Minutes of March 2, 2006 Meeting

Grace Agnew, Jeanne Boyle, Ron Jantz, Ann Montanaro, Rhonda Marker, Mary Page, Bob Sewell, Jane Sloan, Gracemary Smulewitz, Li Sun

1. AUL Report

The Sun Center of Excellence (COE) meeting will be held in NYC on March 9. Grace and Marianne will attend (subsequent to the TSC meeting, it was decided that Ron would attend since Marianne could not make the meeting). This meeting should help decide if we want to become a Sun COE.

Beginning March 6, Fay Austin will become the head of the monographs cataloging unit. Fay has been working at the Newark Law Library.

TAS Projects Requiring Technical Support

The group reviewed the spreadsheet of projects. There was some discussion as to how we should evaluate priorities. It was noted that judgment must be used in balancing the size of the project versus urgency and that the priorities should stimulate further discussion. It was noted that the three Council sponsored lists will be reviewed in cabinet. The following were suggested for additions to the TSC list:

2. Interim Report from the Technical Services Core Working Group

Gracemary reported on the status of this working group, specifically of the Holdings Management and Serials Acquisition Management sub-groups. Gracemary summarized the progress of these two groups and has issued an interim report document which is attached at the end of these notes.

3. Repository Preservation Services

Ron Jantz presented an "early view" of his talk for the Spring 2006 CNI Task Force Meeting, to be held in Arlington, VA - April 3 and 4. This presentation provides an overview of our RUcore repository efforts with emphasis on the information architecture and preservation services.

4. Round-robin

Jeanne mentioned that she and Mary Page had a very good discussion with EBSCO at an ALA session which should help to improve customer relationships.

Bob indicated that he has formed a task force to examine the serials RFP process to help improve services from our major serials vendors. The task force will complete their process by the end of June.

Jeanne reported that there will be an Open-access/copyright symposium on March 29 in the SCC Teleconference Lecture Hall from 2 pm to 5 pm. The symposium is co-sponsored by the Center for Cultural Analysis.

Technical Services Core Working Group
March, 2006

The Technical Services Core Working Group (TSCWG) is divided into two sub-groups: TSCWG - Holdings Management TSCWG- Serials Acquisitions Management (SAM).

TSCWG Holdings Management

TSCWG Holdings Management has systematically reviewed distributed technical services for end processing, binding and pre/ post cataloging activities this year.

End processing:

Members of the committee interviewed staff from all units and TAS to determine standard practices. Discussions led to standards for placement and formatting of call numbers, barcoding and tattletaping. All mediums including books, serials, microfiche, microfilm, maps, government publications, CDs and Videos were included in this process. Guidelines have been documented and shared.

As part of the end-processing discussions, all parties agreed to implement the accompanying material practices into their workflow. Representatives attended Cataloging Department meetings and met with staff from the Acquisitions Department. All agreed that records are to be consistently updated to indicate the number of pieces accompanying any item. All elements that comprise an item are to be represented by a single barcode and call numbers will be placed on each piece following established call number standards and including piece information.

Representatives of TSCWG attended Access Services meetings to discuss the impact of the accompanying material process on their workflow. The new process has been implemented system wide and discussions among the units continue for exceptional situations. Within the next few months TSCWG Holdings will begin discussions and planning for treatment of those items received before the policy was implemented.


Basic binding practices were reviewed and standards established for workflow, size, variable information and type of binding. Use of the SIRSI serial control module to automate the binding process has been implemented system wide. Binding reports are run in three locations and delivered to designated staff at each unit. These reports are initiated by receiving staff and the information prompts the unit personnel to select material for binding. Missing issues are noted and located in designated areas; the holdings record reflects the location for that issue. Reports run weekly for four weeks that prompt the unit staff to search for the missing issues. As issues are found the status is updated. A final report is issued that prompts the replacement coordinator in New Brunswick to order replacement copies for those issues not found. Once received material is bound and records updated.

Standards were agreed upon for variable information such as volume, issue and year for material of similar type. These standards enhance the functionality of the MARC holdings of items in permanent locations and for the sequential listing of items displayed in IRIS as well as the spine information for that item. Patrons see consistency for an item in all locations.

Pre- and Post-Cataloging:

Discussions for activities in this area were held with members of Serials Cataloging, Database Management, Acquisitions, the Government Documents Librarian and the Bibliographic Record Management Team. The goal was to determine the communications needed for varied processes and recognize key staff who would initiate processes and be responsible for the completion of that process and any related activities.

Title changes, ceased publications, format changes in RUL: Guidelines and procedures for all processes have been documented. In 2005 it was determined that these processes will be prepared at one location so that uniform records can be created for all libraries. All purchase orders, serial control records and holdings records related to these activities will be updated for the title at one time. Designated staff at unit libraries have been recognized to perform inventories when these changes take place and to report information to the coordinator for these activities.

Workflows for format changes from print to online have been established to include the serials acquisitions staff so that licensing issues, additional fees and cataloging issues are recognized and processed appropriately and all records updated. Where appropriate, selectors are included in the discussions to determine if acceptance of the format change is desirable.

Other processes such as multiple format changes and duplicate serial record merges have been analyzed and workflows established using the same criteria and implementing the "root record" concept for multiple formats.

As RUL moves to a more digital environment and operations are extended to include more responsibilities, it is desirable for the staff performing bibliographic record management to include steps that complete the record management process and to eliminate the back and forth activities with other departments that presently take place. Bibliographic Record Management staff must have more training to implement any changes but these changes would alleviate work from the Serials Cataloging and Database Management Departments.

TSCWG- Holdings are now evaluating weeding and transfer processes to establish standards for batch processes and to identify and resolve issues that develop as a result of inventory projects. ISAWG is collaborating in these evaluations.

TSCWG- Serials Acquisitions Management (SAM):

Significant changes have been made as a result of workflow evaluations in this area. Representation is system wide and all members of the Serials Team are also represented in this working group. The Serials Team operates as a rapid response group that responds to queries from selectors and staff. Where the issues relate to bibliographic or holdings management, requests are forwarded to the appropriate staff.

The Team coordinates order and cancellation activities for print, print and online and online only subscriptions for all libraries. Training has been intense and workflow has been divided to support the enormous responsibilities of the Electronic Resource Coordinator. Requests are documented in a database so that requirements for completion are listed and actions to accomplish this are monitored.

Issues that are unveiled through these activities such as fund transfers, cancellations, purchase order management, vendor performance are discussed in SAM for uniform understanding and issue resolution.

New methods for processing large invoices have been implemented for all units. The effects of prepayment on invoice management have been discussed and a mutual understanding established.

Members of SAM have reviewed sample RFPs to establish an understanding of the criteria used to evaluate vendor performance. Members are now compiling statistics for RULs major vendors that monitor claim response, invoice processing information, website functionality and all aspects of customer service. Evaluation of the vendors' performance will be performed routinely and information gathered will be useful feedback to vendors for improvement.

The diverse membership of SAM has been very beneficial for all operations. Trends recognized in one area are noted and the impact of those trends on workflows is discussed. One example: Acquisitions and Serials Cataloging both noted that science publishers are changing publishing patterns. Many serial titles are now becoming monographic series. Copies of titles that normally are being received on subscriptions as serials are being received through the approval plans and firm orders. Advertisements for these titles don't often include a series title. These changes have an impact on receiving, cataloging, acquisition, budget management and collection development. SAM is now developing guidelines for this type of change and identifying key individuals who will be responsible for coordinating the communication and the record changes that must take place.

There is much to be evaluated as technical services roles change and TSCWG is poised to participate in these evaluations.

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