LTS Priorities, 2013-2015

(August 2013)

See most recent priorities document here


Library Technical Services (LTS) is a team of experts central to the Library's mission and its digital future. We champion innovation, teamwork, productivity, staff development, and problem-solving skills, and we work in an environment of respect, support, and continual learning.  Our divisional priorities promote industry best practices, reflect the Library's strategic plan, and will evolve as the role of the Library evolves, with particular focus on cross-institutional collaborations such as expansion of Borrow Direct services, the 2CUL partnership with Columbia University Library, and the corresponding implementation of a shared integrated library management system. Each LTS priority will be affected by this new integrated model, enabling us to better respond to the evolving needs of a 21st century research library.


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


I. Content: Acquire enduring access to both electronic information and physical artifacts

Providing access in an efficient and economical manner requires LTS managers and staff to find the best financial and customer service terms from suppliers worldwide.  It also requires us to harvest all 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 staff will:

1. Collaborate with selectors to seek the best access terms from information providers through fair, scalable license negotiation.  Expand support of license activities, 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 when appropriate, in accordance with the Library's strategic plan. Integrate more fully the acquisition, description, and access maintenance of digital and print resources.

3. Reduce processing costs and promote efficiencies through the use of tools and methods such as approval plans, Patron Driven Acquisition (PDA), online aggregated collections, vendor-supplied metadata, WorldCat Selection, Pre-Order Online Form (POOF!), and EDI invoicing. Outsource tasks to off-campus providers as appropriate.

4. Communicate effectively with vendors and information providers on the need for full, accurate bibliographic descriptions for acquired collections.

5. Order all materials and initiate the process to secure online access within 48 hours of their identification for purchase.  Monitor existing orders to ensure timely delivery of materials at each phase, from vendor to library to patron. 

6. Expedite requested items to the patrons awaiting them and provide accurate status information to individual requesters.

7. Protect physical materials by stiffening, binding, and other measures. Promote the retrievability and security of our physical collections by barcoding, tattle-taping, and marking materials as appropriate.

8. Maintain positive relationships with vendors by ensuring fair business practices, including timely payment of invoices.

II. Services: Provide enhanced access to information resources via state-of-the-art infrastructure and innovative services

To improve and expand the Library's technology infrastructure for patrons who expect increasingly sophisticated digital tools for scholarship, LTS fields an organization of information professionals who lead the way in providing 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 staff will:

1. Draw on and develop the strong educational, intellectual, and linguistic backgrounds of LTS staff to enhance access to information resources. Support the transition of positions (including cross-training) to address staff needs and the Library's evolving vision and collection profile, with its increased focus on electronic services and the implementation of innovative technologies.

2. Strengthen our technology infrastructure to automate routine processing, collaborate seamlessly with local and remote colleagues, and manage projects more effectively.

3. Provide timely support and troubleshooting to improve end-user access to online resources.

4. Maintain accuracy of the records in our discovery systems through targeted cleanup of data, timely transfer and withdrawal of materials, and larger projects such as retrospective barcoding and batch-modification of holdings data during book moves.

5. Continue to develop and deploy a range of metadata services to meet the evolving information needs of our clients, building on LTS's history of offering consultation services for describing information resources.

6. Remain committed to our zero-backlog policy for circulating items through adequate staffing and a combination of automated and streamlined cataloging strategies

7. Assist in minimizing the cataloging backlog for special collections, responding to increasing researcher demand for unique materials.

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. Expand the LTS Website to reflect the 2CUL organizational structure, policies and practices, and continue to maintain its accuracy.

III. Outreach: Extend outstanding service to Cornell University clientele

In an effort to bring our activities out of the ‘back room’, LTS will make our expertise in development of systems for discovery and access more broadly known to faculty, students, and fellow CUL staff. While continuing to satisfy the expectations of our current clientele within the library and across campus, LTS seeks to expand our service mission to new clientele within the university's sphere of interest to better support the full cycle of research and scholarly exchange. To these ends, LTS staff will:

1. Communicate effectively among LTS staff and our partners at Columbia about the diverse expertise and services we provide, clearly defining our work and its impact across Technical Services.

2. 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.

3. Participate in CUL initiatives that require LTS staff expertise in collection curation, data management, licensing, metadata, and preservation.

4. Promote metadata and primary 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.

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 metadata initiatives, research data management, and reference linking. Encourage participation in professional arenas, such as conferences, publications, webinars, and other appropriate venues.

7. Contribute to initiatives that make a positive impact on public access to information resources, e.g. Hathitrust, Internet Archive, OCLC WorldCat, Project Euclid.


Library Strategic Plan: