Creating a Mega Technical Services Department from Smaller Departments by Germaine Wadeborn, UCLA


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Friday, November 5, 2010
3:10 - 4:00 PM

This session will highlight 3 different reorganizational strategies at 3 UC campuses’ Technical Services Departments. The Departments range in size from small to large. The impetus, priorities and goals differed at each campus and therefore the solutions were unique but effective for each campus. Handouts will be provided for developing a successful plan to accomplish an effective reorganization. These organizational changes, plus automating more processes and determining which tasks to eliminate have resulted in developing additional relevant, high level responsibilities with very little additional staffing while absorbing staffing cuts. There will also be brief discussion on laying the ground work for patron driven acquisitions, shelf ready and cat-on-receipt workflows.

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Creating a Mega Technical Services Department from Smaller Departments by Germaine Wadeborn, UCLA

  1. 1. An Adventure in Technical Services Bound for Reorganization at UCLA Germaine Wadeborn Head, Print Acquisitions Charleston Acquisitions Conference November 5, 2010
  2. 2. Reorganizations and Mergers  1998: Young Research Library (YRL) Serials and Monograph Acquisitions Departments merge (31 FTE)  2003: College and Arts Libraries Acquisitions merged with YRL (37 FTE)  2006 (March): Acquisitions split into Print and Digital separate departments  2006 (July): Print Acquisitions merges with Sciences Acquisitions (44 FTE)  September 2007: Library mail room functions transferred to Print Acquisitions  2008: Management Library Acquisitions merges (44 FTE)
  3. 3. UCLA Young Research Library Critical need for space to support the library’s complex operational needs: - acquisitions - cataloging - library mail room operaitons Approximate main campus locations total 25,000 sq. ft.
  4. 4. Relocation April 2006-2007 • New location assigned to the Library to provide appropriate and sufficient space for acquisitions, cataloging, and other non-public services and to enhance effectiveness. • 20,000 sq. feet available
  5. 5. The Teams Work Begins in April 2006 • Kinross Steering • Acquisitions • Library Business Services • Cataloging-Acquisitions- Collection Development • Client Unit • Space Planning • Library Information Technology • All teams expected to submit final reports and recommendations to the University Librarian by January 2007
  6. 6. Guiding Principles • Respond to the needs of various stakeholders (selectors, cataloging, vendors, users, public services, business services, IT) • Define formal and informal lines of communication • Commit necessary resources to end workarounds • Take advantage of existing strengths • Bring everyone up to the same level of understanding of processes (e.g. technology, new developments in publishing, distribution, local procedures, etc.) • Bring old procedures up to date vis-à-vis current technology • Provide for minimum level of staffing to ensure all work goes on in spite of leave, vacant positions, emergencies, etc. – cross-train for backup • Adequate time and staffing dedicated to problem solving • Provide opportunities for staff to grow, learn and expand their knowledge and experience • Eliminate unnecessary steps & handoffs in workflows • Define goals for optimal throughput times for processes • Define REALISTIC priorities for transition & for long term • Communicate priorities to stakeholders and re-negotiate as things change • Review and re-define statistic gathering/reporting • Can’t we all get along? • Ensure that all staff have proper equipment and space to do their jobs • Establish trust within and outside the department
  7. 7. Acquisitions Workflow Team begins work to normalize processes and procedures • Differences in Social Sciences Humanities and Arts workflows must be normalized and standardized with those in the Sciences • Best practices guide efficiencies in processing • What functions will be transferred to other departments: - shelving of unbound issues - pulling of binding issues - updating of item records for shelf ready items transferred to Access Services • Address Changes - service problems duplicates missing issues standardization with the publisher When to implement the address change – want the pain now or later!
  8. 8. Logistics and Timing Challenges • Campus mail system issue: re-routing of mail codes for one year to allow Acquisitions to submit serial subscription address changes • Serial subscription address changes – location and format • When to give monograph approval and firm order vendors the new address • Backlogs? • When to stop ordering, receiving, checking in, binding, and sending materials to cataloging? • How soon can these operations resume when in new location? • What impact will there be on service? • What will the staff do on moving days? • Where will staff park, how will parking permits be distributed? • Facilities issues – no toilet paper! New organization and workflows could not be implemented until the move Space allocation was based upon projected workflows – will it work as expected?
  9. 9. Statistics June 2007 • Serial issues checked in: 118,725 • New serial subscriptions placed: 452 • Serial subscriptions cancelled: 92 • Monograph orders placed: 13,057 • Monographs received: 56,780 • Monograph gifts received: 141,661 June 2010 • Serial issues checked in: 200,000 • New serial subscriptions placed: 63 • Serial subscriptions cancelled: 2244 • Monograph orders placed: 11,199 • Monograph received: 37,000 • Monograph gifts received: 6720
  10. 10. Now that We’re Reorganized … • Status quo not an option • Operational workforce vs. unit function – does location really matter? • Maximizing library resources with vendor and ILS capabilities
  11. 11. 2008-2010: changes for continued process improvement Automation • Implemented EDI invoicing where possible for both monograph and serial processing • Shelf ready for main approval vendor • Electronic selection and ordering • Patron Driven Acquisitions – Print • Cataloging on Receipt • Barcoding on receipt – allows for automated statistics gathering Materials Budget and Staffing • Budget for purchase of books and serials gradually decreasing • Over 2000 print serial subscriptions cancelled • Staff retirements, reassignments and resignations.
  12. 12. What we look like now – One acquisitions department with staff cross-trained to do both monograph and serials processing • Total of 25 fulltime staff members • Cross-trained • More efficient workflows in place • Doing more with less staff and other resources • Staff performing at higher levels – some reclassifications upward were possible
  13. 13. Whatever the future brings always keep things in perspective – “Anything Goes”! How can technical services move with agility to meet evolving changes and challenges? What will technical services and acquisitions look like in the next 5 years?
  14. 14. Contact Germaine Wadeborn