« PC Status Reports | Main | The Timeline for Facebook's Timeline »

All about Online Resources

With all the database subscription changes for 2012, I have the Online Resources at the front of my brain. Here are some things to keep in mind about them:

Not all libraries subscribe to all resources
Beginning in 2010, not all SCLS libraries subscribe to all online resources. What does this mean?

We use scripts for access
When a user wants to access an Online Resource, they click on a link. This link takes the user to one of our authentication scripts. The script:

  • checks if the patron is in a subscribing library. If so, we pass them right through to the resource. If the patron isn't in a subscribing library, the script...
  • prompts the patron for their barcode. If the patron's barcode has a "home library" that is a library that subscribes to the resource, we pass them through to the resource.

If we get to the 2nd step where we check the patron's barcode, we pull this information from a custom patron database. Because of this...

Updates/Changes to patron information sometimes take an overnight
How do we get this custom patron database? Scripts build the database early each morning using yesterday's patron data. For LINKcat libraries, this means that if a patron just got a new card, renewed a card, replaced a card, or changed their home library, it will take an overnight before their "new" card information is available for authentication (be it for Library Online, OverDrive, or other Online Resources). For non-LINKcat libraries,the amount to time may vary from "overnight" to "a week or more," depending on the library's schedule for updating patron records. 

Who has access to what? -- Reciprocal cards.
We already know that access is based on Home Library. What should we know about "reciprocal cards"?

  • For regular Online Resources (SCLS Resources and Locally-Subscribed Resources), if a patron lives outside of SCLS but has a barcode from an SCLS library, they may use their home library's resources.  Example: If I live in Rock County and have an SCLS barcode with a home library of STO, I will have access to any Online Resources to which Stoughton Public Library subscribes.
  • For OverDrive, if a patron lives outside of SCLS, they must access OverDrive through their library system.  Example: If I live in Rock County and have an SCLS barcode with a home library of STO, I still must access OverDrive through the Arrowhead Library System's account using my Rock County library's card number. 

Why must OverDrive users access OverDrive through the library system where they live?QuestionMark
Because OverDrive is available statewide and costs are determined in part based on usage, SCLS libraries have opted to provide access to SCLS's OverDrive account only to SCLS residents. 

Whew! That's a lot of information!
Have questions?  Please contact Kerri!


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Thanks for this Kerri - just used it today to answer a patron's question!

Thanks for the feedback! It's always helpful to know if the information we present is understandable, helpful, and/or actively being used. :)

Post a comment