Re-envisioning Technical Services: Identifying Leadership and Talent Management Best Practices

How can libraries enhance and reposition their “technical services” operations to drive ongoing library transformation? Scholarly communications, data curation, digital humanities, cooperative preservation, library publishing, collaborative collection management: these new functions require a talented staff with significant technical services expertise, regardless of their titles and reporting structure. This five-part webinar series is based on the successful 2016 Midwinter Symposium held in Boston. Presenters will explore how libraries can recruit and cultivate staff who can serve as both leaders and contributors and provide insight into talent management, including identifying and nurturing leaders; succession planning; promoting diversity; and connecting staff with the best training options throughout their careers.

Series sessions include:

Session 1 Leading the Library of the Future - February 1, 2017 (1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. Central Time)

Presented by Keith Webster

The role of technical services in the 21st century research library will be considered against a backdrop of current trends in universities, research, and scholarly communications. Many natural library responses, including the curation of the evolving scholarly record and the implementation of campus research information systems, all offer potential engagement for technical services librarians. These opportunities will be reviewed in order to chart a positive future for technical services specialists and the services they deliver.

Session 2 - New Research on Staff and Leadership Development in Technical Services - February 15, 2017 (1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. Central Time)

Presented by Cory Tucker

Library technical services departments and staff have unique and special training needs prompted by changing standards, new formats, and innovative technologies. The presentation will highlight the results of an online survey administered by the Association of Library Collections & Technical Services President’s Program Committee. The online survey addressed questions regarding new skills, training, leadership and succession planning.

Session 3 - Case Studies: Residencies, Peer Training and Succession Planning - February 22, 2017 (1:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. Central Time)

Presented by Angela Kinney, Elyssa Gould, and Jacob Nadal

This webinar brings together three case studies in cultivating talent: Residency Training, Peer Training, and Leadership Succession Planning. The presenters will describe the benefits, outcomes, and lessons learned from projects that supported librarians at different stages throughout their careers.

Session 4 - Talent Management and Succession Planning - March 22, 2017 (1:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. Central Time)

Presented by Dr. Meredith Taylor and Dr. Sylvia Hall-Ellis

Libraries need the “next” workforce to transform and innovate. Organizations can use talent management to recruit, retain, and develop the future staff they need. Let’s examine performance elements of talent management to learn its applications for re-envisioning the skills and competencies needed among the technical services workforce.

Session 5 - Mythbusting: The Search for a Technical Services Generalist - May 3, 2017 (1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. Central Time)

Presented by Jenica P. Rogers

The changing landscape of scholarly communication and digital information services has dramatically changed the scope of library technical services - but have our libraries changed our expectations of technical services librarians? Rogers will explore her library's experiences, and the experiences of other library directors searching for the "modern" technical services librarian, and consider how libraries have and have not responded to shifts in the changing landscapeand what we can do now to begin futureproofing ourselves.

Learning Outcomes

After attending this series, attendees will have:

  1.  A broad, porous and dynamic view of technical services and its centrality to the success and evolution of libraries;
  2.  An understanding of the components of talent management and exploration of leadership development, succession planning, and continuing education and training for all levels of staff; and
  3. Explored practical and blue-sky methods to implement or enhance these aspects of talent management in any type or size library.

Who Should Attend

Library and technical services managers and others interested in the future of technical services


Keith Webster is Dean of University Libraries and Director of Emerging and Integrative Media Initiatives at Carnegie Mellon. Previously, Keith was vice president and director of academic relations and strategy for John Wiley and Sons and before that held library dean and director roles at universities in Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. Keith serves on the Board of Directors of NISO and PALCI, and on the Publications Board of the Association of Computing Machinery. 

Cory Tucker, Head of Continuing Resources & Collections at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas Libraries, recently served on the Association for Library Collections & Technical Services (ALCTS) President’s Program Committee and previously served as the Chair of the Collection Management Section of ALCTS. He received his BS in Finance from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville and his MLS from the University of South Florida.

Angela Kinney began working at the Library of Congress in 1981. She has served in progressively responsible positions in Library Services, first as a cataloging technician and now as a division chief of the African, Latin American and Western European Division. Kinney is a graduate of the Library of Congress Leadership Development Program and she holds a BA from Georgetown University and a MLS from The Catholic University of America.

Elyssa Gould serves as the Electronic Resources Librarian at the University of Tennessee and as Book Review Editor for Library Resources and Technical Services (LRTS). Elyssa’s professional interests are centered on bibliographic description, electronic resources, and the future of library technical services. She earned her BA at Georgia College and State University, her MSLS at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and a MA in English at Northern Michigan University.

Jacob Nadal is the Executive Director of ReCAP: The Research Collections and Preservation Consortium, a partnership among Columbia University, The New York Public Library, and Princeton University. Mr. Nadal serves as an advisor to the National Digital Stewardship Residency program, the Library of Congress Digital Preservation Outreach and Education initiative. He received his BA from University of Puget Sound and his MLS from Indiana University.

Sylvia Hall-Ellis, provides leadership and vision for colleagues in higher education, government, and the information industry. A highly successful grant writer and fundraiser, she has more than 40 years of experience working as an administrator, development officer, and project manager. An accomplished writer and editor, she is an Adjunct Professor in the School of Information at San Jose State University. Dr. Hall-Ellis is currently co-authoring a new book on succession planning in libraries.

Meredith A. Taylor, has worked in higher education administration and research libraries for over 16 years; her current role is in administrative operations for the Provost’s Office at the University of Texas. Dr. Taylor also co-authored a study for ARL exploring the utilization of talent management strategies in research libraries.

Jenica P. Rogers is Director of Libraries and College Archives and Dorf Endowed Director of Applied Learning at the State University of New York at Potsdam. Previously, she held positions in cataloging, collection development, and staff training. Jenica earned her MLIS from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her current professional interests include looking at how the information economy is breaking down and reforming following the advent of the internet, and informing, mentoring, and supporting new library professionals.











Participant ($USD) ($USD)
ALCTS Member (individual) 43 172
Nonmember (individual)      59 236
Groups. Applies to group of people that will watch the webinar together from one access point. 129 516

All webinars are recorded and the one-time fee includes unlimited access to the webinar recording. All registered attendees will receive the link to the recorded session so if you are unable to attend the webinar at the time it is presented, you will have the opportunity to listen to the recording at your convenience.

How to Register

Complete the online registration form. Courses are listed by date and you must log in.


Contact us to register:

Call 1-800-545-2433 and press 5 to reach our customer service representatives or

Register by mail for the session you would like to attend. (If you receive an error message after clicking the "register by mail" link, right-click the link and save the form to your computer.)

Tech Requirements

Computer with Internet access (high-speed connection is best) and media player software. Headphones recommended.

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For questions about registration, contact ALA Registration by calling 1-800-545-2433 and press 5 or email

For all other questions or comments related to the webinars, contact Megan Dougherty, ALCTS Events Manager at 1-800-545-2433, ext. 5038 or