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Electronic Reserves

Hilary Newman, Innovative Interfaces, Inc.
Margaret Tapper, University of California, Irvine
Diane Bisom, University of California, Irvine

The Product

This product allows patrons at character-based terminals to print previously scanned images of reserve articles on networked laser printers, and patrons using the INNOPAC WWW server to view and/or print those images. Charges and royalties can be administered and patrons can be debited in various ways, including having charges added to patron records. Images are captured by library staff and attached to existing bibliographic or course records, or new ones can be created.

Starting Up Issues

It was found that reserve operations were extremely staff and paper intensive. This coupled with increasing patron needs for access outside of reserve areas and library hours effected the change to ECR. In determining the initial scope of switching to ECR the number of photocopies in the reserves collection and circulation statistics can be used. This will give a good indication of where to start the ECR collection. UCI started with one scanning station and later expanded to cope with the regular load of scanning. The scanning stations need not be located in the reserves area, but rather where the bulk of the material to be scanned will be. Do consider security concerns for the equipment. Local needs and practices will determine the choice of materials to be scanned (books, journals, and old exam papers, etc.). Scanning need not be done from the original source since a good readable copy will do. Since electronic copies are space hungry, a decision was made to not archive them. The cost of rescanning was cheaper than additional storage.


ARL guidelines are currently being used, but one should be aware that some guidelines are changing. The software is flexible enough to support individual library practice by allowing 8 characters in the publisher’s code field. The following is an example of how to Integrate ECR scanning into the reserves workflow:

  1. Bibliographic records can be created in GUICAT or Course Reserves.
  2. The scanning process follows next.
  3. Finally the image is attached to the record.

An alternative is a one-step process that scans and links the article to a bibliographic record (962 field). Disk space on the server would determine whether this method is feasible or not. Images on other existing servers could also be linked to records by using a URL (universal resource locator). It is however, advisable to keep one or two copies of the original hard copy. In order to ensure smooth operation and timing, active out-reach to the faculty is required.

Access, Printing and Statistics

Access can be limited to those patrons who would normally have access to the paper copies. IP address and/or patron verification can be used. Only the existing patron verification methods can be used. For the character-based interface printing was limited to dedicated printers in the reserves area.

For the web interface printing was not allowed. Billing was done with an external debiting system utilizing the cover sheet details. Use was monitored very closely and it was found that it tallied very well with previous photocopying statistics. Note that extensive statistics are available depending on the librarian’s ability to manipulate create lists and statistical reports. Statistics on the Web-based Millenium product can be viewed as bar or pie charts or downloaded into a spreadsheet program.


The library can choose to use the INNOPAC software to bill patrons or may use a separate billing system. The system can however calculate charges for access, printing, or both even if it is not used.

Future Directions/Interests

Faster printers and scanners will always be of interest in this area. Alternative delivery means such as an e-mail attachment would be very nice. Compare Ariel ability (boxes in Ariel are currently too small though). Automated faxing is another option that could be viable. Some alternative image/document storage formats could also possibly help in fighting the file size issue (.pdf or .jpeg). The .pdf images would be readable with Adobe Acrobat software. The batch deletion of articles would be extremely handy and time saving. The number of pages printed on the cover sheet would also help to speed up calculating charges. There is currently no method to insert a page in the middle of an article. The increase in length of the article title would also be welcomed. The item status does not currently display in the course record if the item is suppressed. The course reserves browse display displays the 245 titles instead of the first t-tagged field. Enhanced local printing would also be welcomed. A new viewer is envisaged that offers .tiff quality.

Recorded by: Correy Nel, Technikon Witwatersrand (GAELIC)

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