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May 10 2021 - 02:27 PM
Technical Services Report, Spring 2021

Apple Tree Blossoms

The recap below provides an overview of a busy semester behind the scenes in Technical Services at Gottesman Libraries. Course Reading List fulfillment, resource fulfillment via the materials request process, and the coordination and fulfillment of Digital Delivery documents only skim the surface of Simone Schloss’s contribution to the TC Community this spring. Usa Ungsunan may receive the most steady stream of thanks from patrons for her quick, efficient, and accurate fulfillment of ebooks, which also currently includes ebook purchasing and cataloging, in addition to closed stacks materials projects, the facilitation of Digital Delivery services, and bookkeeping for firm orders. The projects and services below reflect collaborations with the larger library team, and colleagues from across the College.

Cataloging & Metadata

We worked with Backstage Library Works to develop a catalog clean-up project to resolve inconsistencies across our bibliographic data, as well as provide 952 record replacements. We also updated the subject headings in 18,791 bibliographic records, with our juvenile collection seeing the most benefit. Updated subject headings include the general topics of a book according to Library of Congress subject authority standards, including topics, genre, and series information, as well as alternative titles in Spanish where appropriate. These updates improve the quality of the patron experience in ensuring better collection discoverability and presentation. The first phase of this project was completed in early April, with the custom clean-up phase of the project to begin this summer. Catalogers at Backstage are aiming to remove invalid characters and indicators, resolve punctuation inconsistencies, and ensure that our catalog records adhere to professional standards as we prepare to migrate to a new library system.

Data extractions from our Sierra database to our production environment in Alma included bibliographic records, item records, transaction data, and patron records. After the data was extracted, it needed to be validated in software provided by Ex Libris in order to ensure a smooth transition to the production environment. After validation, these records were handed off to Ex Libris. During this process, we learned more about our catalog data, and the work to be done before our cutover date when a new set of data will be provided to Ex Libris before going live with Alma in August. This included the removal of over 320,000 links to request closed stacks items, and the removal of legacy records marked for deletion.

LD4 Wikidata Affinity Group calls continue to convene once a month to discuss best practices and strategies for using Wikidata in libraries, museums, and archives. Our meetings generally focus on researcher use of Wikidata for digital humanities and research purposes, with the support of data librarians and web development teams. The following sessions were attended during Spring 2021:

A community of practice around Wikidata, Wikipedia, and Wikimedia will begin in late May at Gottesman Libraries. Library staff have been invited to attend a casual meet-up to discuss all things Wiki*. Many thanks to Alexandra Provo, Metadata Librarian at NYU Libraries, for her willingness to speak with me after her presentation at the ARLIS/NA Digital Humanities Special Interest Group meeting, which will provide the framework for a Wiki* community of practice here at TC. Slides from the session can be viewed here. After building a foundation for Wikimedia related projects, we hope to expand our reach to include public programming such as Wiki Edit-a-thons and #1Lib1Ref events.

Systems & Software

Gottesman Libraries and TCIT continue to work with Ex Libris to migrate library systems. Configuring the new system through migration and configuration forms, attending training sessions and weekly meetings, and introducing library staff to features of the new system took place during the Spring 2021 semester. TCIT has worked towards integrating patron information with the new library system, and helped lay the groundwork for fines and fees integration. We look forward to closer integration with College financial and student information systems! Patrons can look forward to refined services points for searching library holdings, placing requests, and accessing their library account.

A first look at Alma and Primo was shared with the library staff in April. A brief presentation with an overview and status of the project was presented, with a live demo of circulation functions in Alma. An implementation knowledge base was built in Confluence and shared with library staff. It includes step-by-step instructions for fulfillment duties, such as checking in and out material, renewing material, adjusting due dates, and other service desk tasks. Slides from the meeting can be viewed here. Two members of the library team completed 522 minutes of recorded Alma training and 62 minutes of recorded Primo training each, and passed administrator certification tests for both Ex Libris products.

Acquisitions & Collections

Revised workflows for library acquisitions are underway in partnership with library vendor GOBI Library Services. This will allow for more integration between vendor and library systems, as well as streamlined catalog record delivery and real-time acquisitions. Real-time acquisitions allow for faster service and clear communication for patrons after they’ve requested the purchase of a new book.

A review of early fall electronic resource subscriptions will begin in the coming weeks, and include usage and cost-per-use assessments.

Course Reserves & Digital Delivery, summarized by Simone Schloss

Building on the huge success of the service for multiple Course Reading List items inaugurated this past fall, Gottesman Libraries’ Technical Services department continues to responsively meet the Course Reserves needs of Teachers College’s academic community in the current remote learning environment. We fulfilled 91 Spring 2021 Course Reading List requests for ejournals and ebooks received by the faculty and professional staff at the start of the semester in January. This popular and useful Course Reading List service is currently in place for Summer A & B Sessions and available until June 17th. At the same time, we continue to support our academic community by offering the choice and flexibility of single materials requests both at the start and throughout each semester. Together with our popular Ask-A-Librarian communications messaging service that allows clarification and elaboration of our patron’s needs, and the exchange of valuable information about the library’s procedures, fulfilling materials requests allows Technical Services to build, remotely, the rich and rewarding service relationships that we look forward to more fully resuming face-to-face, in the future. We have also succeeded in bridging the need for digital materials not immediately available through our publisher with the delivery of copyright-compliant scans from our print collection to our faculty and students, specifically addressing the demands of online instruction and meeting the needs of our more geographically dispersed community members. We fulfilled 194 digital delivery (scan) requests from January 1 - April 26, including 132 chapter scans for Spring Course Reserves, and 57 chapter scans for individual faculty and student use. 

📸 A Semester Snapshot

  • 213 new ebooks ordered and catalogued
  • 92 articles borrowed via Interlibrary Loan with Digital Article Exchange
  • 1,094 materials requests processed
  • 194 Digital Delivery requests fulfilled, including course reserve and personal use

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Posted in: Learning at the LibraryReports|By: Kalliopi Mathios|482 Reads