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 Core Virtual Interest Group Week – ALA Core Technical Services Workflow Efficiency Interest Group Program Announcement

  • 1.  2023 Core Virtual Interest Group Week – ALA Core Technical Services Workflow Efficiency Interest Group Program Announcement

    Posted Feb 23, 2023 11:40 AM
    Edited by Sai Deng Feb 23, 2023 11:41 AM

    The ALA Core Technical Services Workflow Efficiency Interest Group (TSWEIG) is happy to announce its program for the 2023 ALA Core IG Week, March 6-10. The IG's session will be held online on Friday, March 10, 2023, from 11-12 am (CST).  We hope you will join us!

    The session is free but requires registration. Please register for the session at:

    Program Theme: Hybrid Workspaces and Digital Workflows 


    Hybrid Workflow Development for Catalog Maintenance: A Case Study 

    David Floyd, Chief Cataloging Librarian, Subject Librarian for Judaic Studies, Binghamton University Libraries

    Catalog maintenance (sometimes called "cleanup") is a critical component of the long-term development of a library's catalog, albeit one that is not always the central focus. Like many library cataloging units, the COVID-19 Pandemic reduced our cataloging capacity to remote work. As such, catalog maintenance, much of which can be done from any computer connected to our ILS, became a critical component of the unit's daily activities. Since returning to the office in 2021, our institution has increasingly recognized the value of flexibility in work location, allowing projects that can be done while working off-site to remain a priority. Our major ongoing maintenance project is working with large multipart sets that are inconsistently cataloged. Approximately 15% of Binghamton University Libraries' 28,000 musical scores are collections of scores comprising a composer's complete works. Ideally, these large, multi-part, non-circulating collections are cataloged consistently with either comprehensive records for each set, or individual records for each score within the set. Our catalog is inconsistent in this approach and requires remediation. The remediation workflow maximizes flexibility in who participates, where, and when, by siloing the portion of the work requiring data processing and advanced music cataloging skills. This presentation will detail the development of the workflow for standardizing composers' collected works sets, how the project is designed for accommodating hybrid work, and its progress since launching in Summer 2022.  

    Meeting Our Needs Virtually: An Efficient Workflow for a Remote Cataloging Internship Project       

    Yoko Ferguson, Cataloging and Metadata Librarian, Learning Resources Division, University of the District of Columbi

    A few weeks into the new position, a Metadata Librarian discovered that 500+ print thesis records were only cataloged locally and not in OCLC Connexion nor the Network Zone in Alma, their consortium catalog. This was envisioned as an opportunity for a possible remote cataloging project with a library school student. While hands-on cataloging experience is crucial for cataloging and technical services jobs even at entry level positions, not everyone has the opportunities or resources to land internships at their school. Understanding the experience and skills included on most job descriptions, the work was streamlined as a remote project where an intern could gain hands-on cataloging experience with OCLC Connexion and become familiar with various MARC fields and codes, as well as current cataloging rules, tools, and resources. In addition to cataloging thesis records in OCLC, incorporating the intern's interests and needs, the librarian also came up with small projects that would be useful and helpful for both the intern and the library, such as reviewing and upgrading the Library of Congress Name Authority Records or manipulating a set of records with MarcEdit. Utilizing online tools already available to them--OCLC Connexion Online Save File, Outlook OneDrive, and Zoom--their current workflow allows them to work, communicate, and meet their needs virtually. This presentation discusses this pilot project that has the potential to lead to another remote project with library school interns who are eager to gain cataloging experience regardless of where and what time zone they live.  

    Who, What, Where: Establishing Good Communicative Workflows in a Hybrid Cataloging Environment 

    Rachel Turner, Senior Metadata Strategy Librarian, Virginia Commonwealth University 

    Cataloging in a hybrid environment can cause difficulties in communication and a breakdown in workflows. Catalogers have long been used to being on site, and therefore being able to pop over to their colleagues with questions about a workflow or cataloging issue. However, in a hybrid environment, when this easy communication method is no longer possible, workflows become siloed; each person may make their own modifications to a workflow to suit their needs, and it is not until the whole department gets together for a meeting that these inconsistencies are discovered, discussed, and sorted out. This leads to confusion, as people being trained on new tasks may be taught different ways of doing things, and over time the catalog becomes inconsistent for users. As someone who came into a hybrid environment from a traditional one, it is my job to come up with methods to identify workflow breakdowns and inconsistencies and find avenues to correct the resulting siloes. This presentation will discuss my experience adapting existing workflows to work better in a hybrid environment. 

    Thank you for your interest and participation! 


    ALA Core Technical Services Workflow Efficiency Interest Group Co-Chairs   

    Sai Deng (   

    Caroline Saccucci (

    Sai Deng
    Metadata Librarian
    University of Central Florida