it what websites you want it to work on. [Matt] That's great. Thank you. And how easy is it for a user to switch tenancies if they belong to more than one OpenAthens organization? [Linda] I'm sorry, what are they switching? [Matt] So I guess the question here is, if we have an end user that's affiliated to more than one organization, so has two OpenAthens logins for different institutions, how easy is it for them to switch between them? [Linda] So when a user downloads the Lean Library extension, they can select more than one institution. [Mark] Perfect, Linda.
Yes, they have the ability to select up to two. So you would have your primary institution and then you'd have a secondary. And so that's the current process. You can select two institutions. [Matt] Brilliant. Okay.
I might not get through all of these questions. So apologies to those who have asked questions that we don't get to, but I'll keep going. What fields are used to match against eBook titles? Is it just via the ISBN? [Linda] I believe it's the ISBN.
[Mark] It is. [Matt] Okay, great stuff. Thank you. Is your IT pushing the extension to users or is it self-installed? [Linda] The extension is promoted by the library and users self-install it.
[Matt] Perfect. Thank you, Linda. I've got a slightly longer one here. So this is for Linda. Can you speak more about how you set up limited authentication to allow just a subset of users to access certain resources through OpenAthens and Lean Library? The person who's asked this question cites that they currently use both products, but they haven't had any success in doing this. Might be one to take offline potentially. [Linda] Sure, I'll try to give a real quick answer. We worked with our IT department to put a certain attribute in certain users' university account, and that attribute is accessed when the user logs in and basically OpenAthens either opens the door or closes the door, depending on the availability of that attribute.
But I'm happy to reach out separately and talk more about that. [Matt] That's great, thank you. And the very last one, will all of the upcoming browser privacy changes impact Lean Library? [Mark] We hope not, no. We haven't had a major issue yet, but we always try to stay in front of that the best we can. And we feel like we'll be able to address those as they pop up. [Matt] Great stuff. Thank you.
Well, that concludes this session. Thank you once again to both Linda and Mark for taking us through that and for answering the questions that have come through. And yeah, that rounds up this session. So thank you, everybody.