Library:EResources&Access Documentation Public Desk Triage

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Public Desk Triage: Suggested General Guidelines

These are suggested general guidelines for staff on "front-line" public service desks who are contacted (either in person or over the phone) by patrons with eResource /online resource problems. Consult supervisors for specific guidelines.

We try to post known major problems to our ER&A Blog.

Remember: You are not expected to solve all access problems, just assist the patron through the process.

Questions to Ask:

  • If patron is on the phone:
    • Are you on campus? <= All off-campus access for licensed online resources is via EZproxy
  • If in person:
    • How are you trying to connect to the resource? Library / OPAC computer? Personal laptop? Some other mobile device? <= for laptops and mobile devices using WiFi, patrons need to connect to UBCsecure NOT UBCvisitor. If the Patron is at a Hospital site, the wireless network is usually eduroam
  • Everyone:
    • Are you currently a Student, Staff or Faculty member here at UBC? <= Community Borrowers cannot get past EZproxy. Alumni can only get past EZproxy for select resources licensed for Alumni. A very few number of resources require EZproxy authentication always, on & off campus. "Affiliated Students" are able to get past EZproxy using their CWL. Faculty Authorized users, Affiliated Faculty & Staff must use Barcode & PIN. See Voyager User Groups and EZproxy info here

First Actions:

Step #1 - Try to recreate the problem:

  • Attempt to access the resource on your public desk computer
  • If you succeed, suggest that the Patron clear their browser's cache & cookies on the device they are using and try again
  • If you run into the same problem as the Patron, try Step #2

Step #2 - Review the citation:

  • Does it look correct? Spelling mistakes?
  • If it is an article - perhaps the date, volume, issue, issn or start page is wrong. Note: Supplements or Special Issues are always a problem. Look for the ejournal itself and then work through the volumes/issues
  • if an article or ejournal - does it fall within our coverage dates?
  • If it is an ebook - perhaps the isbn is wrong
  • If it is a book chapter - not all chapters are indexed. Try looking for the ebook itself
  • Do we really have access to the "Full Text" or just "Index & Abstract" information? Particularly in Summon, look at the type of result (does the search result say full text or "Citation Online"?)

Next Steps

  • If the resource comes from several sources, try a different source for the patron's benefit BUT still report original problem using the EResources & Access Help Form
  • If the problem can't be resolved, encourage the patron to email us using the EResources & Access Help Form which is called "Electronic Resources Questions & Comments" under "Contact Us" on the bottom of all Library pages -or- behind the "Access Problems?" icon on various pages, like this one or on Summon. Ask the Patron to include the relevant URLs as well as screenshots of ant error messages, if possible. Any URL containing "" is a permanent URL. All OPAC bib records have a permanent URL.
  • Call us if there is urgency to the problem. 822-4192 between 9:00a.m. and 4:30p.m. Monday to Friday (really, go ahead and call us)

You may also want to read over the EZproxy Wiki, information on EZproxy for patrons

Go back to ER&A Documentation Home