Results tagged “Best Practices” from Good Practices
At the Tuesday
29 March iteration of "Good Practices for Great Outcomes: Cataloging
Efficiencies that Make a Difference" at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Library in San
Jose, librarians in small-group discussions tackled the tough questions in tech
- How should I go about changing the workflow in my department?
- Who needs what skills?
- What IT/systems skills do we need to be effective metadata managers in the 21st century?
- What do users want, and what does that mean for me?
- And finally, ultimately, and for the very last time, what is good enough cataloging?
The discussions of our good
practices coalesced around three themes: communication, collaboration and
- Communication: In revising a workflow, managers need to solicit input from all staff. Conversely, managers should be open to learning a bit more about what their staff do, and crucially, should be knowledgeable about operations in other departments. And of course, regular communication with our users helps us maintain our focus on enhancing access to our collections, and keeps the debate about "good enough" cataloging alive.
- Collaboration: Within the library, we all need to take the time to comprehensively document our procedures, and keep them current and accessible. Beyond the library, we need to develop effective working partnerships with our vendors; documenting procedures and requirements is likewise key here. Among libraries, we should build our consortial activities to maximize our buying power, and, as catalogers, to make best use of our expertise and effort.
- Cross-training: Skills development came up in almost all the group discussions: from staying up-to-date on cataloging new formats, to making sure someone in tech services has a solid understanding of the library's automation system. Skills transfer among staff is no mean feat in many cases, and one group advises us to "start small" when it comes to cross-training, and take it from there.
A common premise across all these themes was the need to reformulate our notion of cataloging quality in order to secure our relevance in the library. One of our participants pulled a great quote from Roy Tennant's keynote, which says it all:
"Quality begins with user needs and ends with user perceptions".
Thanks to everyone who contributed their experience, expertise and willingness to learn to this inspiring day!