Thank you to everyone at JIBS and Eduserv who helped organise yesterday's event. And a big thank you to all of the excellent speakers. It was a well-attended and interesting event. The slides and a more detailed summary will apppear via this blog and the JIBS website in the next week.
Owens Stephens's entertaining keynote set out some of the challenges we face in making e-resources available - especially with regard to the changing expectations of our users, which mean licences need to be flexible. He asked - is walk-in access no longer the key issue it once was? Louise Cole of Kingston University reinforced this by giving a very useful and comprehensive overview of the types of user groups we encounter (including some in a submarine!). Josephine Burt of the Open University described the particular issues faced by the OU in providing resources for users who are all off-site, and the increasing number of collaborative courses where the boundaries for licensing become very fuzzy. Jenny Carroll of Eduserv then gave us summary results from a survey of Eduserv data contacts, which gathered information about the types and levels of partnership arrangements out there. Jenny also asked participants at the event to feedback on their priorities for extending licences to external groups.
After lunch (where the buzz of discussion was very lively), Matt Durant explained Bath Spa University's decision to use Open Athens rather than Shibboleth, and included a useful demonstration of the technicalities. Mark Bide of EDItEUR gave a very enlightening presentation about machine readable licences, particularly ONIX-PL, and stressed the need for librarians and others to specify ONIX-PL compliance from providers. Ed Dee of EDINA also encouraged us to demand SAML compliance from service providers, with a useful technical illustration of why this is not currently the norm, which means granularity of usage data cannot be achieved. Finally, Martyn Jansen of Eduserv summed up the issues, and reported on a detailed analysis which Eduserv have carried out of providers' licence terms. Eduserv plan to refine their licence terms to make them relevant to today's users and make them more future-proof, but are still open to suggestions from the library community.