Stephen M. Brooks's blog

Charleston Conference, 2011

Greetings from Charleston, South Carolina! The XXXI Annual Charleston Conference in Book and Serial Acquisition began on Wednesday and is in full swing.

Next Week: The XXXI Annual Charleston Conference

Dear Reader, I planned to post a full blog entry today, though I'm staying home with my fourth-grader, whose school has a teacher work day. Unfortunately, I'm also really sick and don't have the energy for a long post.

Next week, I'll provide updates from the Charleston Conference on this blog. If you don't know, it's the preeminent library acquisitions conference, which takes place in Charleston, South Carolina the first week of November.

Monographic Services' Reorganization is Official

The cat's out of the bag: yesterday the Monographic Services Department met to discuss our new organizational chart and changes in reporting and job duties.

Where the Rubber Meets the Road: Improving Service in Technical Services

My George Mason University colleague Jamie Coniglio often emphasizes “where the rubber meets the road.” Jamie's a creative thinker and a highly effective manager who gets stuff done. I've always been an ideals guy; I learned from Jamie that the success or failure of a new initiative is measured by how it works in practice. Duh, right?

Another Report from NCLA

I attended two afternoon programs at NCLA yesterday: the Second General Session: Ogilve Lecture and a practice-oriented program, “Workflows for Acquiring Approval Plan E-Books.”

Report from North Carolina Library Association Biennial Conference 2011

Greetings from the NCLA Biennial Conference in Hickory, NC! I have a quiet moment to report on a couple of morning sessions I attended. The first was “Technical Services: Changing Workflows, Changing Processes, Personnel Restructuring … Oh My”; the second was called “Social Networking: Implications for Intellectual Freedom and Equal Access.” I'll focus on the former in this post.

I Love to Talk with Library School Students about My Job

One of the great things about working at Davis Library is that my building is almost right next door to a great library school. A number of my colleagues in the University Library teach courses for credit in the School of Information and Library Science and often invite guest speakers. I enjoy being one of those speakers on occasion.

Landslide Reflections: A Snapshot of a Department (Perpetually?) in Transition

I supervise a department called “Monographic Services,” which was formed in the summer of 2008, while I was working at another library and in the process of applying for my current job. Monographic Services emerged from a reorganization of Technical Services, taking on monographic acquisitions from the former Acquisitions Department as well as copy cataloging from the former Cataloging Department. Also created during the reorganization were the new E-Resources & Serials Management Department (serial acquisitions, e-resources and some cataloging) and the Resource Description & Management Department (the “universal donor” of staff to the other two departments), which is responsible for original cataloging, database management and other high-level catalog-related activities.

So, naturally, it's time for another reorganization.

Planning Vendor Meetings

I like to think out loud in my blogging and pose questions that will help me be a better librarian, addressing emerging topics that impact my work and the library profession in general. I come from a library acquisitions background and I love the vicarious collection development that comes with my duties, which perspective shapes my choices of topics.

Today I'd like to change that up a little and present a How We Did It Good post from which maybe other acquisitions librarians can benefit: Planning a Meeting with a Major Vendor at Your Library.

Discarding Unwanted Library Materials at a State Institution

What to do with those unwanted books and journals at your public institution?

This question is a big one. I've worked in three state-supported university libraries where the general feeling may be described as "hamstrung" about what we have been allowed to do with books we don't--or no longer--want, but have in our possession. I've heard at various times that anything so much as left on the library's loading dock should be considered state property; that withdrawn books could be sold by the library only if they were not purchased with state funds; and that discards should be managed through school or state surplus mechanisms.

Though gifts-in-kind and discards are different animals, the examples above illustrate the range of understanding possible among several libraries and a need for better information about the constraints under which we dispose of books and journals we don't want.

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