Fast Times in Technical Services: Challenges and Opportunities

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The Southeastern Librarian, ISSN: 0038-3686, Vol: 53, Issue: 3, Page: 12

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Fenner, Audrey
technical services; user expectations; technological advances
article description
Both challenges and opportunities are plentiful in libraries these days. A quick summary of the current situation is that technical services departments must do more with the same or fewer financial and human resources and, at the same time, become involved in new library initiatives. Karen Calhoun of Cornell University Library wrote recently that organizational and operational assumptions about technical services are changing. This is her summary of the challenges facing technical services: Growing user expectations for electronic and digital services Wide array of formats and types of materials Rapid technological change Rising prices for library materials Close scrutiny of library budgets and costs Organizational restructuring (Calhoun 2003). These challenges can lead directly to opportunities for productive change and growth. That point must be emphasized: challenges are opportunities. In examining the challenges on Calhoun’s list, it is important to consider the opportunities that arise from each of them. There is every reason to feel optimistic about those opportunities.