A 2020 Vision for NOVELNY, 2015 NYLA Conference Forum -- Overview and Results

On October 23, 2015, at the annual NYLA conference, the New York State Library held a preliminary session to discuss current NOVELNY use and to begin discussing what can be done to improve the program in the future.  The session began with a brief overview of NOVELNY, including its history, current statistics, types of resources included, access methods, challenges, desired database features, and next steps.  The overview was followed by small group discussions using a list of nine questions.  Results of the brainstorming were shared with the larger group and they are listed below.


In reviewing the comments from the forum the New York State Library found that some of the desired features suggested are already in place:

Access to databases:  Geolocation is now available so that driver license numbers are not needed for access as long as one is in New York.  All types of libraries may use the geolinks (for all vendors) available to them through the Gale support portal.

Archived webinars:  Many of the vendors’ database webinars are archived.  The recordings are available on their training pages.  See the webinar section of the NOVELNY Training page for links.

Webinar notifications:  Training lead time has increased and the State Library now sends out lists of webinars for multiple months at a time.

Usage statistics:  Usage statistics are available at the library level as long as the individual library is registered for NOVELNY.  If all school buildings in one district are registered together statistics will be available at the district level only.  To receive statistics for an individual school please make sure that the school is registered separately by contacting the NOVELNY Help Desk at nyslnovel@nysed.gov, toll-free at 877-277-0250, or in the Capital District at 518-486-6012.

Specific dates for database expirations:  The expiration dates for databases are sent out to NYLINE and they are also posted in the Press Room section of the NOVELNY site (latest information is dated August 7, 2015).

Videos/online tutorials:  All three vendors have online tutorials available on their support sites.  Please see the “For All NOVELNY Users” section of the Training page for links.

Mobile apps:  All three vendors use responsive design for their sites so that the site will adjust to one's device. ProQuest has mobile sites for both   eLibrary Elementary and Gannett Newsstand Complete. Gale has a mobile app, Access My Library, that is available for both Apple and Android phones.

Free databases:  The State Library received comments from the field through the 2015 database survey and a small committee at the State Library will be meeting to select free databases for addition to the NOVELNY site.

Training for non-librarians:  The database vendors are willing to do webinars for patrons, but we need libraries to host and promote the webinars.  If your library is interested in hosting a webinar please contact Amy Heebner at amy.heebner@nysed.gov.

Comments/Suggestions from the Forum

Group Discussion Questions
  1. The library community has indicated in surveys that NOVELNY is the most highly valued service of the State Library. What would increase NOVELNY’s value to your library, your library users and your community? (Be specific)

        • We use NOVELNY to build our county resources collection
        • Curriculum materials and focus
        • Grolier/Scholastic
            •     Long-Term consistency
            •     Roll-out dates
        • Common Core-Modules, Toolkits
        • Central advertising
        • Aggregate buying      
        • Genealogy
        • Learning new languages
        • Professional/personal training (job, interviewing, resumes etc.) (example: Atomic Training)
        • EBSCO still needed for Consumer Reports
        • Gale is OK but not the end all
        • More user friendly interface (no visual appeal)
        • Add mobile access
        • Add LibGuides
        • Recognizable names the public is aware of
        • Contain content like “Learning Express”-- textbooks, civil service tests, foreign language materials
        • Needs more language translation available for databases currently on NOVELNY
        • Language learning and English language learners’ material would be useful.

  2. What more could the State Library do to provide e-resources for New Yorkers?

        • Stick with databases, not e-books
        • Statistics – need accurate statistics
            •     Need user info to help selections
        • Advisory Committee/Steering
            •     Ongoing (not “ad hoc”)
        • Aggregate e-book purchasing through distinct local platforms
        • Magazines?
        • Handouts
        • Better website – make NOVELNY site  more user friendly (currently has small font/layout)
        • More marketing materials/information
        • Mobile App, user friendly interface. Should advertise training and webinars more. Make training for non-librarians.
        • Consumer Health Complete/MEDLINE Plus
        • NYS leads pack in providing databases:
            •     Opposing Viewpoints vs points of view
            •     Grolier’s
        • Build our own databases (NYS) and provide free to NYS. Sell to others.
        • Add other free databases (open sources)
        • Credo used in some places. Not on state contract

  3. NOVELNY is now 15 years old. What improvements would you like to see implemented over the next five years? (Be Specific)

        • More full text, more knowledge of year to year changes, longer contracts
        • Curriculum
        • Landing Page
        • Log-in info (schools-not all have driver license numbers)
        • Should add streaming content—audio and video
        • Streaming video classes for all patrons. Could entertainment be incorporated? Full text is a necessity.
        • Training needs more lead time
        • More knowledge year to year
        • What will be available

  4. If your local library had really high-speed broadband service – like 1 Gigabyte – what kinds of opportunities might that open for users of a product like NOVELNY? What kinds of services are library users not able to use because current broadband service is not sufficient?

        • N/A (no problems with current broadband service)
        • Rural areas have limited access
        • 1 → 1 devices – access
        • “Digital Divide”
        • Offline/downloadable access
        • Time to download
        • Ability to have “Hot Spot” access where cellphone service available
        • Broadband improvement
        • Training for all library staff

  5. What can be done to better promote NOVELNY resources to the public?

        • More training and lead time for staff.
        • We’re good on that (School Librarians Rock!)
        • Marketing
            •     New York State Fair (booth)
        • Promote to parents of elementary school students. Don’t forget senior citizen users. Also they need instructions to use.

  6. Who uses NOVELNY in your community? How do you know?

        • We authenticate remote usage (except Opposing Viewpoints) of databases through our ILS proxy. But it is hard to determine what those numbers are.
        • Everyone!
        • Rely on resources formerly print
        • Statistics!!!
        • Students
        • 1st year college students and high school seniors use General OneFile
        • Nursing Students use health databases
        • School age
        • Parents go to our public library because the kids are occupied elsewhere in the building. Continuing education. Current events or investments or genealogy.

  7. How do your users access NOVELNY now? What would you do to improve access?

        • Access through our portal. Access through responsive (not APPS) pages.
        • Single-user logins through school libraries
        • Mobile device access
        • Through local library websites
        • Library resources page
            •     IP verification
            •     Geolocation
        • Mobile apps are needed

  8. What would be the benefits to your library’s customers if all NOVELNY resources were available through one easy to use portal, with no need for a password or library card? What could be the downsides?

        • It would make it harder for us to utilize the collection with our additional databases.   Single portal for ALL databases (including purchases)
        • Need building statistics
        • NOVELNY platform great
        • Primary access (in Nassau) still through local websites
        • Link available on library’s website (integrated)
        • Avoid having to go to library site to link to NOVELNY site
        • Downside is less specific
        • Plus/benefit is that it is recognizable to patrons. Quicker and very familiar portal access.
        • Have a “remember me” option

  9. What NOVELNY usage statistics are essential for your library or library system, and why?

        • Sessions and searches by library
        • Reports on article downloads
        • ALL! By library
        • Sessions/users for individual libraries
        • Look at access per database
        • Look at which full text are used
        • Perhaps add a click to allow access (ILL? ALA?) to materials not available in full text
        • Maybe highlight “database of the week” depending on usage
        • Maybe put on homepage “Question of the week”
        • Maybe highlight a “Sample database of the week”
      Additional comments:
        • Love to see the ability to build our additional EBSCO databases, add Fold3 [historical military records] and language learning product. 
        • NOVELNY Helpdesk needs improvement
        • Consideration of users for selections
        • Specific training:
            •     In person, webinars
            •     Video tutorials
            •     Schedule multiple times
            •     Archived
        • Need to know SPECIFIC dates for expirations
        • Budget development -- FY starts early

    Next Steps

    All of the comments from the 25 attendees at the NYLA forum and the survey above will be used in conjunction with the Fall 2015 Opinion Survey: NOVELNY-The New York Online Virtual Electronic Library results regarding the 2017 NOVELNY Databases (we will link to results once they are posted) and recent usage statistics (we will link to stats once they are posted) to inform the NOVELNY 2017 Databases Procurement Team in its consideration of databases.  The team consists of one member from each of the three library systems and four members from the State Library. The team will submit a recommendation to the State Librarian, who will make the final decision regarding the database selection for 2017.

    Photos from the Forum (click on the photos to enlarge)

    NYLA NOVELny forum 10/23/15 NYLA NOVELny forum 10/23/15
    NYLA NOVELny forum 10/23/15 NYLA NOVELny forum 10/23/15

    This page last updated September 28, 2017