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Please join the  ALCTS Interest Group, Role of the Professional Librarian in Technical Services (RPLTS-IG) at the 2016 ALA Annual Conference in Orlando, Florida.


Time: 10:30AM- 11:30AM, Saturday, 06/25/2016

Place: Orange County Convention Center, Room W107



Title:  The role of professional librarians in technical-service training: Professionalizing paraprofessionals



Paraprofessional library positions are often viewed as stepping-stones to library careers rather than career destinations, and professional librarians conducting training can explicitly prepare paraprofessionals for higher-level work in libraries. Emphasizing professional development is an act of inclusion that can break down the perceived barrier between staff levels and increase enthusiasm and effectiveness. Learn how one library’s weekly trainings of two e-resource paraprofessionals balance practical training and professional development with discussion of readings, taking turns presenting innovative technologies, identifying training needs and exploring presentation venues collaboratively, and even preparing for future job interviews.




Robert Heaton is the Electronic Collections Librarian at Utah State University. He is finishing a two-year term as cochair of the LITA/ALCTS Electronic Resources Management Interest Group and is currently studying the selection and use of technological tools in support of e-resource troubleshooting.


Title: Breaking Down the Silos Inside and Outside of the Back Room: Everyone Wins



I will review the changes in staffing (both professional and paraprofessional positions) and their roles that have taken place in the last few years at the Langsdale Library, University of Baltimore.  By changing the “traditional” [meaning: that’s how it’s always been done] breakdown of responsibilities and implementing greater back-room support of public services and Special Collections, we have been able to upgrade paraprofessional staff and add a new professional librarian position.  Examples of changes include finding ways to provide access to locally useful information (using software such as WorldCat Lists, previously the purview of reference staff); training everyone on updating all records (not just the ILS but also the A-Z list and the link resolver) for a title regardless of its format; collaborating with public services to develop a local thesaurus of genres for games; and creating metadata for digital special collections materials.


In March 2016 the department had a “title change” from Technical Services and Content Management to Resource Acquisition and Discovery, recognizing the active role we play.  We are RAD indeed!



Betty Landesman was with the University of Baltimore from July 2012 to April 2016.  She had held previous positions in technical services, public services, and systems in academic libraries, federal libraries, special libraries, and with a library automation vendor.  She has had extensive involvement in information standards work and currently serves as co-chair of the National Information Standards Organization (NISO)’s Content and Collection Management Topic Committee.
Mingyan Li

Resource Access Librarian
Richard J. Daley Library
University of Illinois at Chicago
Voice: (312)996-3040
Fax: (312)413-0424
Email: [log in to unmask]