Library Access Services
- Building Use Survey -
The goal of this project was to track how library patrons used the new library, and to identify low usage areas that needed modifications in layout or changes to the intended use of the space to make them more appealing to patron usage. The librarians met together and identified trackable zones (Public Computers, Book Stacks, Instruction Lab, etc.) within the library and patron behavior in those zones we were interested in (usage of dry erase boards, study room computer, use of personal devices, etc.). Beginning with the Spring 2020 semester the Librarian on Duty recorded patron counts and recorded them into an online form that consolidated the data for later analysis. This count was done hourly every day of operation.
NOTE: Data gathering started at the beginning of the spring 2020 semester. Due to the COVID lockdown, the project stopped. This project may continue once campus resumes normal operations.
- Radio Frequency Identification Security System (RFID) -
With the move to a new building, it was the ideal time to upgrade the security system for books and other library materials. RFID was chosen as it is more accurate and has more features than the previous magnetic strip system.
The RFID gates could not be installed until January 2020 because of construction projects still ongoing after opening. The Access Services staff began to tag each book in the collection with an RFID tag in December 2019. The tagging project is about 80% complete and is continuing into FY2021.
- Post Move Asset Inventory -
After the initial move and then subsequent period of time spend in a computer lab, and then the final move in August 2019, it was discovered that attempts to find equipment based on the asset inventory were unsuccessful because the locations of the equipment were recorded for the old library building. The Library staff, organized by Karen Locher, the Property Custodian, did a complete out of cycle inventory of the equipment asset inventory in Fall 2019 (it is normally done in April). Because of the chaos caused by the move(s), the unplanned project took longer than usual.
PHAROS print system -
The Library had been part of an initiative with the UHV Information Technology Department to upgrade the campus public print software and service. This initiative was to upgrade to provide WIFI print capability as well as extend UHV print functionality to the Library, which had not been part of UHV print service prior to the move. After a RFP and demonstrations, the PHAROS system was chosen. The Library was the first install of the system during the Fall 2019 semester.
SignUp! computer authentication -
A second initiative involving the Library’s public computers was an authentication system to allow computer use to Victoria College students and users from the general public. Several systems had been tried after the Library’s original software, PCCop, had gone out of business without notice. The Library decided to use a companion product to the PHAROS print system – SignUp! SignUp! was placed on trial during the Fall 2019 semester and purchased for installation in the Spring. The COVID-19 closure delayed the full installation and deployment of this new software until August 2019.
PawPass (student id) -
The library makes library cards for UHV students who do not have a PawPass. In an effort to streamline and simplify the process, IT spearheaded an effort to bring both the library and Katy online with the ID card system used by the university so both locations can issue a PawPass with library privileges. The Access Services team received training on the software and started issuing PawPasses in February 2020. The university changed to OneCard recently and we have changed the software and started issuing cards through this program. The library continues to maintain its own ID software for VC students and non-affiliated users, as well as ID badges for CASA volunteers as part of a community support services.
- Website redesign -
Although the redesign of the home page of the Library’s website went live in FY2019, the redesign of the underlying pages was still to be completed. The most obvious design change was moving away from wrapping content of our pages in red boxes, we now separate our content using a significant amount of white space. In Spring 2020 an effort began to change the general layout of our pages. We moved from a tab-based navigation to a side navigation and started the process of organizing the page’s content into seven sections; Start Here, Background Information, Books, Scholarly Articles, News & Magazines, Websites, and Data & Statistics.
Several less obvious changes were made in order to meet the WCAG 2.0 Accessibility requirements which included small changes in text size, shades of color, and content formatting. When the effort to improve our site’s accessibility began, our WCAG score was about 67%. As of September 2020 we’ve reached 95%.
VRHC website redesign -
Grant Shaw, Web Services Librarian, and Brittany Rodriguez, Special Collections Librarian, began a major overhaul of the Victoria Regional History Center’s website. The layout, navigation structure, and design will be changed. The project is scheduled to be completed by Spring 2021.
Victoria Regional History
- Archivera -
Archivera is a content management system which will allow our patrons, local and distant, to view detailed finding aid records of our collections. The Special Collections librarian, Brittany Rodriguez, finished her training with a project manager and has been working, along with the student worker in VRHC, to input data from 60 collections so far. VRHC has over 160 manuscript collections, including the archives of UHV and VC.
- Victoria Advocate Photo Archive -
The Victoria Regional History Center received the bound archives and completion of the photograph archives from the Victoria Advocate before their move to O’Connor Plaza. The Advocate also donated the compact shelving for the bound volumes when the Northwest campus opens for library and archives storage. The VRHC Victoria Advocate photo archive contains photographs shot by staff photographers from 1950 through 1999.
- Refresh and Assessment of Library Instruction Guides -
The library has had a subscription to the SpringShare Content Management System since 2011. That subscription includes LibGuides, which is we use to create instruction guides on a variety of topics. These guides are a collection of information that can help users figure out what library resources they can use to find information on their topic. Our guides had not gone through a significant assessment since at least 2017. Over the summer, Jaena Manson, Instruction & Outreach Librarian, performed an assessment project of the guides and created a redesign project. This redesign was based on usage statistics and best practices gathered from research. Some of the major changes included the creation of a template for all major subject guides and changing the guide navigation from horizontal top-level navigation to side navigation. Jaena plans to re-assess the guides after a year of use.
- Video Instruction -
Jaena created UHV Library’s YouTube channel in 2019. Currently there are 32 total videos on the platform, some private (for classes) and most for public view. Jaena creates videos for general interest as related to library topics, as well as videos requested by faculty. Jaena has also started to provide virtual instruction over Teams and Zoom due to the pandemic.
- Clean up of Proxy Stanzas and Configuration Files -
Off-campus access authentication uses a proxy software called EZProxy. EZProxy reads config files when determining which resources to proxy for off-campus authentication. Config files are composed of proxy stanzas consisting of directive statements for EZProxy to follow when authenticating a resource. Our stanzas and config files are updated on an ongoing basis, but there was some accidental duplication of stanzas between the configs and stanzas of cancelled or discontinued products, these outdated resources had not been purged from config files for a number of years. We had several config files – one for databases, one for journals, one for journals subscribed to from EBSCO Subscription Service and one for products from Sage publishing (Sage has one large file for all Sage published products, rather than having a stanzas for the individual products). For this project, the two journal config files were merged into a single file, eliminated duplicate stanzas between configs and placed the stanzas in the most appropriate config file. The elimination of the duplicate stanzas increased the efficiency of the software.
- Verification of title access and date coverage of subscribed journal titles listed in Full Text Finder (FTF) -
Staff are verifying the links found within FTF to make sure the links connect to the proper landing page with no errors and that coverage ranges advertised in FTF match the access available. The links and coverage ranges are also compared to those found in our online catalog.
EZProxy Log parsing -
Tami Wisofsky, e-Resources Librarian, began an ongoing initiative to measure off-campus use of library electronic resources by institution. This allows us to compare UHV usage to VC usage overall and in some cases usage at the database level. Software products to help parse this data were investigated, as it can be over a million lines of data per month. She discovered, at this point it is simplest and most cost effective to use Excel. Monthly, she is compiling the usage logs from EZProxy into a single spreadsheet and manually assigns an institution group by username and then manipulates the data to find out several things.
- Unique users by institution
- Overall page views by institution
- Overall page views during library operating hours
Library Technical Services
- New Online Catalog -
In June 2020, Gail Crockett, the online system administrator, completed the setup and installation of a new online catalog called Enterprise. The new catalog is more advanced than earlier versions available to us. The new catalog went live on our website in August 2020, replacing the EDS catalog.
- Alcorn Book Donation -
The UHV Library received an extensive book donation from the family of former UHV Regent Dorothy Alcorn. It is her private book collection. Technical Services staff have been processing the collection throughout the fiscal year.
- Victoria College Book Collection in Online Catalog -
The collections of the Victoria College Library were moved into a separate “Victoria College” location in the online catalog. The object of this project was to make it clear where library materials may be retrieved.
- Post-move cleanup -
The Technical Services staff checked inventories against the shelf to make sure that books and other materials wound up in the locations they should have.