MULER: Building an Electronic Resource Management (ERM) Solution at York University
Lupton, Aaron August
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Many university libraries now utilize an Electronic Resource Management (ERM) system to assist with operations related to electronic resources. An ERM is a relational database containing information such as suppliers, costs, holdings, and renewal dates for electronic resources, both at the database and title levels. While commercial ERM products are widely available, some institutions are custom building their own ERM in-house. This article describes how York University in Toronto, Canada, did just that by building a system called Managing University Library Electronic Resources (MULER). The article details the background and history of how electronic resources were managed pre-MULER; why a new ERM was needed; the planning process; the current and innovative functions of MULER, including integration of MULER data into York University Libraries search and discovery layer, Vufind; subject tagging in MULER; new functions to be added; and lessons learned from the project. Positive and negative implications of choosing an in-house project over paying for a commercial product are also discussed.
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