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Future Trends in Technical Services. Roman Panchyshyn OHIONET April 2, 2008 OLC Technical Services Retreat. Innovation: From 1998.

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Future Trends in Technical Services

Roman Panchyshyn


April 2, 2008

OLC Technical Services Retreat

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Innovation: From 1998

Today's library environment involves a high level of uncertainty, has few precedents on which to base decisions, often lacks reliable facts to guide decisions, requires quicker decisions with less time for reflection, and often offers several plausible options to consider. Individuals who are able to use their intuition rather than requiring hard facts on which to base every decision will be the most successful technical services managers of the future.

Using automation in technical services to foster innovation. By: Diedrichs, Carol Pitts, Journal of Academic Librarianship, Mar1998, Vol. 24, Issue 2

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Future Ideas from 1999: What will TS do?

  • Metadata cataloging

    ·    Efforts to describe and provide access to information contained in digitization efforts and digital projects

    ·    Access and description of electronic and Internet resources in all its myriad forms

    ·  Consultants for database design and development for faculty and staff involved in grant projects (at the academic library level)

  • Become grant writers/initiators

    ·   Collaboration between and among other information organizations (museums, libraries, archives, government, public and private corporations, etc.)

  • Consultants and experts in continuing education and training initiatives for library professionals and staff, both on-the-job and in librarianship itself 

    • Brad Eden, “Technical Services: a vision for the future” Library Computing, v.18, no.4, 1999, p. 289-94.

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1998 to Today

  • What has changed?

  • Innovation is still key

  • Technical Services must still manage change and place itself in the forefront

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Brad Eden’s Thoughts in 2007

  • The way libraries do business today does not work

  • Libraries no longer information monopolies

  • “One catalog” idea no longer works

  • Position of libraries within larger organizational structure is now precarious

  • Libraries spend most funding on personnel, salaries & benefits

  • Operating budget, 70% spent on catalogs used by 10% of users

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Eden … 2007

  • 2006 ALA Big Heads. Downsizing technical services is now strategic objective

  • Revenue saved can be used to stay solvent and move forward with new initiatives

  • Cataloging not “sexy”, digitization is.

    Eden, Brad. “Information Organization Future for Libraries.” Library Technology Reports. V. 43, no. 6, Nov/Dec 2007.

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  • Do you feel that staffing in your library will increase or decrease over the next 5 years?

  • Are the job descriptions in your library being continuously maintained and updated?

  • Are you considering a new ILS?

  • Is your library/institution considering the creation and maintenance of an institutional repository?

  • Does your library have a social (Web 2.0) presence?

  • Are you planning to provide access to Non-English patrons?

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Future Trends

  • We are going to examine several trends that may have an impact on technical services in the next 5-10 years

  • Many of these issues were recently discussed at ALA Midwinter

  • LC Working Group on Future of Bibliographic Control:

    • http://www.loc.gov/bibliographic-future/news/lcwg-ontherecord-jan08-final.pdf

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Issue: Shift of Cataloging Upstream

  • Make use of bibliographic data available earlier in the supply chain

  • Eliminate redundancies

  • Where will the data come from and what is the cost?

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Impact on TS

  • Publisher’s data useful

  • Crosswalks between MARC-ONIX

  • Concept of machine as user

  • OCLC Next Generation Cataloging Pilot

  • xISBN service (FRBR grouping)

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Routine Cataloging

  • There will be a shift to get as much routine cataloging done by machine as early as possible

    • WorldCat Selection is an example

  • Shelf-ready options

    • Direct vendor records

    • Records purchased through partner programs such as OCLC WorldCat Cataloging Partners

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Issue: Cataloging Training & Standards

  • RDA being developed to take the place of AACR2

  • Joint Steering Committee

    • http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/jsc/index.html

  • Planned release in 2009

  • Subscription-based service

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Why RDA?

  • New standard for resource description and access designed for the digital world

  • Assist in developing FRBR-FRAD based-catalogs (works, expressions, manifestations, items)

  • Find, identify, select, and obtain resources

  • More flexibility for machine-based cataloging, be usable primarily within the library community, but be capable of adaptation to meet the specific needs of other communities.

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RDA training

  • Monumental effort, catalogers will need to be trained down to the local level

  • LC “Train the Trainer” for distributed training programs

  • RDA initially will need to use legacy data (MARC 21)

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Metadata Training

  • Catalogers will need a functional knowledge of:

    • Dublin Core

    • METS

    • MODS

    • EAD

  • Essential for capability to manage digital projects

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Issue: Non-English Access

  • Libraries will be facing the prospect of providing more access to non-English patrons and materials

  • This will impact TS on both the automation and staffing level

  • ALCTS Task Force on Non-English Access Report (March 2007)

    • http://www.ala.org/ala/alcts/newslinks/nonenglish/07marchrpt.pdf

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Non-English ILS support

  • ILS that support language display & scripting

  • Non-English authority files (coming soon at LC, Spring 2008)

  • Should the practice of Romanization continue?

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Non-English Staffing

  • Selection/Acquisitions staffing models need to reflect language support

  • Vendors and their systems need to integrate with non-English staff and systems

  • Expertise and expense

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Issue: Creation and Maintenance of Institutional Repositories (IRs)

  • The concept of the “hidden collection”

  • Dual purpose

    • Access

    • Preservation

  • Catalogers freed up from “routine cataloging” may use their skills to develop and maintain IRs

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  • Much IR software is “open source”

    • Fedora

    • DSpace

    • Greenstone

  • Some is commercial

    • CONTENTdm

    • Olive

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  • Need the buy-in from various departments (especially in academics)

  • Need to resolve possible copyright issues (publisher access vs. open access)

  • Need to make decisions on archiving and preserving all types of formats (even obsolete ones)

  • Open vs. dark archive

  • Storage costs

  • Skill sets necessary to plan digital projects

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Issue: Electronic Resource Management Systems

  • Serials/Database management system whose control is increasingly falling under the sphere of technical services

  • Allows libraries to manage and keep up to date things such as license requirements, copyright, link resolvers, etc….

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Interoperability with ILS

  • Some are homegrown (SCELC ERMS), some are commercial (Serials Solutions)

  • 2008 White Paper points out the interoperability issues

    • http://www.diglib.org/standards/ERMI_Interop_Report_20080108.pdf

  • Aim to eliminate duplicity, redundancy

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Issue: Staffing

  • Succession planning (is this still being addressed in libraries)

  • Changing job descriptions

  • Obtaining marketable skills and retaining skilled employees

  • Are TS staff “empowered”?

  • Is there a Web 2.0 mentality now within library staff?

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Issue: Open Source vs. WorldCat Local

  • Open Source ILS allows libraries to design & develop their own ILS, free from constraints of commercial vendors

  • Examples

    • Koha

    • LibLime

    • Evergreen

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Open Source for TS

  • Library staff (or Open Source Development companies) must have skill sets to design and maintain these systems

  • Modules must be designed for circulation, acquisitions, patron data, cataloging

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Risk vs. Reward

  • Advantages

    • More control

    • Sharing community

    • Cheaper?

  • Disadvantages

    • Requires skilled trained technical staff

    • Continuous maintenance & development based on altruistic principles (is this sustainable)

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Federated Searching (Portals)

  • Types

    • Endeca

    • AquaBrowser

    • WebFeat

  • Enables simultaneous searching of organizational databases (including ILS) through a single interface

  • Will TS staff manage these?

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OCLC WorldCat Local model

  • Access to WorldCat now free through WorldCat.org

  • Is WorldCat the only source of bibliographic records?

  • Better yet, is it necessary for libraries to continue to collect and use bibliographic records with a local ILS?

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OCLC WorldCat Local

  • Can serve as library “catalog”

  • Be customized for local library “feel”

  • Can be integrated with local ILS for circulation/acquisitions functionality

  • Link resolvers & open URL for access to electronic data

  • Do you really need to continue to support a local ILS cataloging module?

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What Does A User Want?

  • Find

  • Identify

  • Access

  • Which is better, the MARC 21 model or the Amazon/WorldCat.org model?

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WorldCat Local

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Amazon model

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Technical Services Vision

  • TS staff must be innovative

  • Change/adapt to new uses & trends

  • Develop and refine new skills to take advantage of change

  • Above all, you must be willing to take risks to stay competitive

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  • Blogs & Wikis can bring the community together and keep TS staff informed

  • Blogs of Note

    • Michael Steven’s “Tame the Web”

    • Stephen Abrams “Stephen’s Lighthouse”

    • David Bigwood’s “Catalogblog”

  • There are literally hundreds more

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Questions & Discussion

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Roman Panchyshyn, MLIS


[email protected]

614-486-2966 ext. 32

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