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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Role of Professional Librarians in Technical Services Interest Group program at ALA Annual

  • 1.  Role of Professional Librarians in Technical Services Interest Group program at ALA Annual

    Posted Jun 09, 2022 01:04 PM

    Apologies for cross-posting 


    Please join the
    Role of Professional Librarians in Technical Services Interest Group (RPLTS IG) during ALA Annual on Sunday, June 26, 2022, 2:30 - 3:30 pm at the Washington Convention Center, 150B. We will be discussing multi-faceted role professional librarians play in technical services. 


    You will be able to join one of the face-to-face round table discussions to share your thoughts, opinions and ideas.  


    Technical Services Advocacy Outside of Tech Services

    Discussion facilitator: Amanda Ros, Coordinator of Adaptive Cataloging & Resource Management, Texas A&M University

     In today's society, it's more important than ever to advocate for our collections, our budgets, and our staff. Many of us self-identify as introverts and may not be comfortable advocating for what our departments need. Let's discuss best practices for advocating for our value and the value of our collections.


    Exploring Normalcy in Technical Services

    Discussion facilitator: Jennifer M. Eustis, Metadata Librarian, University of Massachusetts Amherst

    When we came back to campus at my institution, the catch phrase used by administration both in the libraries and the university level was a return to normal. Normal operations. Normal meetings. Normal interactions. Having worked in technical services for over 10 years, my experience has been anything but normal. During this time, I've been in departments that have been understaffed,  in the process of reimagining staff, migrating, reorganizing, branching out to digital repositories, consulting, or moving to a new description standard. We have probably all been part of BIBFRAME conversations for this entire time. I remember webinars on doing more with less which morphed into the less with less. There were workshops on finding efficiencies to automate to do more with less. After the pandemic and hearing this mantra of "return to normal", I increasingly began to question what normal means in technical services. What are normal operations, meetings, and interactions? This round table topic proposes to discuss what normal has meant for technical services and explore the implications of that on operations, staffing, or hiring in the future.


    Telling the Technical Services Story

    Discussion facilitator: Jessie Copeland, Director, Resource Services @ Emory University Libraries

    Tech Services is often relegated to the basement.  Telling our story and building support for what we do and the contributions we make to our libraries is imperative.  Technical Service librarians contribute to our institutions, to our profession, and are subject matter experts in many fields. Communicating our accomplishments and our needs is something we could all do better.


    TS Retreat: Professional Development, Wellness, and Team Building for Technical Services

    Discussion facilitator: Cara Calabrese, Acquisitions & Access Librarian, Miami University

    At MU Libraries, Technical Services (TS) felt like it lost its identity after being downsized, a library reorganization that had Circulation and TS combined to form a singular department, and over a year of remote work. After finally coming back together TS was in need of team building, and they were looking to connect with other departments throughout the libraries. The librarians of TS sought to plan several kinds of activities to celebrate staff achievement and allow staff to relax and have fun. These activities ranged from a staff picnic to reorganizing their documentation to having kittens in TS for an afternoon. They also partnered with the Makerspace, with whom they share a wall, to encourage and empower staff to engage with those resources and learn how the Makerspace supports the mission of the library. The Makerspace librarian in conjunction with the TS librarians developed a workshop where TS could explore what their values are and develop a mission statement. I want to discuss what other TS departments are doing to provide growth for their staff, especially on limited budgets, along with attending to their needs, not only as employees, and how are we learning about potential partnerships that may come out of team building or skill building activities.

    We are looking forward to the in-person conversation!

    Sofia Slutskaya and Sherab Chen, Co-Chairs
    Amy Fry and Marina Morgan, Co- vice chairs



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    Sofia Slutskaya
    Head, Resource Description
    Emory University Library
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