Public Librarians in Technical Services

February 23–24, 2010
hosted by Marlene Harris and Cheryl Nakaji

 Technical Services careers in public libraries is both like technical services in academic and other types of libraries and yet different from them. This forum is intended to be a two-day discussion where the following topics, as well as others can be addressed:

  • What are the career options for librarians that want to work in technical services in public libraries?
  • What are some of unique aspects of technical services librarianship in public libraries?  How does it differ from academic and other types of libraries?
  • What are ways librarians can prepare for a career in technical services in public libraries?  How have participants come to their career path?
  • What are some of the challenges faced by technical services librarians in public libraries?
  • How can ALCTS help support public librarians in technical services?

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Marlene Harris is currently the Support Services Division Director at the Alachua County Library District in Gainesville, FL, a position with administrative responsibility for both Technical Services and Automated Services. This is a perfect example of the type of "multi-hat" position that public library technical services librarians often end up in. In previous positions, she has worked in Technical Services managerial positions at the Chicago Public Library, as well as the Evanston Public Library and the Oak Park Public Library, both in the Chicago metropolitan area. She has also been an academic librarian, at Florida State University and the University of Alaska Anchorage, as well as a vendor at Endeavor Information Systems and Ex Libris USA. She is currently the Chair of the ALCTS Public Library Technical Services Interest Group.

Cheryl Nakaji is currently the Bibliographic Services Supervisor of Acquisitions for OC Public Libraries in California, a larger County library system of 33 branches and an administrative headquarters. Her work responsibilities include administration of contracts, ordering, serials, continuations, receiving and accounts payable. She has been a branch manager and a children’s librarian for OC Public Libraries. Prior to that she has worked as a private cataloger, Head Librarian for Art Center College of Design, and Instructor at Chapman University in charge of reference and periodicals. Her current challenge is making the transition from over 15 years in public services to technical services.

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