E-resources: transforming access services for the digital age Academic Article uri icon


  • PurposeLibraries spend increasingly large amounts on electronic resources (ERs), but may not have adjusted staffing to support these resources. Assisting users with ER access problems is complex due to the many reasons a resource may be unavailable at a particular time. The objective of this paper is to describe the evolution of a library ER problemreporting help desk.Design/methodology/approachA pilot project was undertaken by librarians at the Texas A&M University Libraries to redesign workflows and staffing to provide an efficient, effective help desk service for solving ER access problems.FindingsIncluding librarians with experience in licensing and managing ERs in providing help desk services improved response time, problem resolution, systematic information capture, and service expectations and policies, and also led to the development of an ER HelpDesk database with enhanced functionality.Practical implicationsDelegating ER problems solely to information technology (IT) staff may seem reasonable but assumes technology is the source of most problems; it is just as likely that the user, the resource, or a noncomputerrelated issue is the source. Librarians whose traditional responsibilities include supporting user access were effective in providing expert assistance with access problems. Cooperative efforts of librarians and IT staff are necessary to ensure reliable ER access.Originality/valueThis paper offers practical, experiencederived advice on establishing and staffing an ER HelpDesk service, including the importance of involving technical services librarians in providing support.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Resnick, T., Ugaz, A., Burford, N., & Carrigan, E.

citation count

  • 13

complete list of authors

  • Resnick, Taryn||Ugaz, Ana||Burford, Nancy||Carrigan, Esther

editor list (cited editors)

  • Eden, B.

publication date

  • January 2008