CORAL Close-Up: Carolyn Carpan from the University of Alberta Libraries

Welcome back to the CORAL Close-up, where we interview a CORAL user and profile their local CORAL system. This month, we’re profiling the work of Carolyn Carpan, the Collection Strategies Librarian at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.  The University of Alberta is a large research university with approximately 37,000 students, and Carolyn is one of two librarians responsible for electronic resources and licensing, serving as the point person for resources in the Humanities, Social Sciences, Law, Education, and Business communities on campus. She has worked with CORAL for two years, and in a previous role as Head of Collection Development at Southern Methodist University, she helped implement 360 Resource Manager, including initiating purchases in the system, maintaining vendor contact data, and working with the Acquisitions team to determine the ERM workflows. Even while busy preparing for her CORAL presentation at NASIG this year, Carolyn took the time to share some insight into her ERM work:

Getting to Know the System

What modules or tools from CORAL does your institution use the most?

University of Alberta uses the Licensing and Organization modules.

What modules do you NOT use and what do you use instead?

Instead of using the Resources and the Management modules, University of Alberta uses shared email to track the acquisition, set up, and management of purchases and subscriptions. We also use spreadsheets and a shared Google Drive. LibInsight is in the process of being implemented to manage usage statistics.

What do you think might be unique about your CORAL instance, something not many other libraries may be doing?

It seems like other institutions may not be using the licensing module, because I didn’t receive many responses when I was looking for some help when I was working on tidying up the licensing module last year. The new Collections Strategies Unit inherited CORAL from the former Electronic Resources Librarian when he retired, and when we looked at what we were doing with licenses, we discovered we were running two concurrent licensing databases. Besides CORAL, we have also been using Our Usage Rights from Scholar’s Portal, which is managed by the Ontario Council of University Libraries. We decided to update CORAL with more usage rights info using the SFX public names so we can transition to using one database for managing licenses and usage rights. I spent much of the last year cleaning up the SFX data in CORAL and adding missing licenses and addenda. We are ready to test the CORAL usage rights any time now so we can transition completely to CORAL. In the meantime, Access Services uses the information from CORAL to determine ILL permissions, and cleaning up the data in CORAL has resulted in fewer requests regarding ILL usage rights.

A searchable Terms tool would be a helpful feature. The Library IT staff created a duplicates report for the Terms Tool data to help us eliminate duplication in the SFX Public Names. This was necessary because the Terms Tool was not searchable. Access Services was reporting duplicate, and sometimes conflicting, ILL information. The SFX duplicates report allows us to find and quickly fix these problems. Library IT also created a weekly SFX update report, based on changes made by the Serials team, so that we can keep the SFX information in CORAL up to date.

Getting to Know the Users

How many people use your CORAL instance?

CORAL is used by a number of people in several departments. The Library IT staff manage the database, Collections Strategies Librarians use it to organize licenses and license terms for usage, and Access Services staff use it to determine ILL permissions before fulfilling requests.

How has CORAL been the most helpful to these users (and the users beyond?)

To date, CORAL has been most helpful for determining ILL permissions. In the future it will be useful for all users in determining usage rights for library resources.


Carolyn brings much-needed insight into the often lesser-used Licensing module, and her experience is very helpful as the Steering Committee begins to compile an updated road map. She and her colleague Alexis Linoski from Georgia Institute of Technology will be giving a presentation about their work with licensing agreements at NASIG 2018 on June 9th. Thanks so much for telling us about your CORAL, Carolyn!

EDIT: The notes from Carpan and Linoski's NASIG Presentation is now available on Slideshare

We want to hear about your CORAL! If you'd be willing to talk about your ERM system for the CORAL Close-Up, please hit us up

Leave a Reply

Close Menu