What a start to the year! The last few months have gone by at warp speed but there’s plenty to show for it.
Last week (Wednesday 30th March 2022) we held our Spring Webinar, with a couple of surprises in store for our librarian friends.
With over 130 members of the university librarian community in attendance, plus our speakers and special guest, we took attendees on an astronomical journey through space, firing our forward-facing thrusters at the Boötes constellation to reveal the new name of our re-engineered platform – Kortext Arcturus – born of the brightest star in the Northern Hemisphere, and the power behind a host of Kortext products, features and functionality.
Alongside this announcement, we also unveiled significant enhancements to our acquisition workflow, with our Acquisition Portal now providing university librarians with a slicker, more transparent user experience, including improved inventory search functionality, up front pricing, easy basket rollover and more.
Hosted by Kortext CEO and founder, James Gray, Director of Academic Engagement, Kevin Watt, and Head of Product, Andrew Bates, the webinar also considered a variety of discussion points. Here’s a brief recap:
- Recent sector research: we explored the results of our own annual librarian survey, university leaders survey and the latest Wonkhe/Pearson student research. Budget constraints are a cause for concern as librarians anticipate increasing involvement in the teaching and learning at their universities. Students are struggling with imposter syndrome and a lack of confidence in their academic abilities. University leaders are now navigating the nebulous world of student expectations whilst driving diversity and inclusion at their institutions.
- The future role of the university library: we heard from Wendy Walker, Senior Assistant Librarian (Acquisitions and Access) at University of Glasgow. Wendy spoke about the university library being central to supporting future teaching activity alongside skilled, knowledgeable staff.
- Launch of university eBookStore: with the support of Kortext, universities can set up their own branded eBookStore, giving their students access to 2 million eTextbooks from over 4,700 publishers such as Wiley, McGraw Hill and Pearson. Discounts can be agreed so that students can buy at highly competitive prices.
- Purchasing models and Procurement Frameworks, considering the benefits of purchasing eTextbooks through reputable frameworks such as the SUPC and APUC. Kortext has now been named highest-scoring supplier on Lot 5 of the SUPC Framework agreement for the supply of eTextbooks, and the first-ranked supplier on Lot 5 of the APUC Framework Agreement LIB1016 AP for Scottish HE/FE institutions – meaning Kortext covers the whole of the UK.
- Student engagement: Kevin Watt took attendees through the student engagement activities Kortext offers including the Kortext Student Ambassador Programme, branded resource pages, email campaigns and more.
For existing account holders, the enhanced acquisition workflow will automatically be available in early May 2022 in time for the 22/23 content acquisition cycle. We would recommend that you book a walkthrough session with your Account Manager or Customer Success Representative to get an in-depth insight into the full functionality of the module.
Watch this space for news of our Summer ’22 Webinar where we’ll have more exciting platform enhancements to share as well as plenty more topical discussions. We hope to see you there!