January 29, 2009
To implement the Technical Services Coordination and Consolidation report, the Team proposes a fast-paced plan to get these recommendations in place as soon as possible. With looming budget reductions on the horizon, the Library needs to begin work immediately to radically redesign its technical services work to help build a new infrastructure that makes our information resources, regardless of medium, language, or format, as accessible as possible to researchers and users. This new TS infrastructure needs to pull together people, resources, and expertise from across the Library to create a more efficient and effective way to provide this best possible access to all our collections. New processes and workflows need to be implemented that draw upon the knowledge and proficiencies of the entire Library. New technologies and processes need to be utilized by all technical services personnel in their daily work. Implementation of these recommendations will allow us to better coordinate the automation of the normal and straightforward functions for acquiring, cataloging, and processing of materials while putting more individuals to working on the Library's unique collections and heavily used electronic resources and digital collections.
The original time line within the TSCC report called for these recommendations to be in place within the next 12 months. The recent letter from Provost Linda Katehi calls on the Library to move more quickly into a new service infrastructure that allows us to "...make the best possible use of our financial, physical and human resources." With this in mind, the Team recommends shortening the originally proposed time frame for implementation and creation of specific reports and white papers. The goal now is to be finished within the next six months. By the end of the 2009 spring semester, most of the recommendations should be implemented. In fact, with the acceptance of the report by the Executive Committee at its December 14th meeting, work on many of the individual recommendations has already started and several of the implementations have been completed. The statuses of all the recommendations are noted in this updated implementation plan. This addendum to the TSCC report also lists individuals assigned to helping implement the various recommendations (with the first person in each list designated as the leader of the group). Many different individuals have been asked to help with these implementations. To get these improvements initiated effectively and within the specified time frame, this work needs to include everyone within the Library who is involved with technical services work. Working with JoAnn Jacoby, Coordinator, New Service Model Programs, and Scott Walter, Associate University Librarian for Services, the chair of TSCC Team (Michael Norman) will monitor the implementation of the report's recommendations and will send progress reports to the University Librarian and the Executive Committee.
The TSCC Team believes that building this new TS infrastructure will help the Library continue to develop into an organization that can work with any material that in acquired, either print or digital materials. This will allow users to access materials as close to the publication date as possible. No longer can we allow items sit in backlogs, especially when getting these unique records into OCLC can provide better access to the world, but, in these times of budget reductions, will provide significant savings for the Library in its annual OCLC fees. All areas in the Library need to contribute to cost savings and becoming as efficient as possible to provide quality service to our users. Fortuitously, the TSCC report had already examined and suggested possibilities to develop better coordination and reduction of redundancies within the Library. With this implementation plan, we hope that the Library can begin pulling together this new technical services organization as soon as possible to help keep the Library a vital part of scholarly infrastructure at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.