ALA Midwinter 2000
Technical Services Directors of Large Research Libraries Discussion Group
“Big Heads”
(Friday a.m.)

The schedule for implementation of pinyin romanization of East Asian languages has been determined: OCLC will convert names and LC will distribute them in early summer 2000; RLG will convert bib records and LC will redistribute them later in the summer; Day One for implementation will be October 1st. Further details on LC web site.

OCLC hopes to move CORC to full production in the summer of 2000, with current work being done on the infrastructure of integration with WorldCat. Encoding Level value 3 (partial) will be used for CORC records. Questions: how do you integrate MARC and other records? simultaneous vs. parallel searching? where are records created? searched? retrieved? access to vs. owning a resource? role of selectors and reference librarians in creating records?

Duane Arenales of NLM reported on their work to develop a database to track electronic resources through licensing and use. The desire for a common procedure was noted.

The second half of the meeting was a discussion of “Technical services in the new millennium.” Four main issues were described: money, new types of work, new staffing patterns, and challenges. Money: need to look at full product and do work where it’s best done; no longer cat VS. acq; need to reduce handoffs; don’t expect a stable organization; need to trust in standards and application thereof; no room for a “bib nursery” when vendors are doing the easy tasks. New types of work: put emphasis on added value (copy cataloging becoming more routine); need to think of end-to-end process (from ordering to the shelf); partnering; some consortia (OhioLink and TRLN) are finding that libraries do not buy all the same thing. New staffing patterns: receivers AND catalogers; morphing into vendors; format-blind; need enough redundancy to move staff to critical work; technical services can’t be separated as much from other staff; integration of staff, virtually and physically; TS directors may be responsible for systems, preservation, special collections, or archives. Challenges: single-source vendors and consolidation of the vendors; 50% of LC’s cataloging staff will be eligible for retirement by 2002; relationship to training and change.

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