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Please join the ALCTS Technical Services Workflow Efficiency Interest Group (TSWEIG) at the 2019 ALA Annual Conference in Washington, DC. We will have three presentations, followed by a brief Q&A. TSWEIG exists to provide a forum to discuss and analyze techniques, new developments, problems and technological advances in the workflows associated with the evaluation, selection, acquisition, and discovery of library materials and resources.


Date and time: June 24, 2019 (Monday), 1:00-2:00 PM

Location: Walter E. Washington Convention Center, Room 147B


Using Google Sheets Add Ons to Streamline Cataloging

By Michelle Suranofsky, Senior Analyst & Lisa McColl, Cataloging/Metadata Librarian, Lehigh University

When Lehigh Libraries was confronted with the challenge of cataloging approximately 300 art books for the Lehigh University Art Galleries, we were eager to engage in this cross-campus collaborative project, but knew, since our regular duties would continue, that we wanted to do the work in the most efficient way possible. Awareness of other library solutions using OCLC’s API to automate search lead us to send some methods already developed to our library’s Senior Analyst, Michelle Suranofsky, to see if she could implement any of them for us. As result, Michelle came back to us with her own low-barrier solution that achieved excellent search results, and returned the results in a format that we could re-purpose throughout the workflow of the book, from uncataloged to shelf ready. She also made the solution flexible so that we will be able to use it for future projects, without her further intervention. This new search tool was built using the Google Apps Script platform which provides a way to create add-ons for Google Sheets, Docs, Slides and Forms.  Since cataloging projects like this often involve using spreadsheets, creating a Google Sheets add-on felt like it would be a good fit. The lookup automation using OCLC’s WorldCat Search API is performed by the script and invoked using the add-on menu directly inside of the Google sheet. The search criteria and required return values are configurable inside the Google sheet as well. This presentation will share information about how we use this tool and how we collaborated to build and test it.


Analysis of Electronic Resources Workflows Using Focused Rapid Contextual Design

By Jharina Pascual, Electronic Resources Acquisitions Librarian & Sarah Wallbank, Electronic Resources Cataloging Librarian, University of California, Irvine

Focused Rapid Contextual Design can help you conduct quick, focused analyses of workflows and processes in technical services areas that help improve efficiency without needing major commitments of time or resources. At the University of California, Irvine, the Electronic Resources Acquisitions and Cataloging Librarians used this approach to conduct a very simple analysis of the workflows between their departments in order to identify strengths, areas of redundancy, and possible sources of backlog¬. Focused Rapid Contextual Design allowed for easy adaptation and adjustment to fit our limited schedule and limited time. We chose only some of the steps in the process and interviewed a selection of representative staff members. We worked alone, except for enlisting the help of two colleagues for a couple of hours to provide some outside perspective. We spread the work over several months, squeezing it in around other commitments. The two of us collected detailed work information through targeted staff interviews and analyzed the resulting data with visualization techniques that included workflow diagrams and numerous post-it notes. As a result, we gained a clearer understanding of what was working well in the workflows between our departments, dispelled some of our own erroneous assumptions, and had a better idea of where to focus our attention going forward. We learned that you don’t have to commit to a major undertaking or departmental overhaul to improve your workflows. Focused Rapid Contextual Design provides a quick, flexible approach that can be used for focused improvements.


Unhiding the Audiovisual Past at Columbia University Libraries

By Violeta Ilik, Head of Digital Collections & Preservation Systems, Timothy Ryan Mendenhall, Metadata Librarian, Dina Sokolova, Digital Preservation Librarian, Melanie Wacker, Metadata Coordinator, & Alexander Whelan, Time-Based Media Metadata Librarian

As part of a larger hidden collections initiative, Columbia University Libraries initiated plans in 2018 to digitize their unique audiovisual holdings over seven years.  In order to meet an ambitious target within a limited timeframe, staff across divisions and departments had to collaboratively develop shared workflows and efficiencies to maximize output while ensuring a high level of quality.  Due to the unique challenges of working with audio and video collections, this collaborative effort was truly unprecedented in the history of Columbia Libraries. This project represented an excellent opportunity to test new functionalities of our locally developed digital asset management system Hyacinth and find robust methods to improve digital curation and preservation using tools like Archivematica digital preservation system. The scope of the project required that we develop efficiencies in our cataloging and metadata enhancement workflows including task automation in OpenRefine, sync metadata between systems including our Voyager ILS and Hyacinth, and plan for new initiatives such as the implementation of a rights management module and integration of crosswalks to ArchivesSpace. One additional outcome of the project’s first year is a deeper analysis of project statistics and workflows using project management methods to inform the future development and planning of the project for years 2-7. This presentation will examine the development of these shared workflows across curatorial, preservation, metadata, and digital technology units, challenges overcome, and lessons learned.