Please join the ALCTS Technical Services Workflow Efficiency Interest Group (TSWEIG) at the 2016 ALA Annual Conference in Orlando, Florida.
Time: Monday, June 27, 2016, 1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Place: Orange County Convention Center, Room W103A
Achieving staff buy-in: A collaborative approach for workflow analysis
Amber Billey, Metadata Librarian, Columbia University Libraries; Jeanene Light, Collection Development Librarian, Dana Medical Library, University of Vermont; Donna O’Malley, Systems and Digital Projects Librarian, Dana Medical Library, University of Vermont
Three developments in the provision of technical services at the University of Vermont Libraries united to prompt a thorough workflow review. While the loss of technical services librarians and staff finally triggered this examination, the growing challenges of e-resources management and the lingering effects of a partial merger of technical services functions within the libraries also led to a sense of urgency. The Dean of University Libraries charged a task force in spring 2014 to “understand and evaluate acquisitions and resource description processes across University Libraries.”
This cross-library task force conducted a literature review, interviewed each person in the library who performed any form of technical services work, held focus groups, and conducted a survey. The resulting qualitative data was used to develop themes: collection development and management, project management, electronic resources, cataloging, and serials. As a result of the work of the task force, the University of Vermont Libraries identified necessary changes in hiring, outsourcing, documentation, and communication.
Using Process Mapping to Analyze and Improve Workflows in Technical Services
Christine K. Dulaney, Director of Technical Services, American University Library
As part of an initiative to increase productivity, the Technical Services Department at American University identified workflows which were considered potentially problematic or inefficient. Using the technique of Business Process Mapping (BPM), staff members were able to map out workflows and identify areas of inefficiency or processes which lacked appropriate oversight. BPM is a visualization technique which creates a map of an activity which focuses on what people do and defines the key processes. The process map uses symbols to designate steps within a process and directed arrows to represent a process flow. Functional roles which are associated with a part of the process are marked with functional bands. Once a process is mapped out and analyzed, improvement opportunities become quickly identified. In this presentation, I will describe the project and its goals, the fundamentals of process mapping, how we used this technique, and how the process maps revealed problems in our workflows and procedures. As a result, we implemented changes which resulted in improved efficiency for processing resources as well as paying invoices.
BIBFRAME and the Technical Services Manager: What Can I do now?
Roman S. Panchyshyn, Catalog Librarian, Kent State University Libraries
The projected implementation of BIBFRAME and linked data systems has the potential to radically alter staffing and workflows in technical services departments. Technical services managers must prepare themselves to manage and implement these changes. However, no one is certain yet just what these changes will be and what kind of timeframe will be involved.
The presentation will focus on education and training as part of the preparation process. Managers must have conceptual knowledge of linked data concepts. They need to manage training for themselves and for staff. Managers also need to familiarize themselves with the pilot projects currently underway with BIBFRAME. They need to investigate what tools are available for experimentation and identify which vendors are active in this area. Managers need to start asking hard questions about the value of the work their departments will be performing in the future. The goal of this presentation will be to help managers think about how to best position their departments so that they continue to play an important role in the success of the library.
Cataloging Special Collections Materials: Methods and Strategies for Technical Services
Linda Isaac, Special Collections Cataloging and Metadata Librarian, University of Miami Libraries
Many institutions are still under severe budget cuts, which means many staff members and librarians in technical services are often tasked with performing work in unfamiliar areas (e.g., cataloging special collections materials). Special collections materials come with many challenges, but there are ways to meet these challenges by putting proper documentations in place for training purposes and managing multiple projects, streamlining workflows, and enhancing collaboration between technical services and special collections staff.
As a Special Collections Cataloging Librarian, I have held positions (at both public and private institutions) where I had to train non-special collections catalogers to catalog special collections materials, and I was also involved in a big grant project to catalog a large backlog where most of the team members had never cataloged special collections materials before. The purpose of this presentation is to help those who are in need of suggestions and/or guidance by sharing my experience.
Annie and Hayley