The electronic resources troubleshooting guide

For Immediate Release
Thu, 07/16/2020


Rob Christopher

Marketing Coordinator

ALA Publishing

American Library Association


CHICAGO — A library user can’t access an article. Your log in credentials won’t work. In the realm of electronic resources everything runs smoothly—until suddenly, without warning, it doesn’t. Invariably, systems will break down, but a trial and error approach to finding out what’s wrong is highly inefficient. “The Electronic Resources Troubleshooting Guide,” published by ALA Editions, is a new, hands-on guide from Holly Talbott and Ashley Zmau, two expert ERM librarians. Walking you through the essentials of troubleshooting, it outlines a methodical process that will help you identify the source of a problem even when it’s not obvious and take steps to reach a resolution. With the goal of developing a library-wide workflow in mind, this guide will teach you how to:

  • familiarize yourself with the components of electronic resources, using flowchart diagrams of common access chains such as discovery services, knowledge bases, research guides, and library services platforms;
  • navigate the complete triage and troubleshooting workflow, illustrated through 14 in-depth examples;
  • recognize the symptoms of common access disruptions;
  • conduct efficient troubleshooting interviews;
  • manage help tickets and design problem reports that capture key information without overburdening the user;
  • create publicly available help pages for problems originating with users’ devices or computers;
  • communicate with vendors and IT personnel for speedy resolutions, providing dozens of clear definitions of library and technology terms that will help you minimize confusion; and
  • customize your own troubleshooting workflow chart for common use across departments and staff hierarchies.

Talbott is the electronic resources librarian at Kent State University. She was previously the electronic resources and licensing librarian at the University of Arizona Libraries and the electronic resources librarian at Lasell College. Zmau is the serials cataloger for the Dallas County Community College District. She was previously the electronic resources librarian at the University of Texas at Arlington and the electronic resources management librarian at Southern Methodist University. Talbott and Zmau are also coauthors of “Electronic Resources Librarianship: A Practical Guide for Librarians.”

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