Electronic resources management should be the primary focus of technical services units in the early 21st Century. Print should no longer be treated as the default format and the work of library staff must be reorganized and reintegrated with librarians and other professionals to reflect the growing importance of electronic resources in contemporary information services.
Within technical services, staff workflows can be organized to emphasize functional areas such as troubleshooting, collection analysis support and the systematic testing of technology that best support the contemporary library’s mission. More established workflows such as batch processing and copy cataloging can also be improved through better coordination with other workflows. Fitting the work of a new technical services system into the library’s wider mission requires good communication and flexibility regarding organizational structures. Workflows for some technical services functions must be carefully integrated horizontally or vertically into the workflows of other units in a systematic way that fosters cooperation and accountability while avoiding confusion regarding roles and responsibilities.
This presentation will include the following content: 1) An argument for the reorganization of technical services, 2) General description of functional areas of electronic resources management with basic workflows, 3) Diagrams showing vertical and/or horizontal integration between technical services units and other library personnel relevant to specific functional areas, and 4) Suggestions for improving communication and decision making.
Hopefully, the presentation of this model and consideration of new roles for technical services will inspire attendees to develop their own ideas, experiment, and find ways to improve service.