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Jan 20 2022 - 04:12 PM
Technical Services Fall 2021 Semester Report

pheasants feeding in the snow - rothman lantern slide collection

Image courtesy of the Rothman Lantern Slide Collection, Pocket Knowledge

Cataloging & Metadata

We continued cleaning bibliographic metadata in Alma this fall, with special attention to how catalog records display and react within the Course Resource List search extension (Leganto) in Canvas. After investigating the bibliographic and resource types of ebook records and deleting problematic records, I returned to clean up work that had been postponed due to the system migration, working with a vendor to complete a clean up project started in 2021. These changes included cleaning up Library of Congress Call number formatting, updating a large percentage of control and descriptive fields, and correcting unaddressed authority field discrepancies from an earlier clean up project. After analyzing the results of the record changes, full record changes will be processed in the catalog in the coming weeks.

I also began to explore Alma's Cloud Apps. Within Alma, there are a number of applications that can be added to the system. Some apps help with everyday tasks such as printing, while others are geared towards exploring new ways of refining and sharing metadata. One such application is called Alma Refine. Alma Refine allows the user to pull Wikidata URIs into bibliographic metadata fields, such as the MARC 100 field for authors shown in the screenshot below. Penn Libraries made sure that their serial backfiles have Wikidata entries, and then roundtripped that data back into Alma. More information about this process can be found in presentation slides prepared by Jim Hahn from his lightning talk at the December LD4 Wikidata Affinity Group call, Roundtrip PCC Wikidata into Alma Using Alma Refine.

Creating electronic collections and unique records for our database and EBSCO ebook holdings allowed for more ease in locating database-level resources. While some of these resources could have been marked unsuppressed from the Alma Community Zone, I found a cleaner look in creating new, brief records and aggregating them together under a local collection titled TC Database Subscriptions.

Systems & Software

Documentation for critical Alma workflows now live in a Confluence project space, and include fulfillment and monograph acquisitions with instructions for how to circulate material, backdate returns, register new patrons, utilize proxy borrowing, mark items missing, conduct on the fly check outs, and process book requests. Acquisitions documentation includes vendor ordering, placing manual orders in Alma, API ordering in Alma, receiving orders, and invoicing. 

Adjustments were made to Educat+ as the single access point for library resources this fall semester. We added the ability to filter a search by availability, including facets for open access, peer review, and digitally available content. We refined the options for advanced search to include searching by ISBN, ISSN, and call number. Changes were made to call and copy number display at the record level, and we cleaned up erroneous punctuation.

New loan rules were created for borrowing units located on the 5th floor. We also updated loan rules for library use only material, and tested Alma’s reading room functionality. 

We implemented Leganto, a new course reserves platform and tool. Leganto integrates with both the library system and Canvas. Faculty will have the ability to edit and add readings on their own, or work with library staff to deliver readings to students. We look forward to making this tool available to all faculty members in the coming months.

Acquisitions & Coordinated Collection Development

Fall semester was spent refining acquisitions workflows. As we returned to campus and print book orders for the first time since March 2020, it took time and testing to align our workflows with our new library system. It also took patience to work with our print book vendors, who reported shipping delays due to supply chain related issues. 

API ordering has allowed for the library to process new books with improved catalog record consistency, and provides patrons with more information regarding the status of a request. Please note that fulfillment times generated by the system account for any delays caused by the vendor, and generally arrive before the expected date. For ebooks, we are seeing improved fulfillment times. Ebooks records are deposited into the catalog upon ordering, and are updated by library staff as they become available. 

Creating local electronic collections for our EBSCO ebook collection allowed us to more quickly enter these items into the library catalog. It also allowed us to link these ebooks to the Alma Community Zone, where librarians can collaboratively edit and share electronic resource records. 

Preparations for the annual ARL survey have begun, and collections statistics are being gathered for this comprehensive report that includes information on library staff, budget, and overall use. Due to our system migration, we were able to uncover more of our collection than ever before. Additionally, our system change necessitated new methodologies for collecting ARL statistics. Following the ARL worksheet guidelines, we expect to see an increase in our collection size both at the title and volume levels.

Course Reserves & Interlibrary Loan

contributed by Roshnara Kissoon, Reserves and Support Services Librarian

Course Reserves services continued through Fall 2021 with the fulfillment of reserve materials in permalink and Word document list format; the library fulfilled approximately 50 lists and 90 requests for single resources. This included Ebooks, electronic journal articles, streaming films, and digitizing excerpts of materials only available in print format within fair use guidelines. These resources were then uploaded to Canvas by TC faculty, staff, and course assistants.


Library staff also worked closely with TCIT Enterprise Applications and DFI throughout Fall 2021 to implement our new, permanent course reserves platform, Course Resource Lists. Following a pilot with a small group of TC faculty in November 2021, the library is pleased to announce that, as of the Spring 2022 term, library Course Reserves will be delivered directly into individual courses in Canvas, via a Course Resource List link. This new platform will allow easy searching and retrieval of resources from the library catalog, avoiding manual updates by instructors and staff, the ability to retain and roll over lists to subsequent academic terms, and direct communication with the library, among other benefits.


Currently, Course Resource Lists are available to faculty, staff, and course assistants who place new course reserve requests for the Spring 2022 term. The library will begin a fuller rollout of the platform in preparation for the Summer A 2022 term, with tutorials, workshops and consultations to be offered during the Spring 2022 term.


Interlibrary loan services continued through Fall 2021, including the resumption of physical ILL borrowing and lending coinciding with the return to in-person teaching. The library responded to and fulfilled approximately 250 requests and inquiries for the term. The library also assisted in a special research project being authored and undertaken by Dr. Alex Eble, requesting and borrowing approximately 200 textbooks via Interlibrary loan. Work on this project will continue into the Spring 2022 term.

📸 A Semester Snapshot

  • 117,949 simple searches conducted in Educat+ (May through January 20, 2022)
  • 15,841 advanced searches conducted in Educat+ (May through January 20, 2022)
  • 23,884 ebooks were added to the catalog via one-time purchases and subscribed titles (created after August 23, 2021)
  • 308 print books were added to the collection (created after August 23, 2021)
  • 735 library resource requests
  • 250 processed interlibrary loan requests
Posted in: Learning at the LibraryReports|By: Kalliopi Mathios|357 Reads