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Library Technical Services Priorities, 2016-2018

(May 2016)

Library Technical Services (LTS) creates and maintains content used by the Library's online catalog, e-resource discovery systems, and numerous searching and delivery tools for all collections. We keep the collections vital and current by licensing and purchasing new materials, describing and organizing them for convenient use, and preparing items for preservation as necessary. We also support bibliographic access to special collections, rare, and archival materials, making these unique resources available for scholars worldwide.

LTS is a team of experts central to the success of the Library's mission and goals. We champion innovation, teamwork, productivity, staff development, and problem-solving skills; we work in an environment of respect, support, and continual learning. Our divisional priorities promote industry-best practices, collaboration, and support for scholarship. These priorities reflect the Library's strategic aims, and will evolve as the role of the Library evolves, enabling us to respond to the needs of 21st century researchers.

Related documents:

CUL Opportunities and Challenges for the Immediate Future, 2016-2017

2CUL Technical Services Strategic Alliance


Priorities

I. Acquire and provide enduring access to digital and physical materials

Providing access in an efficient and economical manner requires LTS to find the best financial and customer service terms from suppliers worldwide. It also requires us to harvest available bibliographic description into the local catalog and other discovery portals, and to develop or adapt new technologies to enhance workflow efficiencies and reduce processing time and costs. To these ends, LTS will:

  1. Collaborate with selectors to seek the best access terms from information providers through fair, scalable license negotiation. Ensure support for licensing activities – including those licenses involving CU-Med and the CU Tech Campus -- and identify opportunities to minimize the costs of negotiation, resource processing, and content purchase by joining Columbia and other peer institutions in consortial arrangements.
  2. Acquire content in electronic formats (including born digital material) whenever possible and appropriate, in accordance with the Library’s collection-building strategy.
  3. Increase access to Cornell collections in support of the University’s international goals.
  4. Create, adapt, and integrate workflows for current and emerging formats, working independently or with partners and vendors.
  5. Reduce processing costs and promote efficiencies through the use of tools and methods such as approval plans, Patron Driven Acquisition (PDA), evidence-based plans, online aggregated collections, vendor-supplied metadata, Pre-Order Online Form (POOF!) and other automated selection services, and EDI invoicing. Engage vendors to provide enhanced services, when appropriate.
  6. Submit all orders and initiate the process to secure online access, within 48 hours of identification for purchase. Monitor existing orders to ensure timely delivery of materials at each phase, from vendor to library to patron.
  7. Expedite requested items and provide accurate status information to individual requesters.
  8. Work effectively with vendors and information providers to supply accurate bibliographic descriptions for acquired collections.
  9. Maintain positive relationships with vendors by ensuring fair business practices, including timely payment of invoices.
  10. Protect physical materials, when needed, by stiffening, binding, and other measures. Promote the retrievability and security of our physical collections by barcoding, tattle-taping, and marking materials as appropriate.

II. Enhance access to information resources via state-of-the-art infrastructure, metadata, and innovative services

To improve and expand access to information resources for patrons who expect increasingly sophisticated digital tools for scholarship, LTS fields an organization of information professionals who provide innovative services to our patrons, keep pace with current technology, and pursue initiatives to increase the visibility of our unique collections. To these ends, LTS will:

  1. Create, adapt and enhance bibliographic description of and access to the Library's collections.
  2. Remain committed to our no-backlog policy for circulating items through adequate staffing and a combination of automated and streamlined cataloging strategies.
  3. Assist in minimizing the cataloging backlog for special collections, responding to increasing researcher demand for unique materials.
  4. Keep abreast of best practices, evolving standards, and emerging trends, codes, and conventions.
  5. Support and participate in the development and testing of advanced discovery models using linked data and unique identifiers to improve indexing and expand the Library's semantic web presence.
  6. Strengthen our technology infrastructure to automate routine processing, collaborate seamlessly with local and remote colleagues, and manage projects more effectively.
  7. Provide timely support and troubleshooting to improve end-user access to online resources.
  8. Participate in usability and assessment studies to create and maintain resource discovery systems and online information that respond to the expectations of our users.
  9. Maintain accuracy of the records in our discovery systems through targeted cleanup of data for ongoing maintenance and large transfer and system implementation projects, including withdrawals and reconciliation of holdings.
  10. Continue to develop and deploy a range of metadata and data services to meet the evolving information needs of our clients, building on LTS's history of offering consultation services for describing information resources.
  11. Draw on and develop the strong educational, intellectual, and linguistic backgrounds of LTS staff to enhance access to information resources.

III. Communicate and extend outstanding service within and beyond Cornell University

LTS will offer our support and expertise broadly to faculty, students, and fellow CUL staff. While continuing to meet needs within the Library and across campus, LTS will extend our services to new clientele within the University's spheres of interest, nationally and internationally, to better support the full cycle of research and scholarly exchange. To these ends, LTS will:

  1. Develop partnerships and training models throughout CUL that create awareness of LTS workflows and services (e.g. Selectors Continuing Education series), underscoring the impact these practices have on the work of other departments. Provide opportunities for CUL to suggest ways LTS can improve these processes to better meet the core needs of the Library.
  2. Participate in CUL initiatives that draw on LTS expertise, such as collection curation, data management, identity management, licensing, metadata, preservation, and web archiving.
  3. Promote metadata and research data consultation services to the broader Cornell community, extending LTS expertise in long-term digital collection management to Cornell information resources that reside outside of the Library.
  4. Communicate effectively with colleagues at Columbia and other collaborating institutions regarding practices and services of mutual interest.
  5. Contribute to the worldwide pool of shared metadata by participating in cooperative cataloging and authority programs, and by facilitating open distribution of metadata using appropriate technologies and licenses.
  6. Assume a leadership role in national and international initiatives of timely interest and value to CUL, such as those related to linked data, research data management, and reference linking.
  7. Contribute to initiatives that make a positive impact on public access to information resources, such as eCommons, HathiTrust, Internet Archive, the Open Library Environment (OLE), OCLC WorldCat, and other open-access repositories.
  8. Encourage participation in professional arenas, such as conferences, committees, publications, webinars, and other appropriate venues.
  9. Provide staff development opportunities (such as cross training and continuing education) to increase technical literacy and digital information skills to support the Library's collection profile and evolving vision.
  10. Maintain the LTS Website and other documentation to reflect the division's organizational structure, policies, practices and workflows.
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