Category Archives: academic library

Top 5 Challenges in Serials Management

Over the centuries libraries have become no strangers to change. Which is why they’re so adaptable. And in today’s rapidly changing environment, they’re required to be more flexible than ever before. Ask any librarian and they’ll say they’re being asked to do more with less. Shrinking budgets mean lower staff numbers, but the workload doesn’t go down.

It’s the same story, whatever the library, wherever you are. But what are the most pressing issues specific to serials management? At WT Cox we’ve been in the business long enough to anticipate our customers’ challenges, and we are well positioned to help them through the problem areas.

According to our customers, these are the top 5 challenges:

#1 – Transitioning

We hear from many new customers that they’re apprehensive about transitioning to a new Subscription Agency. They often say they’d wanted to make the change for a while, but were nervous about switching from their old vendor. Quite understandably, as there’s a lot of work involved, and new trust has to be established.

One of the first things we do at WT Cox, in customer service, is talk through the challenges each of our customers face in their particular library. We come up with a transition plan, together, which allows us to tailor our service to their needs. This takes all the stress out of the migration of their serials.

#2 – Invoicing

When a new customer comes to us at WT Cox, one of the top challenges they talk about is invoicing. It sounds simple but it’s actually quite a precarious area. All too often invoices arrive in a format that finance departments won’t accept.

So, during the transition period, we talk with our customers to find out what really suits their needs best. And we’re able to be truly flexible as our CoxNet account management system allows for invoices to be generated in a variety of ways – alphabetical by title, sorted by fund code and split invoices by fiscal year, for example.

#3 – ILS Set-Up

No migration is without its problems. Setting up a new ILS can seem a particularly arduous task.

This is why at WT Cox we have a dedicated team who walk both new and existing customers through the ILS set-up process. We’re happy to explain what is needed to complete the process and run tests to ensure everything’s running smoothly. We do this for both invoicing as well as claims, to make sure live invoices and claims are transmitted without errors.

#4 – Customer Service

We pride ourselves in providing the best customer service in the industry.

Dawn Babich, Customer Service Manager – Academics

Customer service can be a major pitfall. It makes all the difference when it comes to managing your library services. If it works, you don’t notice it’s happening, but with poor customer service, you can end up chasing your tail. And that’s when problems start to snowball.

We know how crucial good customer service is. At WT Cox we assign each client a Customer Service Specialist, who learns the ins and outs of their individual account. Our specialists are quick and responsive. In fact, our customer service team considers themselves to be an extension of your library staff – that’s how closely connected we are, and how seriously we take this. We’re here to help, after all.

#5 – Systems

The amount of systems librarians must deal with can be a real problem. Different vendors have different systems, which work in different ways. It’s vital to minimize the workload on libraries, and make things as simple as possible.

CoxNet is WT Cox’s proprietary system, which we provide to all our customers. It’s easy to use, but even so we provide training for everyone, both new and existing clients. It’s the most user-friendly interface we know, in fact, and our customers love it.

With CoxNet you can view orders, place claims and view responses, view electronic details, edit and submit renewals, and a lot more. Plus, we are always open to suggestions about how to improve your serials management system. We add enhancements regularly and always welcome customer feedback. We’re listening!

So take a look at the services we provide at WT Cox. We’re known for our outstanding commitment. We make your serials management our business.

WT Cox – Experience Choice. Where extraordinary service happens.

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Getting More Bang For Your Buck

3 Steps Towards Optimizing Vendor Support

Library expenditure on serials is on the up. In today’s knowledge economy, information is king. Knowledge is power.

But you all know that. And you know too that library budgets are shrinking, all the time. Which means that something has to give, and that includes staff numbers. In particular, staffing of serials operations is declining, which presents a challenge for libraries the world over. According to Ithaka’s 2019 Report Library Acquisition Patterns, serials and other ongoing resources make up over 70% of total library expenditure. So the challenge for library staff is significant, and it’s not going to go away.

Sound advice

At NASIG’s 34th Annual Conference in Pittsburgh this June, Maria Hatfield addressed exactly this issue. Maria is VP of Integrated Solutions at WT Cox, and has years of experience working with publishers, libraries and library technology. Her session at NASIG, Getting more bang for your buck: working with your vendor in the age of the shrinking staff , faced this issue head on, and offered sound advice on how best to move forward. As a Member at Large on the NASIG Executive Board and a member of the ISO ISSN Revision Working Group Committee, Maria has her ear to the ground and knows what libraries want. Here’s what she had to say.

It’s all about support

Your vendor is there to support you, so make the most of this. Maria knows that establishing an effective new vendor-library relationship is the number one priority for any library to get the most support possible. In order to optimize your serials workflows, tap in to your vendor services. Here are three vital steps in establishing the most effective vendor-library relationship from the beginning:

  1. Set clear expectations. Both library and vendor need to be direct about their requirements and needs in this partnership. Right from the start. This is the basis upon which the entire business relationship will be built, so it’s pretty crucial.
  2. Communicate these needs. Yes, it’s all about communication. As vendors, at WT Cox we have two account management teams who are there to act as advisers and consultants whenever you might need them. Our Sales Team is responsible for looking at everything from cost impact analysis to assessing support service needs. And our Customer Relationship team actually view themselves as an extension of your staff – their relationship with your library is close and responsive.
  3. Establish a transition plan. You’ll need a timeline clearly indicating who is responsible for each step of the transition. At WT Cox we have an established transition plan that has evolved through years of experience doing many successful transitions for new customers. Our transition team and account management teams start by collecting data about your library and end with the order invoice. Our aim is to ensure as smooth and continuous a service as possible.

Most importantly…

“The most important thing a library can do is communicate with their vendor.” Maria Hatfield, VP Integrated Solutions, WT Cox

Communication. Throughout the whole transition process, communication is the number one priority. And ongoing, it’s probably the most important aspect throughout your entire relationship with your vendor. It’s worth spending a bit of time at the start to establish clear expectations on both sides, and to promote a full understanding of your library’s needs and special requirements. If you do this, and ensure you have a sound understanding of the transition plan, you’ll save yourself hours of staff time further down the line.

Get the most bang for your buck!

So, follow these simple steps and get your vendor on board. Streamlining this partnership will save you invaluable time. And it’ll save you money too, if you let your vendor take an active role in the running of your library. Take a look at the services we provide at WT Cox  – and we’re known for our outstanding commitment to serials management. We ensure you get the most bang for your buck!

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EveryLibrary Fundraiser at ALA Annual 2019



This year sees the ALA Annual Conference in Washington, DC, from June 20th – 25th. Are you all set?

Besides the outstanding line-up of hundreds of top authors and speakers, there are plenty more reasons to attend, as you’ll know. It’s all about networking and keeping up-to-date with the latest developments in the library world. There are so many opportunities to catch up, it’s hard to list them all. But there’s one we think is particularly special…

The EveryLibrary Fundraiser

One event you absolutely can’t miss is EveryLibrary’s fundraising event on June 22nd. If you’ve not attended one of these before, let us tell you what you can expect. It’s one of the best opportunities to network with your peers, but above all it’s sure to be fun.

This year’s fundraising event is at Buffalo Billiards, just a short distance from the Convention Center. Come along for billiards, skeeball, shuffleboard, ping pong, and darts, not to mention the open bar with beer and wine. You can purchase your tickets here.

If last year in New Orleans is anything to go by, this’ll be a sell-out event. And if you were there in Philadelphia with us throwing axes, you’ll know how much fun it’ll be. If you’ve not signed up already, we recommend you do so now.

Help support libraries in the United States

Most of all, we think this is a good cause. EveryLibrary supports libraries at the ballot box and fights against library defunding measures through pro-bono consulting, digital tools, and training, among other things. It’s fundraisers like this at the ALA Annual that will help EveryLibrary’s continued success throughout 2019.

Libraries, and the future of libraries, are what we’re all about. They’re our lifeblood. That’s why WT Cox are working together with EveryLibrary to raise awareness of their organization, and to support them at their fundraising events. So we’ll be there on June 22nd!

EveryLibrary’s Mission

John Chrastka, Executive Director of EveryLibrary, is passionate about the cause.

“EveryLibrary’s mission is to build voter support for libraries. We provide a unique kind of support to libraries, and we’re fortunate to have great companies like WT Cox as donors and sponsors to help power that mission. The EveryLibrary fundraiser in D.C. is a wonderful way for us to bring together a huge group of people from around the country who believe in that mission, and who share in a vision that any library funding campaign should matter. We’re there to celebrate the wins and to support each other in the losses. Our hope is to meet new people who also want to see library advocacy in action and reconnect with hundreds of our friends who have joined in the work over the years.”

We’re looking forward to seeing you at ALA Annual. Do be sure to visit the WT Cox team at booth #812 and the EveryLibrary Fundraiser. We will see you there!

Experience Choice. Where extraordinary service happens.

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ACRL 2019 – The Latest For Academic Libraries

We’re looking forward to seeing you at ACRL in Cleveland on April 10th. The theme of this year’s conference, Recasting the Narrative, examines the key position of academic library professionals in the constantly evolving higher education landscape. It’s academic librarians who are leading the way in the transition to exciting new roles.

Academic libraries have been supporting teaching and learning ever since the birth of the academic institution. Over many centuries librarians have gotten used to adapting and reinventing their roles. So they’re well prepared – the future is bright!

Make the most of ACRL

Make sure you reserve a spot in your schedule to come by and meet us at booth #713. We’ll be showcasing the latest serials management solutions and support tools, alongside a full range of demos. We’re here to partner with you in all things serials management – and we’re known for our outstanding service and commitment.

Conference highlights

 You won’t want to miss this round table discussion titled Marketing Academic Libraries – Garnering University Support via Patron Satisfaction. Check it out here!

 Plus, this year’s keynote speakers are here to inspire you and your colleagues on your journey thru these times of change.

Journalist Michele Norris talks about her work with the Race Card Project, and sheds new light on America’s complicated racial history via her investigations into her family’s long hidden secrets.

Novelist Viet Thanh Nguyen examines the experiences of refugees past and present, via his book The Sympathizer, which focuses on the legacy of the Vietnam War and its aftermath.

Alongside 25 years of the generational chronicle Dykes to Watch Out For, cartoonist Alison Bechdel has produced award-winning memoirs using the graphic novel, expanding the medium’s expressive potential.

Immerse yourself in some of this year’s in-depth pre conferences

Engaged Students are Empowered Students: Instructional Design Matters focuses on student learning outcomes. Learn how to revitalize your lesson plans for success.

Lead Your Library Towards Accessibility: Knowledge & tools for any librarian to promote a culture of accessibility explores why accessibility matters for your library. You’ll leave knowing exactly how to move forward with accessibility initiatives.

OER + Scholarly Communication will empower you to develop the resources necessary for supporting scholarly communication. Learn to develop methods for articulating and addressing problems in the field.

Planning, Assessing, and Communicating Library Impact: Putting the Standards for Libraries in Higher Education Into Action is all about demonstrating value. Learn how to use the Standards for Libraries in Higher Education to communicate your library’s impact and value.

Systems Leadership Lab: A Deep Dive into Functional & Dysfunctional Organizational Patterns uncovers how functional and dysfunctional systems operate. Find out how to choose functional strategies for personal and organizational action.

Taking Charge of Your Narrative focuses on career plans. See how to develop a career road map, and develop a leadership narrative.


ACRL 2019 will energize you with this year’s carefully chosen conference programs. The insights and inspiration on offer this year from presenters who are leaders in the profession will enhance your library’s programs and services.

See you at booth #713, or why not make a date in advance with us. Email us to schedule. We look forward to seeing you in Cleveland!

WT Cox – Experience Choice. Where extraordinary service happens.

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Join us in Austin, TX at the ER & L Conference

If you’re in serials management, you’ll no doubt be attending Electronic Resources & Libraries 14th Annual Conference. March 3-6 sees the library community gather in Austin, TX – working together to improve the ways we manage and access electronic resources.

It’s an unmissable event. There’s so much to learn, and so many people to catch up with. But you know that. What you might not know, however, is what else you won’t want to miss while you are in Austin.

The Bat City

Did you know that Austin is famous for its sunsets? There are some hot   spots to catch its celebrated pink and purple skies – visit the Congress Avenue Bridge, where you can view the spectacle of the city’s 1.5 million bats emerge from underneath, just before dusk. Take a stroll on the bridge itself, or watch from a boat on the river.

Join us at The Color Inside

Don’t like bats? You can still watch the sunrise and sunset! Best of all, visit artist James Turrell’s Skyspace The Color Inside, at the University of Texas. These fabulous light sequences last around an hour, and are best experienced at sunrise and sunset. WT Cox secured several tickets to the Color Inside – we’d love you to join us there at 6:05 pm on either Monday, March 4th or Tuesday, March 5th. Claim yours fast, limited quantities available. Visit us on LinkedIn and post a comment to get your ticket. We hope to see you there!

Sample the food scene…

This is a city for foodies! Austin’s historic East Side is home to some top restaurants, including the Franklin Barbecue  – the best barbecue in the known universe, according to Texas Monthly. Talk serials management over its famous brisket. Or try one of the city’s famous food trucks – there are over 1,000 of them serving up top notch food from lobster rolls to Cajun to churros… And you can’t leave Austin without having taken in some breakfast tacos, which are good almost anywhere you choose to go.

…and the bars

Austin takes its bar scene seriously. Get together with colleagues for some ice-cold beers or craft cocktails and sample a true Austin experience. Enjoy stunning views of the city at the same time at one of the city’s many rooftop bars .

See some sights

If you want an insight into some Texas history, the awesome Texas State Capitol should be at the top of your list. Take in a free guided tour around this larger-than-life institution. In fact it’s the largest capitol building in the United States, 14 feet higher than the Capitol in Washington DC. If you want to stay outdoors, head for Zilker Park  and enjoy the sunny weather the city is known for. Better still, make the steep climb up Mount Bonnell  for magnificent views.

Whatever you choose to do in Austin, be sure to drop by and visit with our team at Table 602.  We look forward to seeing you there!

WT Cox – Experience Choice. Where extraordinary service happens.

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