Core Technical Services Workflow Efficiency Interest Group

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Purpose: Provides 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.

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

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2023 ALA Annual Program: Workflow Development in the Library and Technical Services

  • 1.  2023 ALA Annual Program: Workflow Development in the Library and Technical Services

    Posted Jun 02, 2023 09:25 AM
    Edited by Sai Deng Jun 02, 2023 09:26 AM

    The ALA Core Technical Services Workflow Efficiency Interest Group (TSWEIG) cordially invites you to attend our roundtable discussions to be held at the 2023 ALA Annual Conference.      

    Theme: Workflow Development in Library and Technical Services  

    Time: June 25, Sunday, 4-5pm CST, 2023
    Location: McCormick Place, W175c  


    Workflows Across the Identity Multiverse: Dealing with a Multitude of Authority Identifiers in Current and Future Workflows  

    Discussion Facilitators: Jeff Mixter, OCLC Senior Product Manager, Metadata & Digital Services, Global Product Management, and Richard Urban, Sr. Program and Engagement Officer for the OCLC Research Library Partnership  

    Description: OCLC is engaging with the community to address the challenges of building new workflows for managing identities across traditional bibliographic records while also taking advantage of new linked data platforms. This session invites meeting participants to share how they are working across their organizations to connect entity workflows, library service platforms, digital repositories, research information management, and scholarly communication.  

    Possible Discussion Questions:  

      • How are persistent identifiers for research/special collections changing Technical Services workflows?  
      • How do Technical Services staff work in cross-organization and cross-divisional environments where common data is used/created in disparate workflows?  
      • How are you reusing or linking identity data across different organizational silos?  
      • How are you managing the use of different identifiers (ISNI, ORCID, LCNAF, VIAF, etc.) in your data?  


    Navigating the Challenges of Adapting a Unique Catalog Maintenance Workflow after Migration to a New ILS  

    Discussion Facilitator: William Schultz, Jr., Head of Cataloging Services, Booth Library, Eastern Illinois University  

    Description: In June of 2020, Booth Library at Eastern Illinois University (along with most of the rest of the 88+ institutional member consortium, CARLI) migrated to Ex Libris' Alma, almost 20 years after the last migration of this magnitude. Of the many workflows that needed to be adapted to Alma was that of handling lost and missing items. Lost and missing are two distinct statuses for items, and each instance requires examination or handling by multiple departmental constituents, including Circulation, Cataloging, and subject area librarians. The ripple effect resulting from mishandling and workflow issues has ramifications for multiple areas. The heads of Cataloging, Circulation, and Collection Development worked together to develop a new set of checks and workflows for lost/missing items. This collaborative effort provides a positive example for other workflow challenges. 

    Possible Discussion Questions:  

      • How do you know when there is a workflow problem that exists? What are some examples?  
      • What kind of leadership does a major change in a workflow require?  
      • What are the ways that a major event like an ILS migration or a staffing change prompt the inspiration to adapt or transform a workflow?  


    Preparing Cataloging Staff for New Library Services Platforms (LSP)   

    Discussion Facilitator: Sophie Dong, Lead Librarian for Cataloging, Syracuse University Libraries  

    Description: Implementing a new system is a big task. Many critical factors affect whether the process is a success. Designing and providing effective training is one of the critical factors. Well designed and managed training cannot only reduce stress and build up confidence but also ensure a smooth and success transition. The purpose of this roundtable discussion is to bring together professionals and practitioners in the field of library cataloging (Technical Services) to discuss and share strategies and tactics for staff training with new LSPs. The discussion will provide an opportunity to explore effective training methods and address challenges during implementation; it is also a platform for institutions to share success stories or seek advice on addressing concerns.   

    Possible Discussion Questions:  

    Questions on strategies and techniques for training cataloging staff on new LSP:  

      • What are ways to identify specific training requirements across cataloging staff and tailor the training programs accordingly?   
      • What are the effective training methods to help staff break down the technical barrier? (Examples could be in-person workshops, video recording, webinars, guides and documentation, vendor-provided training materials, etc.)  
      • Do catalogers need a comprehensive training program that covers all essential aspects of the new system?   
      • When should training begin and which competencies and skills should be focused on first?     

    Questions on handling challenges and obstacles:  

      • What are the best ways to help staff reduce anxiety and negative emotions?   
      • Communication   


    Leveraging Human Capitals within Technical Services Department to Meet the Changing Information Needs   

    Discussion Facilitator: Hong Yao, Director, Technical Services, Queens Public Library  

    Description: The workflow of Technical Services needs to be changed constantly, whether out of necessity because of the change of product formats, specs etc., or to achieve higher efficiency with the help of technology advancement. Many of us are used to it.  However, the change of workflow involves the change of staffing within Technical Services and beyond.  That is a more challenging issue facing us.  I would like to share our stories of leveraging the existing staff resources to expand our services.  

    Possible Discussion Questions:  

      • Current staffing level and core responsibilities in relationship to collection sizes & formats  
      • Challenges facing the current organization charts in relationship to different model of workflows  
      • Success stories to share  

     Thank you for your interest! We look forward to seeing you at the session! 


    ALA Core Technical Services Workflow Efficiency Interest Group Co-Chairs     

    Sai Deng (   

    Caroline Saccucci ( 

    Sai Deng
    Metadata Librarian
    University of Central Florida