From 0 to 100 in 16 weeks: how to revolutionise a library with secure hosted authentication and discovery — the case of DSTO Research Library (DSTORL)

ALIA Library

Angel, Jane

ALIA Information Online 2015 Conference, 2-5 February 2015, Sydney: at the edge.
Defence Science and Technology Organisation Research Library (DSTORL) was facing a challenging future not uncommon to many government libraries that operate services within a shared and highly secured IP environment. A major change to existing connectivity arrangements to online resources and services in June 2012 resulted in the suspension of seamless access and the reintroduction of individual usernames and passwords for DSTO’s extensive range of online resources. The impact on DSTO researchers and Library operations was swift and immediate. A project was initiated to identify, evaluate, test and implement a viable, secure and dynamic solution that would not only restore seamless access to our resources but also extend and exceed current online service delivery using a unique approach to hosted single sign on (SSO) authentication. A further objective was to combine this technology with a customised web scale discovery service. This paper explores the challenges confronting many government libraries in delivering electronic resources and services via restricted and highly secure environments and how one library was able to exploit an opportunity to pioneer an innovative approach and reposition itself as an important enabler to research.
The methods by which DSTORL was able to overcome critical obstacles via a unique implementation of OpenAthens (MD) to achieve its vision of ubiquitous access to a nationwide collection 24/7 from any PC or portable device are described. The paper also examines how EBSCO Discovery Service was customised and transformed from a proprietary search tool into the DSTO tailored “SearchLight” by building ‘brand’ recognition in anticipation of the new services.
OpenAthens (MD) and SearchLight were launched after a targeted marketing campaign culminating in a 5 day promotional tour across library sites. Five months on, client uptake and reaction is examined, and the change in usage patterns revealed. The conclusion summarises how DSTORL was able to meet DSTO IM&T Operational Plan Initiative 2.2: Define and execute the actions necessary to cater for the needs of the Library to access subscription services and allows an insight into the lessons learned during a project that brought strategic integration of accessibility and discoverability to a uniquely restrictive environment.

Deakin, ACT: Australian Library and Information Association
Defence Science and Technology Organisation