Monday, May 08, 2017

Call for Book Chapters: Technical Services: Adapting to the Changing Environment

Call for Book Chapter Proposals
Title: Technical Services: Adapting to the Changing Environment
Publisher: Purdue University Press
Proposal submission deadline: July 1, 2017

We all know libraries are in the midst of flux and change concerning the role of Technical Services. However, the situation is even more serious than that.  There are questions about Technical Services and its very viability in today’s library.   Technical Service librarians are 
constantly being challenged with the question of relevancy and their role within the library. It seems even those in our own libraries don’t understand what we do and the contribution we make to building and curating our collections. The threats are real however and we all have stories of being relocated out of the library, traditional print work decreasing because of the switch to electronic resources, budgetary constraints, work outsourced to the vendor or consortium or elsewhere, etc. Technical Service departments are reinventing themselves to respond to these challenges and threats as we speak and embracing innovative  opportunities to help our libraries advance into the 21st century. This book will provide stories and examples that highlight the reality (outsourcing, relocating off-site, downsizing collections) as well as the exciting new opportunities to embrace (institutional repositories, more focus on special collections, metadata issues, retraining and managing personnel, open access resources, distance education, etc.).

Possible Table of Contents:
  1. Challenges
    1. Outsourcing –there are different levels of outsourcing, most well know is shelf-ready. I’d like to see some stories of other services, such as cataloging, being outsourced.
    2. Downsizing collections – stories of print being weeded and why
    3. Staffing changes – while Technical Services departments may need fewer people in the long run, the staff that is needed will need to have greater skill sets and be paid more.  More and more, systems work such as programming is being handled in technical services and experience with metadata creation has become more important.  
    4. Marketing our services – the age old question of how to show our relevance.  Who has created a successful marketing/advocacy program for technical services?
    5. Assessment – how do we assess the work we do in Technical Services since many times, it seems the work we do is misunderstood.
  2. Opportunities
    1. New areas for growth – working with Institutional Repositories in interacting with Faculty to assign metadata terms to material.   
    2. The role of technical services with the acquisitions and access of data sets
    3. Working with Special Collections and ArchivesIt would be beneficial to hear stories of how Technical Services is working more closely with specialized collections.
    4. BIBFRAME/Linked Open Data – catalogers/metadata librarians need to be trained with BIBFRAMECase studies on Linked Open Data projects and how staff are being trained on LOD projects.
    5. Collaboration with IT/Systems departments.  We need to work more closely with these units.  Are there cases where Technical services collaborated on projects with IT, such as with Linked Open Data?
    6. Traditional ILS – need to catch up with what is happening in library world such as linked data, better faceting, implementing RDA, tools to track workflow, etc.
  3. Consortium Projects
    1. Case studies on how consortium projects (Shared retention, shared approval plans, ebook packages, shared print/ebook plans, etc) impact technical services.
  4. Vendor Relations
    1. Increasingly, Technical service managers’ time is spent on vendor relations.  Vendors are consolidating, OCLC is making changes to their services and not anticipating the difficulties for their customers, sales reps change, etc.   What are the challenges that technical services are facing with our vendors.  Every time a vendor is bought and sold, the customer is impacted.   A component of vendor relations is outsourcing.    What are new or dying areas of outsourcing with our vendors?  Has anyone gone beyond the shelf-ready type of outsourcing?  What about the transition to cloud based systems?  What are vendors doing (or not doing) to facilitate (or inhibit) the changes that are occurring?
  5. Distance Education
    1. How are technical services responding to the increase in distance education by universities and the outsourcing of teaching the classes to vendors. How are the acquisitions of resources coordinated with what is being taught?  It is often enough that students are trying to access resources that the Distance Education company says the library has but it doesn’t. 
I anticipate that completed chapters will each be approximately [10-15 pages in length 

Instructions for Proposal Authors:

Proposals should be submitted via email as a PDF or Microsoft Word file
attachment, and should include:

  •   Author name(s)
  •   Institutional affiliation(s) and position title(s)
  •   Author(s)’ previous writing and publishing history, if any
  •   Proposed chapter or chapter section title
  •   Summary of the proposed chapter or chapter section (250-500 words)

Authors of selected proposals will be notified by August 1, 2017.  Full
chapters are expected by December 1, 2017 (2,500-4000
words). Proposed chapters should be unique to this
publication – no materials that were previously published or simultaneously
submitted to another publication.

Proposals should be emailed to: Stacey Marien,

Stacey Marien
Acquisitions Librarian
American University Library
4400 Massachusetts Ave, NW