Access to online resources has been a perennial concern among library users. While a number of these resources may be accessed remotely using usernames and passwords, many found it cumbersome to keep track of the different passcodes. Others feel frustrated over online resources that may only be accessed within the institutional network. Half of the queries logged since June 2014 in LibAnswers, the library’s online reference platform, were about access to online resources. This prompted the library to find a solution to address the issue.
Being a firm believer in using technology as leverage, the library sought a technology that expands and simplifies access to online resources but requires minimal technical intervention from the library staff. This led to choosing OpenAthens, an authentication service that allows users to access all online resources subscribed by the library anytime, anywhere using a single sign on. It is convenient and simple to use because users only have to remember one username and password to access all online databases. Set-up and creation of user accounts is a breeze and account management is fairly easy. Best of all, the solution encourages the use of the online resources and supports research productivity. DLSHSI is the first academic library in the Philippines to implement OpenAthens and the experience has been published as a case study by EduServ in http://www.openathens.org/client-story/de-la-salle-health-sciences-institute/.
Starting late 2015, the library visited the different colleges to introduce OpenAthens to faculty members. User accounts have been created for full-time faculty members and the response was positive. Anecdotal accounts showed that faculty members found OpenAthens to be useful, easy to use, and had made them more aware of the online resources available through the library. From November 2015 to October 2016, a total of 173 OpenAthens accounts for faculty members have been created, of which 121 accounts have been activated. During the same period, there were 870 OpenAthens log-ins recorded.
User feedback and usage statistics were encouraging as these reflect positive impact to users. RPAMDLS plans to create more OpenAthens accounts for part-time faculty members and students to bring online resources closer to the academic community.
For more information about OpenAthens or to request help in logging in and using online resources via OpenAthens, please get in touch with Multimedia Librarian Anthony J. Bahia at ext. 1274 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.