Return to Collaboration

Future of Technical Services Retreat

June 9-12, 2004


Responses to Future Search questions:




Looking ahead 2 to 3 years in the future, what would you like people inside and outside your library to be saying about your department/team?  In addition, what would you like them to be saying about how your library adds to and organizes its collections?  (For this second question, consider all kinds of library-acquired materials--print, non-print, electronic and digital, and both for-fee and "free.")


Jobs more routine

Library is one team

Easy to get things

Change is everywhere

Joy to work with

Web well organized

All voices heard

This is a great place to work

Strong appreciation of TS.

In touch with faculty trends

Up to speed

Think of us first when there is an info need

Use technology to be efficient

Larger role on campus

Technically skilled

Library is an exciting place

Users can always find what they need




One interface to all info



Put patrons needs first



What do you expect will be the dominant changes affecting your library in the next few years?  Which ones might affect technical services the most and how?



Expanding e-resources

New formats

Budget changes

New metadata formats

Shared catalog

Space changes


New buildings

New use of buildings




              Generational changes

Print on demand

Single record technique

Quality vs. quantity

New ways of working




Searching is confusing

New services in libraries

IT services

New tools (OpenURL, XML…)



What are some of the skills and competencies that MnObe library staff will need to help their libraries continue to thrive in the coming few years?  Which skills and competencies will be most important for technical services staff?  (For a general list of work-related competencies, please see the chart at the end of these questions)


New knowledge / new technologies

Not passing familiarity but working knowledge

Need to raise level of understanding  - so you can explain issues to someone else

Communication (inter/intra)


Group problem solving


              Attitudinal (accepting change)

              Developing new ideas


              Willingness to explore new ways of doing things

              Learning from each other

More knowledge about user needs

More skills to study users

More skills in managing complex/multiple processes

Managing stress

Ability to see the big picture


              Preparation for changes that are coming soon

              Familiarize people with what is going to happen

              Reduce stress

Integration of TS areas that have not been well integrated in the past

More skills in presentation of data

We collect a lot of data but don’t know how to use it

More involvement in projects

Skills in coaching and mentoring



Looking back over the last couple of years, what technical services accomplishments are you most proud of?  How might you, your library, and the MnObe group build on those achievements in the coming years?


Proud of system changes

New technologies

Personnel changes

              Adapting to new people

              New people adapting

Teamwork and collaboration


Can handle new challenges

Doing project work in addition to daily work


              Statistics projects

              Journal classification

              Journal barcoding



Build on accomplishments

              Find what we are efficient at

              Share skills with others

              Cross training in team and elsewhere

              Staff development

              Advance things we can do together (e-resources)

Let Public Services know what Technical Services does

Have TS work on reference desk

Staff recognition

Cooperative collection development

Joint reference + IT station



What are some of the things that the MnObe libraries’ technical services staff will need to do differently in the future to continue successfully serving their user communities?  



Communication with Public Services to get better understanding of users needs

Do a user survey, led/developed by or with Technical Services

Involve users in planning and learning what we could do for them

Visit with other libraries and TS departments

It is okay to make mistakes

Prepare for change

Practice, learn and try things

Permission to develop new knowledge

Balance work with personal lives

Do away with redundancies

Focus on e-resources and serials

Trust each other and trust management

Establish expert knowledge

Try a pilot project and see how it goes (i.e. digitizing & metadata)

Create cross functional teams / skills

Free up time for new work, skills, learning

Lean on students more, and explore new work flows

Let go, move forward

Instant ILL

Make decisions faster

IT expertise in TS to help be more proactive




What are the four or five most important things for MnObe libraries’ technical services staff to accomplish in the next year or two?



Keep current on IT

Proactive not reactive

Staff development

More and better exchange of ideas


              Web sites

              Site visits

Cooperative collection development

Cooperative purchases

Develop digital projects together

Merge catalogs

Create and merge portals

Become more user-focuses

More openness to change

Enjoy it!

Best solutions for presenting materials

More intuitive interface

Coordinate e-resources evaluations

Look at ITSO

More storage


Next steps:


Next 3-4 weeks:


Next 6 months:


Next 1-2 years:


Next 3-4 years: