Accidental Documents Librarians

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From the Fall DLC meeting

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Accidental Documents Librarians

  1. 1. TIPS AND TRICKS FOR INTERIM/TEMPORARY DOCUMENTS LIBRARIANS FALL DLC CONFERENCE CRYSTAL CITY, VA OCTOBER 22, 2008 Accidental Documents Librarians
  2. 2. Panel Members <ul><li>Kathryn Yelinek —Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania </li></ul><ul><li>Marilou Hinchcliff —Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania </li></ul><ul><li>Scott Anderson — Millersville University of Pennsylvania </li></ul><ul><li>Mark Scott — University of Pittsburgh </li></ul><ul><li>Mary Freilich — University of Memphis </li></ul><ul><li>Edward Kownslar — Texas A&M, Corpus Christi </li></ul>
  3. 3. Background <ul><li>Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>1995: designated as a selective depository </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>2003: depository coordinator retired </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>2003-2004: 3 people spread over 5 interim periods </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>2005: new coordinator finally began </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. Research <ul><li>Research question: Are there common experiences and training needs of temporary/interim documents librarians? </li></ul><ul><li>Questionnaire posted to GovDoc-L in November 2007 </li></ul><ul><li>Article will be published Jan 2009 issue of JAL </li></ul>
  5. 5. Some Commonalities <ul><li>Entry-level position: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>55% of respondents had received MLS/MLIS less than four years before </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>40% of respondents had worked in librarianship for less than four years </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Common Backgrounds <ul><li>Librarianship as a possible second career </li></ul><ul><ul><li>48% of respondents were over the age of 50 </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Public Services Background </li></ul><ul><ul><li>45% of those who had previously worked in librarianship had worked in public services </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Common Challenges <ul><li>Over 2/3 of respondents said they had been inadequately prepared for assuming the position </li></ul><ul><li>What is the most challenging part of being a temporary/interim librarian? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>35% said keeping abreast of changes in the field </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>29% said making time to carry out duties </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Common Workloads <ul><li>58% took on government documents in addition to previous duties </li></ul><ul><li>37% hired specifically to serve as interim/temporary documents librarian </li></ul><ul><li>5% gave up some/all previous duties to serve </li></ul>
  9. 9. Common Actions <ul><li>GPO recommends that all interim/temporary documents coordinators should: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Update the FDLP directory with new contact information </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Subscribe to FDLP-L </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Read the “Instructions to Depository Libraries” (now superseded by the “Handbook”) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>However… </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Common Actions <ul><li>GPO recommends that all interim/temporary documents coordinators should: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Update the FDLP directory with new contact information </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>24% of respondents did </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Subscribe to FDLP-L </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>47% of respondents did </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Read the “Instructions to Depository Libraries” (now superseded by the “Handbook”) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>53% of respondents did </li></ul></ul></ul>
  11. 11. Common Actions <ul><li>Instead, respondents... </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Subscribed to GovDoc-L (77%) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Updated the selection profile (41%) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Met with the regional librarian (35%) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Established/modified some procedures (35%) </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. <ul><li>So, what are some tips and tricks for making the interim period go more smoothly? </li></ul>
  13. 13. Bloomsburg University—Situation <ul><li>Due to ill-health retirement </li></ul><ul><li>Interim for 4 months, 2 week break, for 1 month, 4 month break, for 6 months </li></ul><ul><li>No procedure manual but had earlier notes </li></ul><ul><li>Very large fiche backlog </li></ul><ul><li>Slightly smaller print backlog </li></ul><ul><li>1 student assistant, no staff </li></ul><ul><li>After 3 months, found that retiree gave procedure manual to another unit she wanted to oversee docs </li></ul>
  14. 14. Bloomsburg University—Tips/Tricks <ul><li>Visit another depository to learn procedures </li></ul><ul><li>Ask Regional to visit and give advice </li></ul><ul><li>Keep up with new shipments </li></ul><ul><li>Seek part-time assistance from existing staff </li></ul><ul><li>Talk with Marcive about other libraries’ practices with their service </li></ul><ul><li>Let new permanent docs librarian review any backlog for what to keep </li></ul>
  15. 15. Millersville University—Situation <ul><li>- New GD Lib departed Nov ’07, after less than 2 yrs </li></ul><ul><li>-GD staff turned over during those 2 yrs </li></ul><ul><li>-Very large (and old) paper collection; intended as current events resource–lots of review </li></ul><ul><li>- / + GD collection teardown & reorientation </li></ul><ul><li>+New building–review, discard, Dewey -> LC </li></ul><ul><li>+Improve access: review, discard or Sudoc -> LC </li></ul><ul><li>+Someone (me) was modestly interested in Docs </li></ul><ul><li>+Integrate into overall tech services flows </li></ul>
  16. 16. Millersville University—Tips/Tricks <ul><li>Outline points of action–focus </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Collection: (1) Review, (2) Discard, (3) Reclass </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Collective review–get help </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Subject Librarians review an “agency” as applicable </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Integrate/Leverage–systematize </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Govdocs tech processes fold into lib tech processes </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Refocus–move to next area of focus </li></ul><ul><ul><li>E-resources, incoming physicals, then e-items. </li></ul></ul>
  17. 17. University of Pittsburgh—Situation <ul><li>Past as inspiration </li></ul><ul><li>Only two months in at Pitt </li></ul><ul><li>Well versed with Depository Collections, needed to learn Pitt locations </li></ul><ul><li>Documents are processed where? </li></ul><ul><li>TLC </li></ul>
  18. 18. University of Pittsburgh—Tips/Tricks <ul><li>Talk to colleagues </li></ul><ul><li>Attend conferences </li></ul><ul><li>Read the literature </li></ul><ul><li>Keep Administration in the know </li></ul><ul><li>Fight for your collection </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t be afraid to make mistakes–It means you’re trying! </li></ul>
  19. 19. University of Memphis—Situation <ul><li>The boss retires–Panic—I’m it! </li></ul><ul><li>A week later a 30-year support staff member retires </li></ul><ul><li>My staff of four rallies to my aid </li></ul><ul><li>A lot more e-mails/calls from selectives </li></ul><ul><li>Meanwhile–library reorganization?!?! </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Documents training of library staff for a consolidated desk </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Preparations for a new ILS </li></ul></ul>
  20. 20. University of Memphis—Tips/Tricks <ul><li>Get to know what you receive from GPO </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Open the boxes yourself </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Re-examine your selection </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Listservs – Lots of valuable information </li></ul><ul><li>Read the Federal Depository Library Handbook </li></ul><ul><li>Talk to other Selectives & your Regional </li></ul><ul><li>Ask for Regional/GPO help if needed </li></ul><ul><li>Check out Self-study and/or inspection report </li></ul><ul><li>FDLP Desktop </li></ul>
  21. 21. TAMU—Corpus Christi—Situation <ul><li>Documents Librarian resigned two weeks before Fall 2007 Semester began </li></ul><ul><li>Associate Director had prior experience in documents (“Congratulations!”) </li></ul><ul><li>Met with Director to examine and revise goals; budget request to attend Fall DLC </li></ul><ul><li>Consulted Regional Librarian and GPO </li></ul><ul><li>Consulted support staff in Documents </li></ul>
  22. 22. TAMU—Corpus Christi—Tips/Tricks <ul><li>Beware of “interim” appointments!  </li></ul><ul><li>Prioritize: What “fires” need to be addressed in the next 6 months? What can wait? </li></ul><ul><li>Inheriting a “messy house” isn’t always bad </li></ul><ul><li>Request training!! </li></ul><ul><li>Document issues/problems in monthly reports to supervisors. </li></ul><ul><li>Meet with Chair of the Search Committee </li></ul>
  23. 23. Thanks! <ul><li>Questions for Katie, Marilou, Scott, Mark, Mary, or Edward? </li></ul>

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