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Improving Access to Standards

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2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


Virtual On line

Publication Date

June 22, 2020

Start Date

June 22, 2020

End Date

June 26, 2021

Conference Session

Improving and Understanding Engineering Collections and Publication

Tagged Division

Engineering Libraries

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Paper Authors


Susan B. Wainscott University of Nevada, Las Vegas Orcid 16x16

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Susan Wainscott is the Engineering Librarian for the University of Nevada, Las Vegas University Libraries. She holds a Master of Library and Information Science from San Jose State University and a Master of Science in Biological Sciences from Illinois State University. As liaison librarian to several departments at UNLV, she teaches information literacy for many students, provides reference assistance to the campus and community, and maintains the collection in assigned subject areas. Her research interests include information literacy instruction and assessment, the notion of threshold concepts, the effect a student’s emotional state has on their learning, and improving access to technical literature.

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Richard J. Zwiercan University of Nevada, Las Vegas

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Richard holds both a BA in Psychology and a MA in Counseling from Chapman University located in Southern California. In 2018, he obtained his MSIS degree from the University of North Texas, with a focus on archival studies/digital technologies, and Graduate Academic Certificate (GAC) in archival management. Richard is a long-term employee and supervisor within the UNLV University Libraries. He served as the Resource Sharing & Access Manager, leading the Interlibrary Loan Unit from 2012-2018. During his graduate work at University of North Texas, Richard also interned at the Marjorie Barrick Museum of Art on the UNLV campus, where he initiated the archival program, which features the Art-Press collection. At the start of 2019, Richard became the Art, Architecture & Design Librarian at the UNLV Libraries, including overseeing the Architecture Studies Library. At nine months into the position, Richard has collaborated with both the School of Architecture and Department of Art to review services, programs and collections to meet the current needs of primary users.

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Engineers, as well as other professionals, researchers and students in many disciplines, will occasionally need to use standards documents from a wide variety of standards developing organizations. As our university aims to simultaneously increase research productivity and graduation rates, the need for rapid access to full text standards documents will only increase. In the past, most standards were provided by the library in bound, print format, with the exception of digital IEEE standards, just-in-case they were needed. It was, and remains, cost-prohibitive to acquire all of the standards that a public, doctoral-degree-granting university community might need. Several actions were taken to improve access for faculty, staff, and students. We anticipate that the number of standards documents requested by faculty and students will increase as outreach about standards documents was implemented. We expect an increase in fulfillment rates for standards documents requested through interlibrary loan after the university licensed a standards aggregator service and after outreach in the form of staff training was provided to interlibrary loan staff. Further, we expect an increase in the use of standards already in the collection as well as those acquired via the aggregator after each outreach intervention was implemented. Several outreach interventions, including staff training, were implemented over the course of the study period. A workflow for on-demand acquisition of standards documents was developed, with three potential starting points for requests and several decision points about acquisition method and funds used. De-identified interlibrary loan request data and collection use data were analyzed for request and fulfillment trends and correlation with outreach interventions. Recent updates to the on-demand workflow are described. The data show an increase in requests for standards documents. Increased fulfillment rates for standards document request suggests that outreach for interlibrary loan staff was successful. Success of outreach to patrons was shown in an increased number of interlibrary loan requests for standards documents and in increasing use of subscribed standards sets such as IEEE and ASTM. The data support continuing some outreach methods, streamlining workflows to exclusively use interlibrary loan as a request and fulfillment system, and the need to periodically train interlibrary loan staff. We also recommend that discoverability of standards in our collection should be improved through cataloging improvements and creation of finding aids for different audiences.

Wainscott, S. B., & Zwiercan, R. J. (2020, June), Improving Access to Standards Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--34790

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