Core Role of the Professional Librarian in Technical Services Interest Group

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Purpose: Provides a forum to discuss common issues surrounding the role of professional librarians in technical services and professional activities such as training, project management, research, assessment, supervision, or hiring in the technical services area of academic research libraries..

This interest group is part of Core's Metadata and Collections Section.

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Recordings and slides/notes are now available for the RPLTS' Program at 2021 ALA Annual

  • 1.  Recordings and slides/notes are now available for the RPLTS' Program at 2021 ALA Annual

    Posted Jul 02, 2021 02:58 PM
    Thank you for attending the ALA Core Role of the Professional Librarian in Technical Services Interest Group session at the ALA Annual!

    Now you can access the meeting recording via the link below for the presentation outside of the breakout rooms. The breakout room discussions are attached as well.

    Topic: Role of the Professional Librarian in Technical Services IG Discussion
    Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) in the Library and Technical Services

    Start Time : Jun 26, 2021 12:38 PM

    Meeting Recording:

    The breakout room discussion details are below:
    Inclusive Cataloging Practices
    Discussion facilitator: Alyssa Koclanes, Associate Professor, Technical Services and Instruction Librarian, Eckerd College
    This roundtable will discuss inclusive cataloging practices, such as alternative subject headings, to enhance library catalogs and make the searching and discovery process more inclusive for our users. I hope to discuss with other technical services and cataloging librarians about what they have done or are doing at the local level to integrate inclusive cataloging practices into the technical services workflow in their libraries. Alternative subject headings at the local level are needed because the Library of Congress still has not yet implemented the recommendation from a Subject Analysis Committee working group in 2017 to change LCSH "Aliens" to "Noncitizens" and "Illegal aliens" to "Undocumented immigrants." In addition, Library of Congress subject headings to describe LGBTQIA+ individuals (i.e. sexual minorities) are also not inclusive and not reflective of the current times. Another example of an inclusive cataloging practice to support diverse authors and collections is to add a local note to highlight them, such as Own Voices or Authentic Voice. I will also share some resources with the discussion group about inclusive cataloging practices.

    Possible Discussion Questions:
    - Are you familiar with inclusive cataloging practices and if so, have you implemented any (such as adding alternative subject headings) in your library's catalog?
    - What types of inclusive cataloging practices have you implemented or are you familiar with?
    - If you have not implemented inclusive cataloging practices, what are the barriers to doing so?
    How have you marketed or given visibility to these inclusive cataloging changes?

    Embracing Equity, Diversity and Inclusion with Local Subject Headings
    Discussion facilitator: Brian Stearns, Cataloguing Librarian, University of Alberta
    Many libraries are deciding to make local changes to subject headings rather than wait for standards (such as Library of Congress Subject Headings) to adopt changes that better represent their users. This discussion is for individuals who have made or are interested in making such changes!

    Possible Discussion Questions:
    - Has your institution engaged in any local subject heading changes? How were they identified? Did you publicise these changes afterwards?
    - How you shared your local subject headings with other institutions?
    - How could libraries collectively improve subject headings that are not accepted by L.C. or other controlled vocabularies?
    Addressing Systemic Racism in Metadata
    Discussion facilitators: Jessie Copeland, Director, Resource Services, Emory University; Lars Meyer, Associate Dean, Access and Resource Services, Emory University
    In the Spring of 2020, the Emory Libraries developed an anti-racism action plan as part of larger, diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) and social justice work efforts.  As part of the action plan, Emory Libraries committed itself to examining and making recommendations for how we create, use, and display metadata in our catalogs and finding aids database. We are partnering in the effort with the Carlos Museum, a campus museum.  The metadata working group consists of staff from throughout the libraries and the museum, including catalogers, subject librarians, archivists, curators, administrative staff and student employees. The group of about 20 members formed three groups focused on metadata in library and museum catalogs/databases.  Specifically, the groups are less concerned about technology (though it does play a role) and is instead focused on our respective assumptions and practices as they may be informed by industry and local practices, constraints imposed by systems such as LCSH, and taking into account user perspectives on metadata.  We will share our findings, share our recommendations for improvement, engage the audience in feedback.

    Possible Discussion Questions:
    - Should we use metadata schema outside of LCSH, e.g., Homosaurus, as subject headings?
    - How can we best get feedback from users about our metadata?  
    - What can we do to best coordinate across different metadata producers, such as archives, museums, and libraries?

    EDI: Where do we Begin?
    Discussion facilitator: Diana Simpson, Assistant Professor / Catalog Librarian, University of Southern Mississippi
    EDI is a topic that touches on every aspect of an institution, from high level thinking such as the organization's core values and strategic planning on down to an individual cataloger's choice of metadata in current cataloging. So how do staff in an individual library technical services department begin addressing EDI in relation to the department's metadata creation and maintenance?

    Possible Discussion Questions:
    - How do we organize ourselves to create policies for EDI that will inform how we do our work? Do we form a task force?  Whom do we include?
    - What should our charge be? What are the first priorities or first steps?  
    -  Where do we find resources and best practices?

    Thank you for your participation and interest!

    RPLTS Interest Group Co-Chairs:   

    Christine Davidian       

    Sai Deng   


    RPLTS Interest Group Co-Vice-Chairs:   

    Sofia Slutskaya

    Sherab Chen 

    Sai Deng
    Metadata Librarian
    University of Central Florida