Technical Services 101
(An Infopeople Online Learning Course)
August 14, 2007 - September 10, 2007
Mystery often surrounds what the staff who work in Technical Services really do, and we take for granted how important and critical a smoothly operating technical service operation is to the daily operations of the library.
In this course, you will learn:
- What exactly do technical services staff do?
- How do the acquisition, collection development/selection of library materials processes really work?
- What happens when something goes wrong in the acquisition or cataloging process?
- How can you make more effective use of the online catalog when you are helping library users?
- What terminology will help you better communicate with technical service staff?
Workshop Description: This four-week online learning course will provide you with a basic understanding of the selection, acquisition and cataloging processes. The end product of acquisition and cataloging results in records in the library's catalog. You will learn some tips on how to use the catalog more effectively and efficiently. You will also learn to understand the most common things that may go wrong in the acquisition and cataloging processes that may affect your work with library users. Through individual and group exercises and online discussions you will be asked to examine various policies at your library related to these processes. The instructor will provide information, cheat sheets and a webliography, as well as practical, useful tips that can be applied immediately.
Preliminary Course Outline: : Using your web browser and your Internet connection, you will log in to the Infopeople online learning site and complete the following learning modules:
- Module One: Introduction and Acquisition Process
- Organization of technical services
- Collection development/selection policy and processes
- Ordering processes
- Plans and services provided by vendors
- Selection processes at your library
- Receiving and paying for materials and budget issues
- Module Two: Cataloging Process
- General procedures and processes including copy cataloging
- MARC encoding
- Search indexes in the library catalog and what information in a catalog record they work upon
- Errors, additions and problems with records in the catalog
- The role of the Library of Congress and use of bibliographic databases
- Authority control
- Module Three: Handling of Library Materials
- Completing call numbers, adding security devices, labeling, genre labels, etc.
- Shelving/displays and communicating library arrangement to users
- Simple mending and repair of materials
- Module Four: Review
- Censorship and handling user complaints about materials in the library collection
- How does technical services impact service to library users?
- What are your responsibilities to improve the library catalog?
Online Learning Details:
This four-week course will be taught online using the web. When you register, you will receive a registration confirmation that will include the URL to get to the course, as well as a username and password.
Every student proceeds through the online learning modules at his or her own pace. Students should expect to commit to spending a minimum of 2 to 2½ hours per week on this course in order to be successful. You can work on each module at your own pace, at any hour of the day or night. However, you will be expected to log in to the course each week to do that week's assignment. We ask that you log in sometime during the first week of the course to begin the course work.
Your instructor will be available for limited consultation support for two weeks after the official end date of a course, and the course material will stay up for an additional two weeks after that, to give those who have fallen behind time to work independently on the course. However, you will be expected to accomplish the majority of the course in synchronization with your peers during the first four weeks.
Who Should Take This Course: Anyone from the library community with an interest in the role of Technical Services and who wishes to understand how materials are selected, acquired, cataloged and processed.
This course is taught over the web. You must:
- Have an Internet connection and Internet Explorer 6.0 or higher.
- Be able to save Microsoft Word .doc or Adobe .pdf files to your computer and print them out. (For .doc files, a free Word Viewer is available at http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/search.aspx?displaylang=en. Search for "Word Viewer." For .pdf files, a free Adobe Acrobat Reader is available at http://www.adobe.com/support/downloads/main.html).
- Be comfortable navigating on the web and navigating back and forward on a website that uses frames.
To be most successful in this course you should be willing to share information with your colleagues and be willing to spend time reading and participating in the weekly discussion boards.
System Requirements: The online learning product that Infopeople uses is called Angel. The following are minimum system requirements for using Angel. You will need access to a computer that has at least these specifications to participate in an online course:
- Internet Explorer 6.0 and above, Netscape 7.1 and above, or Firefox 1.5 and above
- Mozilla 1.4 and above (which is the same engine as Netscape 7.1), Safari 2.0 and above, or Firefox 1.5 and above
- OS X and above (OS 9 will NOT work with our online learning product)
If you are not comfortable with any of the above, please consider taking this course with a colleague who does meet these requirements.
Fee: $75 for those in the California library community and $150 for those out-of-state.
Course Start: This 4-week-long online learning course starts on August 14, 2007.