The Technical Services department in Schaffer Library provides members of the Union College community with access to information in all subject areas and in all information formats. The efforts of the Technical Services staff support the roles of the teaching faculty and Public Service librarians in helping researchers to identify, select, and locate the materials that will best inform their thinking, research and writing.
The department's particular role is in acquiring resources for the library's collections, organizing them, and communicating information about them to students, faculty and administrators via the library's web site and online catalog.
The library is committed to open access to material held remotely as well as at Union. Using cooperative cataloging programs and internationally accepted standards for description, access, and managing web-based information, the Technical Services department ensures that resources held at Union are seamlessly linked to those available worldwide.
Our Organization and On-Going Endeavors
The department consists of the Acquisitions/Periodicals, Cataloging and Digital Services units and includes responsibility for the development and maintenance of the library's web site.
The department has been responsible for acquisitions and cataloging services at Union College for over a century. Its tools for creating and maintaining catalog information include OCLC, the Innovative Interfaces integrated library system, AACR2 and both the Library of Congress and Dewey Decimal classification systems. Responsibility for the library web site was added to the department at the initiative of Technical Services staff in 1995. This effort has produced an award-wining site and provided new opportunities for collaboration among Technical and Public Service professionals.
The department has a long tradition of using the highest international standards for bibliographic description, and it is committed to handling new formats with the same level of expertise. The department processes all non-print formats in the same workflow as print materials so that 1) all staff members can work knowledgeably with contemporary information formats and 2) the materials themselves can be processed most efficiently. The department was a founding member of the international Cooperative Online Resource Catalog project (CORC) and catalogs selected web sites for inclusion in the library's catalog as well.
In addition to handling increased varieties of formats, Technical Services annually accounts for over 100 different endowed, gift, and College funds used for acquiring library materials. Department staff members are involved in setting budget priorities and in budget analysis, participate in decision-making regarding online services and license management, and are directly involved in educating campus faculty and administrators regarding library budget concerns.
Technical Services collects and analyzes data and provides staff expertise on projects such as weeding, periodicals subscription reviews and assessments of periodicals and electronic database usage. Department staff members also participate in and provide extensive support for collection analysis projects designed to assess how well the library is meeting the curricular and research needs of various academic departments.