CORAL Close-Up: Xiaoyan Song from NCSU Libraries

Welcome to the inaugural CORAL Close-up, where we interview a CORAL user and profile their local CORAL system. What better way to launch our column than to ask our newest Steering Committee member, Xiaoyan Song, about her day-to-day CORAL work? Yan, as we know her on the Steering Committee, has been the Electronic Resource Librarian (ERL) at North Carolina State University for 3 and a half years. There, she has been the ERL in the Monographs Unit in the Acquisition and Discovery department and is often the go-to person for complex ebook access issues. Yan was kind enough to answer some questions about how NCSU uses CORAL:

Getting to Know the System

How long has your institution had CORAL? How long have you worked with that CORAL system?

It has been over four years since we started using CORAL, December 2013. I started working with CORAL shortly after I came to NCSU in the summer of 2014, and I have been working with it since then.

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

We use the Resources and the Organization modules.

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

We don’t use the License, Usage, or Management module. We have a locally developed ERM for our licenses and usage.

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

One unique aspect is that we don’t use CORAL as an ERM. Instead, we use only the workflow functions in CORAL to manage processes for our order requests. This is because we use other systems and tools for many ERM functions, and the workflow support is the only one not provided by other systems/tools. We have setup a series of workflows in CORAL to support various types of order requests.

Another aspect that I have been proud of is our contribution to CORAL. We have implemented several significant enhancements to CORAL, including enhancements to the workflow functions, the import tool, and the API form, which allows selectors to enter order requests into CORAL. Locally, we have built teams and have grown our skills for open source software development.   

Getting to Know the Users

How many people use your CORAL instance?

We have 50 registered users in CORAL now.

What are their roles at the library and what work do they do in CORAL?

Our CORAL users include staff in the Acquisition and Discovery (A&D) department, the Collection and Research Strategy (C&RS) department, and the three branch libraries. Here, staff means librarians and non-librarians. Usually, the ordering requests come from the C&RS group and the branches via the API form, and staff in A&D are responsible for licensing, ordering, invoicing, setting up access and cataloging.

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

CORAL has helped to streamline the acquisition process between A&D and other departments. It reduces data entry time and makes the process more efficient. We are able to track the order requests from various channels in a centralized place and the process is transparent to all stakeholders.


Yan has long been an awesome CORAL contributor and we’re thrilled to have her aboard the Steering Committee; thankfully, she’s as excited as we are. “I’m very happy to see the synergy among CORAL governance groups, CORAL users like NCSU, and other users in the community,” she writes. “I’m excited about joining the Steering Community and looking forward to making more contributions to the CORAL community.” In April, Yan and her colleague Ruth Gagliardi will be presenting about CORAL at the North Carolina Serials Conference, so check out their work there as well. Welcome, Yan!

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

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