Lean Library: Your library in a browser. Experiences from the University Medical Center Groningen and University of Groningen

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    Accessing the collection of your university, or using tools made available by the library is not always easy if you work off-campus. When working off-campus a login in for example a proxy-server or VPN is needed to work as if you were at your office or at the library. This is where our students, staff and researchers had troubles, they were not starting on the library website with the right links to the licensed content. To make working off-campus a lot easier the University Medical Center and University of Groningen started a pilot with the browser extension Lean Library. The pilot started in September 2018 and will run until February 2019. The main functionalities of Lean Library are providing users with 1-click access to our e-resources, communicating tailor-made messages to our users on, by the library specified, websites and providing users with alternative routes to full texts if they are available.

    To make working off-campus just as easy as working at university computer, and to bring library services to the users in an easy way in their browser. By doing so the aim is to see more use of our collection and have a greater presence of the library in the workflow of students, staff and researchers. Also better use of the universities’ open access deals and better insight in the use of our collection are an important aim of our pilot.

    For the implementation, it was important that the library had control of what and when exactly Lean Library would show. Therefore, we gave Lean Library our holdings information and the access to our proxy-domains. By doing so, the user has immediate access to scientific publications and is not stopped by a paywall. Another important aspect of the implementation was that the library is control. Lean Library gives the library staff the possibility to tweak and change the messages that are shown to the users of extensions when they are on certain websites.

    The pilot has a duration of six months, September until February. During this time we promote the use of Lean Library, but also ask users for feedback. With a single click the users go to a survey in which they can give us their opinion or suggest improvements. Next to the user feedback, Lean Library also offers many statistics concerning the use of the extension. By using these statistics over the course of the pilot and comparing statistics like the proxy-server use before and after we started the pilot, we can determine if it is a success.

    Conclusion :
    While this is an ongoing project, the initial results are looking promising. We see an increase in the use of our proxy-server and we see an increasing number of users every month. A full analysis if the pilot is a success can be given after February, when the pilot period ends. However, for now Lean Library is helping our students, researchers and staff to work comfortably from home, with the library in their browser.
    Original languageEnglish
    Number of pages1
    Publication statusPublished - 19-Jun-2019
    EventEuropean Association for Health Information and Libraries (EAHIL): Learn, Share, Act, Bridge Borders - University of Basel, Basel, Switzerland
    Duration: 17-Jun-201920-Jun-2019
    Conference number: 2019


    ConferenceEuropean Association for Health Information and Libraries (EAHIL)
    Abbreviated titleEAHIL
    Internet address


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