Technical Services Workflow Efficiency Interest Group (ALCTS) Community
The ALCTS Technical Services Workflow Efficiency Interest Group presents the following Midwinter program:
Outsourcing Practices in Technical Services
Monday, January 10, 2011, 1:30pm - 3:30 pm
San Diego Convention Center - SDCC Room 30 A
While not a new trend, the outsourcing of technical services work is an increasingly ubiquitous presence in library operations and the management of resources. Many libraries are contracting out to vendors or external organizations as a solution to budget limitations, shrinking staff levels, and shifting priorities. Common areas of outsourcing include cataloging, digitization, and selection. Today, we refer to services like shelf-ready, patron-driven acquisitions, and the Google Books project. Our panel will share aspects of their library's outsourcing profile, costs, benefits, comparative service quality, and assessment tools.
Please join us for a lively session. Our panelists are:
Head of Electronic Acquisitions & Serials Control, University of Texas, San Antonio
Head, Metadata Services and Digital Projects, University of Oregon
Library Administrator, Thomas Branigan Public Library (New Mexico)
For more information, please contact co-chairs Dracine Hodges (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Megan Dazey (email@example.com)
Please join us for the meeting of the ALCTS Technical Services Workflow Efficiency Interest Group at ALA Midwinter 2015.
Date: Monday, February 2
Time: 1:00-2:30 p.m.
Location: McCormick Place West, Room W176a
The Technical Services Workflow Efficiency Interest Group will be discussing best practices for streamlining workflows for technical services functions and staffing. In addition to the topics below, discussion points include adjusting workflows as staff increase their credentials and exploring efficiencies for tracking workflows with online tools.
“Taking the First Step towards Change; A Workflow Analysis of the Cataloging Functions at the University of Houston Libraries,” presented by Heylicken "Hayley" Moreno.
Institutional practices are sometimes put in place for historical reasons. Sometimes libraries do not even know why certain procedures are performed in a specific manner. With this in mind, it is important that librarians review current practices at their institutions. One of the first steps a librarian should take when analyzing their department’s functions is to perform a workflow analysis. A workflow analysis reviews procedures, identifies inefficiencies, and recommends the adoption of new practices. Performing such analysis can help streamline processes by making them more efficient and cohesive. In this presentation, participants will learn the various steps in workflow analysis and how these steps were applied to the Resource Description Unit’s workflow at the University of Houston Libraries.
“Who Catalogs What?: A Virtual Workflow for Cataloging Electronic Theses & Dissertations,” presented by Joshua Barton & Lucas Mak.
Managing in-house cataloging of electronic resources requires procedures different from existing print-based workflows. A particular challenge is the absence of any physical queue to drive the work. Michigan State University Libraries has devised a workflow for the institution’s electronic theses and dissertations (ETDs) that is independent of any workflows for the ETDs’ print counterparts, leveraging automation and cataloger expertise. We will review challenges and efficiencies in the steps, which include repurposing ETD metadata supplied by ETD authors and ProQuest, programmatically creating brief records via XML/XSLT in a local Fedora repository and the local ILS, enhancing brief records in the ILS by original catalogers using Google Sheets as a real-time, virtual workflow management tool, and the uptake of cataloger-enhanced metadata into the Fedora repository.
“Linking E-Resources Management and Metadata Works,” presented by Sherab Chen.
In a recent librarians conference focusing on e-resources management, I heard the buzz words of “ERM replacing cataloging.” This raised the question of what exactly an E-Resources Metadata Librarian’s role is in providing access and enhancing discovery of e-resources provided in today’s academic libraries. In my presentation, I would like to share some of our experiments in designing a more effective workflow that chains up with Acquisition and Collection Management, and strategies on transfer staff expertise from senior to new members. I will talk about how to motivate staff for stewardship in day-to-day work and projects. And I would be most interested in exchanging ideas with colleagues from other institutions in their undertakings and thinking.
“Expanding Technicians’ Work Within and Beyond the ILS: ‘Whoever Has the Item/Information Completes the Work’,” presented by Betty Landesman.
Silos are not limited to big departments. When I started at University of Baltimore in July 2012, the two technical services technicians did either acquisitions or copy cataloging/physical processing of new materials, but not both. Their work was limited by system – if it wasn’t done in the ILS [for example, electronic resources management in Serials Solutions], someone else did it. Following the principle of “whoever has the item/information completes the work”, technicians now add items to WorldCat Lists and create invoices for gifts as part of cataloging; do physical processing of materials as part of acquisitions; and maintain journal holdings in Serials Solutions and ebooks in SFX. In addition, when the acquisitions technician left in July, the check-in and maintenance of our print journals and the entering and receiving of orders in the ILS passed to the other technician. We are now advertising for a library technician, without functional distinction.
The ALCTS Technical Services Workflow Efficiency Interest Group invites proposals for presentations and/or ideas for discussion points for our meeting at ALA Midwinter 2015 in Chicago on Monday, February 2 from 1:00 to 2:30 p.m.
TSWEIG's charge is to provide a forum to discuss and analyze techniques, new developments, problems and technological advances in the workflows associated with the evaluation, selection, acquisition, and discovery of library materials and resources.
If you or any of your colleagues in departments performing technical services are interested in discussing creative ways for developing and implementing efficient workflows and processes, submit your proposal and/or discussion topics!
Please email your proposal (including the presentation title, a brief abstract, and the name, position, email address of the presenter) or your ideas for discussion to the interest group co-chairs by Monday, November 17, 2014.
We look forward to hearing from you!
Interest Group co-chairs,
Associate University Librarian for Technical Services
University of North Carolina Charlotte
Head of Complex Cataloging
Florida State University Libraries
Are We Still Doing This? Streamlining Workflows in Collection Management
Regina Koury, Idaho State University library
In 2013 Idaho State University instituted campus-wide Program Prioritization process, based on Robert Dickeson’s model and initiated by the Idaho State Board of Education. As part of this process, ISU library have been tasked to identify key processes, number of personnel assigned to the key processes and key processes that can be streamlined or eliminated.
This dynamic, full of real examples presentation will describe how library’s Collection Management workflows have been re-evaluated. How library strategically streamlined acquisitions, cataloging, electronic resources and government documents management workflows, which processes were relevant and which no longer applied, which technology we used to help us to be efficient and creative and how Collection Management navigated through changes.
Keeping Up Connections: Managing Change in Technical Services Through Collaboration at Atkins Library
Shoko Tokoro, Atkins Library, University of North Carolina at Charlotte
Joseph Nicholson, Atkins Library, University of North Carolina at Charlotte
In 2011, a reorganization of Atkins Library at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte resulted in the disbanding of Technical Services. The functions of each unit of Acquisitions, Cataloging, Electronic Resources, Serials, Collections Development, and Government Documents were physically separated, and personnel from some units were annexed to different departments. In July 2013, the library adopted a new ILS that has added more complications to the roles and workflows of staff. This presentation will describe how librarians and staff at Atkins have collaborated creatively across redrawn organizational boundaries and devised agile workflows to ensure that both traditional technical services tasks and new responsibilities are handled effectively during a period of organizational change. A particular focus will be the migration of library data to the new ILS at Atkins, an effort that required close cooperation among staff and a nimble rethinking of traditional staff roles and responsibilities.
Moving from print-centric to e-centric workflows: a reorganization of the Technical Services Group at the GMU Libraries
Meg Manahan, George Mason University Libraries
Nathan Putnam, University of Maryland Libraries
In 2010, the George Mason University Libraries Technical Services Group (TSG) underwent a massive reorganization in order to update for new workflows and demands. After a year of research, targeted focus groups, and departmental meetings, a new TSG emerged. The hallmark of the reorganization was flexibility, particularly with regard to format. The two new TSG departments - Resource Acquisitions and Resource Description & Metadata Services - are format blind. Job descriptions are also format-neutral, to allow all staff to work with any format. The focus on flexibility is embodied most significantly by an E-resources Team that crosses departments and even bridges other library divisions. Membership on the team is fluid, so that over time the team can expand or contract as needed. This presentation will focus on the impetus for the reorganization, the team model and the improved electronic workflows within this team, and the other changes, such as cataloging on receipt, that allowed us to allocate additional staff to electronic resources.
Title: Using MarcEdit and Excel to Identify Bibliographic Problems with Batchloaded Records
Presenter: Michael Winecoff, Associate University Librarian for Technical Services, UNC Charlotte
Synopsis: MARC records provided by vendors are often batchloaded without regard to checking for quality control. These records could have unknown problems that would otherwise go undetected making them inaccessible. This session shows one way using MarcEdit and Excel to quickly pull out key fields and scan for issues.
Title: Adding XSLT to the cataloger’s toolbox: efficiencies for transforming and analyzing bibliographic data.
Presenter: Annie Glerum, Head of Complex Cataloging, Florida State University Libraries
Synopsis: MarcEdit is extremely handy for editing and analyzing MARC files, however another useful program that can be tossed to the cataloger’s toolbox is EXtensible Stylesheet Language Transformations (XSLT). XSLT, which can be used in conjunction with MarcEdit, works with any XML-based metadata and can be customized for local needs. This introduction to XSLT covers metadata transformation to MARC21, quality control of vendor batch files, and XSLT code snippets.
Title: A technology solution to process management: leveraging a Duke/IBM partnership
Presenter: Jacquie Samples, Head, Electronic Resources and Serials Cataloging Section, ERSM, Duke University Libraries
Synopsis: In the summer of 2013, a joint team involving the Duke University Libraries and IBM spent three months deploying and developing IBM’s Business Process Manager application framework (BPM) in the Libraries, showcasing the application's capabilities by transforming the way the Duke University Libraries manage subscriptions to online databases. The Libraries’ successful collaboration with IBM and the BPM platform has become a foundational experience for developing a suite of workflow tools in the Libraries, one that will help transform other operational processes and improve the Libraries’ quality of service in nearly every area. This presentation will describe the processes and problems that led up to this transformative project, will provide a brief overview of the BPM solution in action, and will discuss the broader potential of BPM as a process management solution for the Duk
Selection Manager is a new centralized system that manages the communication and work related to the review and selection of electronic resources. It tracks and manages technical services workflow for product inquiries, price quotes, vendor communications and dispenses product and trial information to targeted selectors. The presentation will include an overview of the system and how it is being used to manage selection workflow at Kent State University. It will be followed by a discussion on topics such as 1) primary advantages of using an centralized system to manage technical services workflow and communications related to product inquires 2) the reclamation of costly staff time by automating the workflow and eliminating numerous inefficient email communications; 2) the application of standard methodology for coordinating discovery, review and selection of new resources. Speakers: Kay Downey, Collection Management Librarian and Rick Wiggins, System Programmer from Kent State University.
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With constant budget cuts libraries are focusing on digitizing their unique and special collections. More metadata is now being created in house by staff that formerly only did traditional cataloging. The panelists will discuss their approaches to transitioning staff away from traditional cataloging and towards metadata. Learn from this panel how libraries have trained traditional cataloging staff to create metadata for their digital collections as part of their normal cataloging workflows and any obstacles or lessons learned during the transition to this new type of cataloging. The digital collections discussed will include institutional repositories, oral histories, museum collections and archival collections of all shapes and sizes.