University of the Arts London
Improve troubleshooting response time
"We can now provide off-campus access to resources that may have previously only been available on campus."
Electronic Information Manager, Library Services, University of the Arts London
Like many institutions, University of the Arts London "spends a considerable proportion of its library budget on e-resources," according to Paul Mellinger, Electronic Information Manager. "Our users (students and faculty) expect access to online content at any time of the day or night, from on or off campus."
From an IT perspective, this makes troubleshooting any problems especially difficult. Sometimes, it's as simple as a user device incompatibility, since "publishers can place restrictions on the types of devices that can be used to access e-books, for example," Paul said.
But more often, the issue is more complex, and many individuals and groups are involved in the troubleshooting process. Paul explained, "We need to look at every point in the chain. The discovery tool, database or e-journal, link resolver, proxy server, authentication system, IT network—all will need to be tested and retested."
"The other big plus is that we have the potential to use EZproxy as a belt-and-braces authentication option if there happen to be authentication system problems."
Because of this effort, Paul and his team looked for a solution in which "less time is spent on troubleshooting and fixing faults, and more time is spent on enhancing our users' experience." They decided to implement EZproxy®, an access and authentication solution that intersects with multiple points in the chain and is maintained, updated and managed by OCLC. This allows the University of the Arts London's Electronic Information Team to more quickly evaluate access problems and to respond to users' needs.
Not only has EZproxy helped to streamline the troubleshooting workflow, but the university is now able to provide users with resources that they previously could only access on campus. This has opened more of the library's collection to students who search for resources after regular library hours and from other locations. And as more and more students use the Internet for initial research, getting library resources to them online becomes more important than ever.
- The library's collections are spread over six colleges in and around London
- In addition to print and online text resources, the collections include illustrated books, designer toys, video and audio recordings, garments and textiles and original visual artwork
- The library offers online access to an e-library of electronic resources, the full library catalog and the UAL Research Online portal of original scholarly research
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