Electronic resource management systems: the need and the realization
Purpose - This paper aims to provide an overview of the trends and standards in electronic-resource management (ERM). Design/methodology/approach - This paper examines the challenges that rapid growth in the number of electronic resources and in the complexity of managing e-collections has posed for libraries, and traces the progress in developing tools and setting standards to address such challenges. Particular emphasis is given to the work of the Digital Library Federation Electronic Resource Management Initiative (DLF ERMI) to develop ERM systems not only for managing e-collections throughout their life cycle but also for aiding collection-development decision making. The integration of such systems in existing library environments and the mechanisms that make such integration possible are highlighted. Finally, the paper describes the collaborative process through which one vendor, Ex Libris, designed its ERM system, Verde. Findings - Collaboration between vendors and customers - in this example, Ex Libris and its users - combined with attentiveness to industry initiatives and standards can lead to a system design that responds to the demanding and rapidly changing requirements of the e-resource world and builds on the software infrastructure already available at libraries. Originality/value - This discussion will help librarians who struggle with the challenge of e-resource management to set their expectations about the potential of future tools to assist them in their tasks.