ALCTS Creative Ideas in Technical Services Interest Group Community
Creative Ideas in Technical Services Interest Group of ALCTS
ALA Annual Conference 2016
June 26, 2016
1-2:30pm in Hilton Orlando, Room Lake Highland
Chair: Amber Billey, Columbia University Libraries
Vice Chair: Whitney Buccicone, University of Washington Libraries
Outgoing Chair: Kelly Smith, Eastern Kentucky University
Approximately 35 conference attendees gathered on 6 topics for round tables discussions on a range of topics affecting library technical services. Each round table discussion was facilitated by a topic moderator that proposed the topic prior to the conference, and a note taker was selected from each group. The notetaker was asked to record the discussion and distill it into three “big takeaways” to report back to the wider group at the end of the session.
See the attached document for the full report.
ALCTS Creative Ideas in Technical Services Interest Group (CITSIG) Meeting
Sunday, January 10, 2016, 3:00-4:00 pm | ALA Scheduler: http://bit.ly/1N8YIZx
Kelly Smith, Chair 2015-2016
Amber Billey, Vice Chair 2015-2016
Trends in collection format and use
Facilitator: Amy Fry, Bowling Green State University
- Push back to vendors – push from top
- People still want print
- Restrictions on use -> Publishers haven’t made them open; faculty don’t understand they have these restrictions – 4 hrs. checkout – Need to make ebooks usable as books
- eBooks don’t work well outside of fiction
- eBooks leaving packages problematic
- DDA – short term loan or strategically build useful eBook collection we couldn’t afford
- Not common to purchase multiple formats
- Single/multiple record issues
- Knowledgebase content problems
- Survey our own institutions to push back
- Space squeeze; lack of storage
- Less collaboration? Consortia woes.
- Get rid of print books we have in e?
Merger mania: What is the fall out and what are the concerns?
Facilitator: Joe Badics, Eastern Michigan University
- Concerns about a monopoly – no control, no choice – competition needed to have choice of price, service options
- Mergers / Subsidiaries – it’s a mess and confusing
- Who do I contact?
- Competitor’s products//future of products
- Switch of titles between publishers
- People need to stay alert to what is going on! Librarians need to justify who we do business with and be more business savvy.
How can technical services staff use their skills to go beyond/work around "standard" systems to better serve their users' needs?
Facilitator: Betty Landesman, University of Baltimore
Most important points
- There are collections that are not well served by LCSH.
- There are local issues (funding, consortial practice, etc.) that are problems
- There are local needs (university author lists, theses) that are not being met
be confined by vocabularies, budgets, vendors, staffing, user behavior, insularity.
Build your own vocabularies (create or use other thesauri)
Expand existing schema (MARC) to the max
Use freeware (Google forms) to help catalog problem titles
Work to change job descriptions and nurture staff in new roles
Use shelf-ready solutions
Teach users to search
Network within and outside your institution
Metadata for institutional repositories: Who catalogs the digital library?
Facilitator: Ellen Bahr, Alfred University
- Ownership varies from institution to institution: Librarian who started IR; student workers; catalogers & archivists together
- Authorities used in metadata: LC in some cases, fast headings in some cases, keywords in others
- IR referalls are mainly from search engines, not catalogs, so MARC records in catalog are probably not needed – except theses & dissertations. ETDs are in catalog in most instances & half institutions have automated systems to do this so it’s relatively quick & easy.
- Professionals may not be needed to complete IR metadata – that work can be delegated to staff or students in most cases
Managing e-serials: Creating an interdependent workflow between multiple technical services department for large academic libraries
Facilitator: Ying Zhangm, University of Central Florida
- eResources needs more resources – how can libraries shift some of the work from units doing print cataloging or even eResource cataloging to help eResources, particularly as libraries are trying to shift from print to e?
- Things shift from print to electronic – how do we communicate those changes? Close communications from collection development to eResources/Acquisitions to Cataloging and then back is important although workflow tools are still being developed
- What gets cataloged in an increasingly electronic & discovery level coded environments? KB generated MARC records help as does OCLC Worldcat Management Systems when also cataloging title level data from packages
- eResources departments need more support! Organizations are looking at altering structure where they can but collections decisions and budget challenges are making adaptation slow while day-to-day existing work must go on. Communication between groups is vital.
Staff-led change in technical services
Facilitator: Jeanne Harrell, Texas A&M University
- Empower people to think outside of what they do.
- Do we need to keep doing it?
- What can we eliminate?
- Why are we doing this?
- Remove multiple steps – simplify – ask people that are doing the job
- Fear @ losing their jobs – reassure them, add projects if not enough to do
- Communication is key – more transparent – need to know if there are parameters.
- Codify procedures – shared drive or wiki – and review them regularly
- Meet with other departments
- The more communication the better.
Does location matter? Creating a user-centric technical services dept. in an off-site location
Facilitator: Christine Dulaney, American University
- Response of tech services staff: “marginalized” “had no say” “no discussion” “flabbergasted”
- Other “non-tech-services” staff are now apprehensive & appreciate current proximity
- New Technology
- New initiatives – “behind closed doors but central”
- Remote Storage / Scanning = w/offices
- User-centric tech services = user-facing? Is it a mindset?
- Student employees?
- Successful tech services by nature = “being invisible”; need to counter this by being our own advocates
- Reactive: No endorsement for tech services
- Need to be proactive & advocate by:
- Strategic planning / space / services / needs for tech
- User-centric = user-facing; we love our users
- Historically success means being invisible, self-effacing - need to advocate instead
- Work done by tech staff (rushes, holds, etc.) – circ often “gets credit” because they hand items to patrons; need to evolve those services (scanning, rushing, ordering, notifying, etc.) and take credit for them
The Age of Enlightenment arrives in technical services
Facilitator: Laura Turner, University of San Diego
- How have our jobs in tech services given way to a larger role that was perhaps unexpected or that go beyond the position’s normal scope of duties? What were the factors that created the need?
- Working in a small library as a contract worker in a position that merged two positions: a reference position and a cataloging position. There are only 11 library staff, all librarians, so they all do everything.
- Working as an acquisitions and collection management librarian, but had to absorb periodicals from Reference into tech services, and electronic resources too—came from Ref to TS. In a previous position, working as an acquisitions librarian, but had to help out in Reference when staffing issues required it.
- Working as a cataloger, but is also the liaison to the Music Dept. At first, the understanding was that I would be helping with collection development, but this past summer was asked to help with an accreditation project to establish a Master’s degree program in the department. This required a lot of coordination among several staff in the library, which has been time consuming, and also delving deeply into the library environment in a larger way.
- Working as a music cataloger, but seem to do very little cataloging. There is a lot of research that is required, and a lot of committee work. I am probably only cataloging about half of the time.
- Was hired as an Institutional Repository manager, and I still do that, but I’ve been pulled into chairing a committee that is managing the Law School web site. Also, my department has taken on a lot of marketing for the library, and we are in the center of it although other departments around campus are involved. Our traditional workflows are shrinking in tech services. The marketing piece involves news feature updates, designing visuals, tying into social media, etc.
- Working in a community college library in tech services, but have had to spend a lot of time on a campus curriculum committee and have taken on systems duties. Also, am having to give about three orientations to the library per week and work reference.
- Working as the Head of Tech Services, but I was asked to be a space planner for the library in addition to my usual duties. I consulted with architecture faculty and had to visit lots of sites to get ideas, and then had to serve as a consultant to the architects.
- Who or what have you had to consult while taking on these additional duties? What helped to make you more comfortable?
- Worked with a colleague who had more technical expertise in the area
- Watched a more experienced librarian who fills the same role as they perform their work, and get pointers
- Developed a committee to organize in a more holistic way and to plan
- Went to my supervisor to get advice
- Online research, and attending conference sessions to get ideas---finding out how others handle similar challenges in their libraries
- How has assuming the new duties had an impact on your “normal” duties?
- Have had to restructure priorities and workflows
- Empower the staff
- How was it to step out of your comfort zone?
- Mostly positive reactions.
Discussion centered on having associated or transferable skills but having to apply them in a new context or a new way that involves, in some cases, a steep learning curve. In some cases, time frames were really tight, or work needed to begin right away. In others, a larger administrative view is affecting how quickly work and changes can be made. There were also deadlines external to the library that had to be accommodated, and this had a direct impact on how much time could be spent learning how to accomplish the assumed duties. However, the general core of the discussion revealed that there is a definite understanding that there is a good way to not only perform the new duties, but to learn them, and that a lot of thought has to be given to both when one is suddenly faced with new expectations.
Please join us for 8 roundtable discussions on a variety of topics. Choose the one that interests you most! We look forward to seeing you there!
1. Trends in collection format and use
Facilitator: Amy Fry, Electronic Resources Coordinator, Bowling Green State University
Libraries are buying more ebooks and increasingly using DDA as a method of acquisition. However, studies indicate most library users prefer print and the data about ebook use is problematic and misleading. How can libraries approach collection development and management responsively and responsibly? Using all the formats and methods of acquisition for collections at our disposal, libraries need to find a way to build collections that will be in the right format at the right time for the right needs. What strategies for collecting and analyzing data will help us make the best decisions?
2. Merger mania: What is the fall out and what are the concerns?
Facilitator: Joe Badics, Acquisitions Librarian, Eastern Michigan University
Recent years have seen an increasing number of mergers and sales and a major vendor bankruptcy. How does this affect the way our institutions do business?
3. How can technical services staff use their skills to go beyond/work around "standard" systems to better serve their users' needs?
Facilitator: Betty Landesman, Head of Technical Services and Content Management, University of Baltimore
We're a long way from the brave new world of linked data, working in "the cloud", etc., but our users can't wait for that brave new world. If our ILS/OPAC doesn't suffice to market new materials, or LCSH when we have specialized materials that have their own vocabularies [and LC's genre headings project doesn't include them], or if using ERM-type software like SFX is handled only by people in other departments, what CAN we do or change - even if it's a small thing - to go "outside the box"?
4. Metadata for institutional repositories: Who catalogs the digital library?
Facilitator: Ellen Bahr, Information Systems Librarian, Alfred University
The introduction of institutional repositories (and other digital asset management systems) has made metadata creation a more complex task. Libraries take a variety of approaches to creating metadata for digital collections, sometimes locating the work with a repository manager/staff, and sometimes involving catalogers and technical services staff. This roundtable will explore approaches to creating metadata for digital collections, at both small and large institutions, with a focus on effective workflows and staffing models.
5. Managing e-serials: Creating an interdependent workflow between multiple technical services department for large academic libraries
Facilitator: Ying Zhang, Interim Head of Acquisitions & Collection Services, University of Central Florida
This roundtable will discuss how electronic resources, collection services, cataloging and interlibrary loan collaborate in designing a workflow to manage the changes in e-serials. Departments in technical services are used to close collaboration in the print world. With the exponential growth in electronic resources and increasing use of discovery services, the workflow relies entirely on constant communication to ensure timely updates and seamless access in the catalog and discovery services. Not only do departments in technical services become codependent with each other, but they are also pushed closer to the public services.
6. Staff-led change in technical services
Facilitator: Jeanne Harrell, Interim Director of Collection Development Operations & Acquisitions Services, Texas A&M University
Libraries in general seem to be less "top-down" than they used to be. Has this approach reached technical services yet?
7. Does location matter? Creating a user-centric technical services dept. in an off-site location
Facilitator: Christine Dulaney, Director of Technical Services, American University
As library space in the main library is considered at a premium for "student-facing" activities, space for non-student facing activities such as technical services departments are vulnerable to relocation to an off-site facility. How can technical services demonstrate value as a student-facing activity? How can technical services provide user-centric cataloging and access from an off-site location? How can technical services prevent feeling detached from library users?
8. The Age of Enlightenment arrives in technical services
Facilitator: Laura Turner, Head of Technical Services, University of San Diego
Today’s technical services librarian serves such roles in the academic library as workshop/classroom instructor, development officer, library administrator, exhibit creator, and faculty liaison. This discussion will focus on the opportunities and challenges of thinking about ourselves first as librarians, then as professionals that work within our library's technical services department.
1. Topic: The impact of discovery layers on Technical Services staff
Facilitator: Erika Johnson, University of San Francisco
While some libraries have made the switch to next-generation library systems that only have a discovery layer, others are running both a discovery layer and a traditional catalog. This discussion will investigate whether such duplication is still necessary for some resources, and the impacts on tech services staff.
2. Topic: Redesigning libraries and archives using user experience design
Facilitator: Alexandra Lederman, Teachers College, Columbia University
As digital repositories grow into maturity, how can libraries and archives redesign them to maximize design and patron experience? We'll examine well-designed and recently re-designed digital archives while considering a question set inspired by user experience (UX) design.
3. Topic: Streaming media
Facilitator: Beth Bernhardt - Assistant Dean for Collection Management and Scholarly Communications
Streaming Media - Come join the discussion on how technical services departments are handling request for streaming media. How do you fill these requests? What are the options for streaming media? And how are you communicating this information to your users?
4. Topic: Acquisitions of digital materials
Facilitator: Dana Haugh, Teachers College, Columbia University
Materials budgets have shifted to accommodate large journal and database subscriptions, single-title article access, and most recently, ebook holdings. Can libraries use the digital age as a means to change the digital publishing system and distribution?
5. Topic: Assessment and Technical Services
Facilitator: Leanne Finnigan, Temple University Libraries
Though library assessment has long been associated with public services, technical services departments increasingly play an essential role, both as supportive partners and as the subjects of assessment. In this discussion, we will share challenges we face and brainstorm ways to engage in assessment most effectively.
6. Topic: Using service experience design to create user-centered library services
Facilitator: Meredith Powers, Teachers College, Columbia University
How can library staff be encouraged take a user-centered approach towards library services as a whole, rather than as independent entities? The concept of service experience design takes a macro view of user/patron experience, and can help us take a broader approach to policy development. Discuss how looking at the library from a holistic perspective might lead us to better evaluate and assess the whole library ecology, and deliver better user services in all contexts.
7. Topic: Cataloging and Describing Graphic Materials: Negotiating New Terrain
Facilitators: Nicole Smeltekop, Michigan State University Libraries and Tim Kiser, Michigan State University Libraries
As more technical services work becomes automated, many of us have found that cataloging becomes more directed toward the unique materials held by our institutions. This roundtable will focus on practices in cataloging and describing graphic materials of all kinds (maps, posters, photographs, and more) in both physical and digital formats.
1. Topic: Toward a symbiotic relationship: Technical Services and Special Collections/Archives
Facilitator: Mackenzie Brooks
This roundtable discussion will focus on the potentially symbiotic relationship between technical services and special collections and archives. As automation frees up staff time (theoretically), how is your technical services department taking advantage of the opportunities for original metadata creation for your institution’s unique materials?
2. Topic: Blended positions in Technical Services
Facilitators: Erin E. Boyd, Elyssa Gould, & Emily Sanford
"Blended" positions are positions for which 25 % or more of the job responsibilities encompass more than one area within a library. This topic will discuss new opportunities and challenges that come with job responsibilities, skills, and knowledge that expand upon what is considered the traditional "technical services" position.
3. Topic: Developing skills in Cataloging Department personnel
Facilitators: Dan Tam Do, Hayley Moreno
In recent years, numerous changes have occurred in the bibliographic universe, where RDA, BIBFRAME, linked data and programming languages are ever more widely discussed and applied. This roundtable discussion hopes to challenge participants in forecasting the future of cataloging as well as generate ideas on how we can develop the skills of current personnel to succeed in that future.
4. Topic: Best practices for batch editing bibliographic and authority data
Facilitator: Julene L. Jones
How are you keeping your catalog “clean”? With potential ILS migrations, large changes in authorized access points, and the mixing of RDA and legacy metadata, what best practices do you use for batch editing your bibliographic and authority data?
5. Topic: Strategies for improving awareness and access to data among departments in medium and large academic libraries
Facilitators: Peter Spyers-Duran, Kristine J. Shrauger
In this forum we will discuss strategies for improving awareness and access to data among library departments—data that is stored in different locations, in different formats, and is often password protected. We will explore ideas concerning organizational structure and culture, training, information management, and the utilization of technology.
Join us for round table discussions with your colleagues to share creative ideas in Technical Services. Topics include:
1. Libraries implementing patron driven acquisitions programs experience many operational challenges. This round table discussion will focus on how libraries are addressing metadata, budgeting, workflow, and other issues arising from this complex service. Table moderated by Kelly Smith from Eastern Kentucky University Libraries.
2. The potential of digital objects and collections to open alternative paths for Technical Services librarians and present new avenues for us to re-assert our relevancy in the digital age. Table moderated by Rachel Jaffe and Stephanie Hess from Binghamton University Libraries.
3. Taking cataloging skills outside the Cataloging Department. This round table discussion will focus on how the skills of catalogers and other traditional technical services units can be applied to other areas of the library. Table moderated by Marcy Strong of River Campus Libraries, University of Rochester.
4. Cross-departmental strategies for eliminating backlogs. This round table discussion will focus on implementing cross-departmental teams and innovative ways for tackling backlogs. Table moderated by Brad Cole and Liz Woolcott from Utah State University.
5. How do you juggle creative ideas, the skills needed to sustain and successfully launch these ideas, and possible fears about how these ideas will entail change? Table moderated by Jennifer Eustis from the University of Connecticut.
Please join us for round table discussions with your colleagues to share creative ideas in Technical Services. Table 1 will be discussing the potential of digital objects and collections to open alternative paths for Technical Services librarians and present new avenues for us to re-assert our relevancy in the digital age. This table will be moderated by Rachel Jaffe and Stephanie Hess from Binghamton University Libraries. The topic at Table 2 will be creating a SWAT (Strategic Work and Tactics) Team to tackle backlogs and interdepartmental projects. Table 2 will be moderated by Liz Woolcott and Susanne Clement from Utah State University. Table 3 will explore opportunities to work outside one’s traditional role. This table will focus on successful collaborations between technical services and public services. Librarians from both technical and public services are encouraged to participate. This table will be moderated by Stephen Brooks from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Join us for round table discussions with your colleagues to share
creative ideas in technical services. Topics include:
1. Implementing a PDA Project. Moderator John Ballestro from Southern Illinois University Carbondale
2. Working Outside of Technical Services/ Collaboration with Public Services. Moderator Stephen Brooks from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
3. Scholarly Communication and its Role in Technical Services. Moderator Sara Potvin from Texas A&M University – College Station
4. Implementing Resource Description and Access (RDA). Moderator Kavita Mundle from the University of Illinois at Chicago
The ALCTS Creative Ideas in Technical Services Interest Group is seeking an interested individual to serve as vice chair. The CITS IG provides a forum for discussion of issues within the field of technical services which are relevant to library staff at all levels, particularly those issues relating to the evolution of technical services as it affects and is affected by technology and greater interdependency among all library departments. It usually organizes an event at both ALA Midwinter and Annual Conference.
The vice chair would work closely with the 2013-2014 chair (Lynn Fields) for the first year and would then serve as chair in the second year (2014-2015). The term starts immediately following ALA Annual Conference 2013 (Chicago). The chair and vice-chair are responsible for planning discussion group meetings at ALA Midwinter and Annual Conference. This includes submitting meeting proposals, identifying topics, selecting recorders/facilitators, writing up reports, etc. More information about the Interest Group can be found on the ALA website at http://www.ala.org/alcts/mgrps/ig/ats-dgcreat.
If interested please contact Wyoma vanDuinkerken at firstname.lastname@example.org> or Lynn Fields at email@example.com> by June 10.
We look forward to hearing from you!
Director of the Joint Library Facility
Texas A&M University – Riverside Campus
1568 Warehouse Rd, Bryan, TX 77807
Building Number 8520
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org> Tel: (979) 862-2878
Director, Technical Services
Library and Information Services
Campus Box 1063
30 Hairpin Drive
Southern Illinois University Edwardsville
Edwardsville, IL 62026-1063
Email: email@example.com> Tel: (618) 650-2351