A great round of applause and much gratitude to our illuminating and entertaining speakers! This year, we took a look at the supply side of technical services: Where does the metadata for our resources come from? How can vendors and libraries work together to improve discoverability and access? And when something is not working, how can we productively solve the problem and strengthen our vendor relationships?
First, Chair Hilary Thorsen opened the 2015 meeting with a recap of our NCTPG history. While we have always focused on technical services, speakers have approached topics from various and surprising directions. Past meetings have even featured travelogues and practices from libraries abroad. A look back at the programs reflects our profession’s history, from wartime responsibilities to the many changes in technology and standards. We look forward to many more years of hearing from our colleagues.
Eli Windchy, VP, Consulting Services, at bepress is a history buff with a special interest in the Gold Rush. She likens searching through finding aids and citations to the meticulous sifting of rock to find valuable ore. Her work helping institutions build digital repositories means that users can go straight to the gold they want. In-house publishing and digital archives are making new demands on institutions. Windchy warns that “it doesn’t matter how beautiful a collection is if no one can find it.” Third-party tools can help smooth the process among all stakeholders and Windchy describes how she helps identify goals and best practices, and how to monitor and adjust as technology and needs change.
We all know Chronicle books for their creative topics and lush illustration. Phoung Mai, Metadata Coordinator, gave us the inside scoop on how those books and their attendant metadata come to be. Every book starts with an editor months or even years in advance. Metadata comes from many sources and changes many times up to and after it is delivered. Mai explains why the metadata does’ always match exactly the item in hand.
As electronic resources and databases become more complex, issues do the same. Linda Wobbe, Head, Collection Management, St. Mary’s College of California shared many inspiring examples of how she has worked with vendors to solve problems. She shows how to work up the chain and network to find the right source for answers, how to create new channels of communication, and, most importantly, how to strengthen relationships so that all parties benefit.
The NCTPG Steering Committee hopes you will be a part of planning our 2015/2016 events. What topics do you want to hear about? What projects and ideas would you like to share? NCTPG is for all technical services in all types of information institutions. Your suggestions and comments are always welcome. Feel free to send an email and attend our monthly planning meetings, beginning in the fall.