UC Libraries Next-Generation Technical Services


Power of Three (POT) group 6 defines Collection Services Operations

This glossary includes terms used in the charges of POT 6 and the POT 6 Lightning Teams. The terms “technical services” and “‘collection services” are used interchangeably throughout the various NGTS reports and charges. For the purpose of fulfilling its charge, POT 6 has determined that both terms include these operations: acquisitions, cataloging, metadata, preservation, and digitization. Selection and licensing are also included here because they are essential steps in the workflow even though these are often done outside a traditional Technical Services operation. 

Acquisitions: the process of ordering, and receiving materials for library or archival collections by purchase, exchange, or gift, which may include budgeting and negotiating with outside agencies, such as publishers, dealers, and vendors, to obtain resources to meet the needs of the institution’s clientele in the most economical and expeditious manner.

Best Practices:  best methodologies for performing a function or task. A best practice is a technique or methodology that, through experience and research, has proven to lead reliably to a desired result.

Cataloging: the process of creating bibliographic description, subject analysis, assignment of classification notation, and, if applicable, activities involved in physically preparing the item for use.

Digitization: the process of conversion of existing print/microform/other media to digital formats that can be read by computers.

Electronic resource license negotiation: the process of defining the terms and conditions of use of electronic resources acquired from an external body.

Firm orders (often called direct orders) can be placed with book vendors or publishers but this implies that the purchase is final and normally cannot be returned unless it is defective.

Information resources: both print and digital items (including both reformatted digital items and things that are “born digital”).

Models: options for providing system-wide collection services. Options will address the following components: 

a. physical location

b. centralized or decentralized operation

c. scope of responsibility

d. specifications for output (standards, best practices)

e. governance and reporting arrangements

f.  existence of written agreements governing the operation

g. staffing

h. tools

i. means of compensation

Operations: includes the physical and technical infrastructure, staffing, and online tools (databases, resources, communications resources), administrative overhead, supplies, transportation of materials, fiscal infrastructure, training, and staff development needed to carry out technical services functions, assessment, accountability, governance, financial policies, etc.

Pilot projects: limited-duration projects set up to evaluate various models of system-wide collection services.

Preservation: prolonging the existence of library and archival materials by maintaining them in a condition suitable for use, either in their original format or in a form more durable.

Physical processing: processes to prepare tangible library resources for use, including labeling, property-stamping.

Record standards: agreements among libraries, vendors, and publishers on the data content and format in bibliographic records, aimed at providing sufficient consistency and support for the various uses made of the metadata.

Performance/Quality standards: factors to consider in assessing performance. Includes turnaround time, tools used, time needed to fill vacancies in shared operations, recruitment practices.

Selection: the process of initiation of an order for print or electronic information resources with the acquisitions unit. This term is not intended to cover the intellectual process of selection, but rather that step in the technical services workflow process whereby a selector identifies a title for acquisition and communicates the necessary information to the acquisitions unit to enable purchase.

Technical Services tools: software, hardware that support or improve collection/technical services operations. Examples include:

  • Integrated library system (innovative, Ex Libris ALEPH, Ex Libris Voyager, OCLC Web-Scale Management System, open source ILS);
  • E-resource management system/Link resolver (SFX, Serials Solutions, WorldCat Knowledgebase, home-grown ERM);
  • Reporting tools (WorldCat Collection Analysis, RLF duplication checking tool UCB is developing);
  • Macros and Batch tools (record loaders, MARCedit);
  • Statistical tools (tech services stats, usage stats);
  • Cataloging tools (Catalogers Desktop);
  • Acquisitions tools (WorldCat Selection Service, vendor databases e.g. GOBI);
  • Financial management tools in support of collection services (interface between ILS and campus financial system).