IL2009: Retooling Technical Services for the Digital Environment

Speaker: Brad Eden

We’ve heard it all before — we’re doing more with less, our work is changing dramatically, but the skill sets needed have not changed.

There are several catalysts for the change in libraries. The current economic trends indicate that state support for higher education will dwindle to nothing. We need to find different funding sources for higher education. The original hope for the Google book project was that it would challenge publishers, but instead they’ve turned around and become a publisher themselves, so we need to be prepared to pay for and provide access for our users.

People think everything is on the internet, so getting funding for library spaces and collections is challenging, so we need to repurpose our existing spaces. We need to shift our spending resources to developing access to unique local collections.

We need to move from local to network level collaboration in metadata and resource sharing. We need to train our users on how to retrieve information through their mobile devices.

[We need a speaker who recognizes that his audience is mostly technical-oriented people who are ready to change as needed and don’t need a pep talk to do it.]

Speakers: Doris Helfer, Mary Woodley, & Helen Heinrich

Retirements and new hires provided impetuses to change, along with a need to revise processes to reflect how things had changed over the past couple of decades. They decided to do the analysis in-house because of the level of staff interest and experience. They set out several objectives: eliminate duplicate & unnecessary tasks, streamline workflows, leverage technology, and explore vendor services.

They reduced the number of steps in copy cataloging (stopped checking sources and editing TOC information). They gave up shelf listing and decided to deal with duplicate call numbers if they came up. Aim for one-touch handling. Let go of perfection.