Public Services for Technical Services Librarians

Many technical services positions also include public services responsibilities. You may have known this when accepting the position or these responsibilities may have been added because of restructuring or downsizing. There are a variety of public services tasks that technical services librarians or staff may be asked to perform, including scheduled times at the reference or circulation desks, bibliographic instruction, and taking over subject specialist responsibilities.

In this e-forum, we discussed what kinds of public services responsibilities you perform, the training you received, how that training is refreshed (or how you are kept in the loop), and how you balance these responsibilities with your technical services duties. We are very interested in success stories and tips we can share with each other.

Find a summary of the discussion in the ALCTS News.


Erin E. Boyd is the Cataloging/Reference Librarian at Troy (Ala.) University, Montgomery Campus. In addition to cataloging, she provides reference services, serves as liaison for literature and fine arts, and develops LibGuides. She is active in ALCTS serving as a member of the Continuing Education Committee, Co-Chair of the New Members Interest Group, and is ALCTS representative for the ALA Website Advisory Committee. Her professional interests include long-distance collaboration, outreach, emerging technologies, and collection management.

Ruth Elder is the Cataloging Librarian at the Troy campus of Troy University. She has been a cataloger for almost thirty years. Each of her positions included technical services and public services responsibilities. Public services duties included circulation/reference desk duties, teaching bibliographic instruction, implementing a discovery service, automating a circulation department, and helping establish policies for public services. ALCTS involvement: Membership Committee, CaMMs Policy and Planning Committee, and RDA Programming and Planning Task Force.

Laura Turner joined University of San Diego’s Copley Library in October 2012 as Head of Technical Services. Previously, she served as Head of Technical Services at Washington and Lee University Library. In addition to her technical services responsibilities, she helps lead library workshops to enhance information literacy, is a library liaison to the Music Department, and serves as a Personal Librarian for more than seventy freshmen in the University’s Living Learning Community for new students.


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Tech Requirements

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