he library had strong quarter in terms of print collection usage, subscription database downloads, and total library transactions. However, it was the area of Virtual Library Card holders that grew the most, due to our efforts at onboarding new VDOT employees. Outreach and onboarding for new employees is critical because the agency has a fairly high staff retirement and turnover ratio.
As of this quarter the library has issued a library card to 2,165 active employees, which we roughly estimate at just over half of all VDOT "knoweldge workers" broadly defined as those VDOT employees who "think for a living." VDOT knowledge workers include engineers, safety professionals, policy makers and others who use a combination of convergent thinking (knowing the "correct" answer when there is one) and divergent thinking (generating creative ideas to challenges by exploring multiple solutions) as the basis of their work.
Our efforts in this area will never stop, as pointed out in reporting on VLC data this quarter: Rebecca Earnest drove the effort to add a quarterly record of 157 "new employee" accounts. However, when the dust settled we had deleted 59 active library accounts due to employee separations.
In addition to onboarding, library staff spent an enormous amount of time this quarter creating two Library Lockers and filling them with hundred of copyright-compliant documents to support VDOT's Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel expansion project, detailed in this quarter's Spotlight.
In other news, database downloads were up, due in part to the addition of the ICE Virtual Library (which contains 37,000 full-text online papers from 40 peer-reviewed journals). We decided to license this new resource following a successful trial last quarter. It is the first new full-text database with unlimited patron access the library has licensed since we the EBSCO eBooks platform in 2013.
Sharing Best Practices for eBook Selection With the Mn/DOT Library
The VDOT Research Library is frequently consulted by other state DOT or transportation libraries (and we sometimes consult others) to share information and best practices in regard to library management, services and collections. This quarter Ken Winter and Gil Kenner were asked to consult with Marilee Tuite who was helping the Mn/DOT Library explore the possibility of adding eBooks to their collections.
Questions related to things like: cost, popularity, how content is accessed (on screen, or special device), how "circulation" of eBooks integrates with the library's online catalog, and accessibility of eBooks in the platforms we have selected in terms of lending periods or the possibility of multiple users being able to access the same book at once.