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Redesigning Technical Services by Reconceptualizing StaffTraditionally, technical services staff have possessed skills associated with acquisitions, cataloging, collection development, preservation and stacks management responsibilities. However in today’s rapidly changing library, technical services roles and responsibilities have changed. Technical services departments now require advanced technology, academic training, public services, and teaching skills that support innovative, independent, creative, and forward-thinking approaches to the provision of collections and services. How can libraries acquire and cultivate needed skills? What effect can new skill sets have on designing workflow, setting priorities, accomplishing goals, and meeting user expectations? This presentation will focus on the University of Connecticut Libraries process for identifying new and essential skills, recruiting new staff, and the impact new skill sets and experiences have had on changing the dynamics and directions of Technical Services.
Two Libraries, One Plan: Combining and Refining Technical Services Across Two CampusesThe Libraries of Kenyon College and Denison University, supported by a Mellon Foundation grant, have collaboratively redesigned and merged their technical services departments into one combined unit, through the creation of a joint department of Collection Services. As members of the Five Colleges of Ohio and OhioLINK consortia, both libraries have a long standing history of cooperation. This venture, however, takes cooperation to a new level of collaboration by merging one department within two distinct libraries, geographically separated on two campuses. This presentation will be geared towards providing valuable insight to other libraries who might be considering new ventures in collaboration and work redesign. Key elements of this unique plan will be highlighted, such as staff empowerment and redefined workflows, while the focus of the presentation will be on the process undertaken in planning and implementing the redesign project. Recognizing that successful reorganization at this level is not a given, the presenters will include a frank discussion of both the keys to success, as well as those things that have been bumps in the road, so that others may anticipate both the challenges and rewards of rethinking the role of technical services within our libraries.