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January 28, 2016 - Technical Services Interest Group
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CLA’s Technical Services Interest Group Stars Shine at ALA


The CLA TSIG had a number of members who received awards, planned, and presented programs on the national stage at ALA Annual in San Francisco.

Becky Culbertson, University of California San Diego, is the recipient of the 2015 Ulrich’s Serials Librarianship Award. Congratulations, Becky!

Elaine Franco, TSIG Steering Committee, University of California, Davis, completed her term as Chair of the ALCTS Affiliate Relations Committee at the close of the 2015 ALA Annual Conference. This committee promotes communication and cooperation between ALCTS and state and regional technical services groups affiliated with ALCTS, such as the CLA Technical Services Interest Group. The committee facilitates the “ALCTS Affiliates Showcase,” an opportunity for ALCTS affiliates to repeat or excerpt successful state or regional programs at the ALA Annual Conference. With ALA in San Francisco this year, a CLA TSIG program from the November 2014 CLA Conference was an obvious choice for Affiliates Showcase.

Luiz Mendes, California State University, Northridge, and Kevin Balster, UCLA, presented “RDA: Resource Description and Access: An Update.”  The ALA presentation updated the 2014 CLA program and included information on RDA post-implementation revisions and national policies (from the Library of Congress, Program of Cooperative Cataloging, OCLC, etc.), including the use of new fields for bibliographic and authority records. Attendees actively joined discussion on implementing RDA in their own libraries and considering options for OPAC display, workflow, local policies, training, and keeping current with revised documentation.  A much-appreciated list of online and print resources was provided.

Although Elaine will be leaving the ALCTS Affiliate Relations Committee (after reaching the limit of four consecutive years of service), the CLA TSIG connection with the ALCTS Affiliate Relations Committee will continue in the very capable hands of Elise Wong, TSIG Vice Chair/Chair Elect, St. Mary’s College of California, and Alissa Hafele, Stanford University Libraries.

Julie Moore, TSIG Chair, California State University, Fresno, and Jay Weitz, OCLC Online Computer Library Center, presented an ALCTS full-day preconference workshop entitled “Cataloging Special Formats for the Child in All of Us Using RDA and MARC 21.” This ALCTS preconference was sponsored by the Cataloging of Children’s Materials Committee and co-sponsored by OLAC (Online Audiovisual Catalogers, Inc.) This had to have been one of the most fun cataloging workshops at ALA! The presenters provided practical information on the descriptive cataloging of special formats in children's materials. Attendees grappled with hands-on exercises and materials. “Small Paul,” inflatable surrogate to “Tall Paul,” Julie’s anatomical model and side-kick, got a lot of attention! Special formats children’s materials covered included: video recordings, sound recordings, video games, 3-dimensional objects, kits, games, books with accompanying materials, and 2-dimensional materials such as pictures and flash cards. This was an intimate class that allowed for plenty of questions … and fun!

Julie and Jay have both served as writers, editors, and advisors on OLAC CAPC (Cataloging Policy Committee) publications, including some of the best practices guides that can be quite valuable in cataloging these materials. Those guides can be found on the OLAC website.

Mary Beth Weber, Rutgers University Libraries, served as speaker and moderator of an ALCTS panel program, entitled, “Is Technical Services Dead?: Designing Our Future.” The panel  speakers were: Amy Weiss, Florida State University Libraries; Julie Moore, Fresno State; Elyssa Gould, University of Michigan Law Library, and Erin Boyd, Irving Public Library. The presenters are a few of many authors of a book project that brought us together, Rethinking Technical Services, Considering Our Profession and Ourselves: What’s the Future of Our Profession? Mary Beth Weber, ed. Lantham, Md.: Rowman and Littlefield, 2015.

The presentation was based loosely on the book, discussing the major changes in technical services work over the past 5-10 years, with automated workflows, a proliferation of vendor-supplied services, patron-driven acquisition plans, and digital preservation. The presenters discussed whether there is a future for traditional technical services, as well as skills needed for future technical services work. They also talked about the importance of technical services advocacy.

This presentation was very well-attended with at least 150 attendees. This program went over so well that they have been invited to repackage the content as an ALCTS webinar … so please stay tuned!

The same cast of California characters (and many more) were included in technical services programming for CLA Annual in Pasadena. We enjoyed seeing you there!

Submitted by Julie Renee Moore, TSIG Chair, California State University, Fresno and Elaine Franco, TSIG Steering Committee, University of California, Davis.