Telling the technical services story

For Immediate Release
Mon, 05/10/2021


Rob Christopher

Marketing Coordinator

ALA Publishing

American Library Association


CHICAGO — Technical Services isn’t the hidden discipline it once was. Even so, despite all the cross-departmental interaction, misconceptions about the work are all too common. It’s incumbent on technical services staff to take a proactive approach by communicating to others their value to the library and institutional mission. Spotlighting several successful initiatives, “Telling the Technical Services Story: Communicating Value,” published by ALA Editions in collaboration with Core Publishing, will give you the guidance to bolster communication within departments, across the library, and campus-wide. Edited by Kimberley A. Edwards and Tricia Mackenzie, from this collection you’ll learn about:

  • applying the 7 principles of communities of practice to break down silos;
  • software such as Trello, Basecamp, and Confluence that can improve communications workflows;
  • ticketing systems and training to help frontline staff solve e-resource access problems;
  • engaging faculty in collection decisions using a mix of communication channels;
  • how informational classes on metadata can improve the work of staff across the library;
  • supporting research data management through metadata outreach; 
  • using focus groups to develop shared expectations with subject librarians;
  • 4 narrative strategies to market library resources;
  • using infographics as a dynamic way to illustrate progress in a collection management program;
  • developing an external communication plan for a library de-selection project;
  • using portfolio management to collaboratively implement new services; and
  • planning a cross-departmental retreat.

Edwards is the head of database integrity and analysis at George Mason University Libraries. Prior to her current role she worked in the circulation and technical services departments of several college and government libraries. She has presented on collection management and analysis tools and techniques at a range of national and international conferences. Mackenzie is the head of metadata services at George Mason University Libraries. She has presented at regional, national, and international conferences on topics relating to cataloging and metadata creation and quality control, authority control, and data management.

The former Association for Library Collections and Technical Services (ALCTS), the Library Information Technology Association (LITA), and the Library Leadership and Management Association (LLAMA) are now Core: Leadership, Infrastructure, Futures, a new division of ALA. Its mission is to cultivate and amplify the collective expertise of library workers in core functions through community building, advocacy, and learning.

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