May 8th NCTPG Annual Meeting Cancelled

Unsurprisingly, in light of restrictions in place in the Bay Area due to COVID-19, we have made the difficult choice to cancel the NCTPG annual meeting, which was originally scheduled for May 8th. We have been in touch with San Francisco Public Library, and they have agreed to let us hold the event later on, hopefully in the summer. Right now we’re going to take some time to take care of ourselves and our loved ones. We will be in touch once we are all able to return to a normal schedule.

One way that we felt we could still collaborate and work on technical services issues while we are “social distancing” was to answer some of the sticky questions that came up last year at our NCTPG meeting. Here is the Networking/Collaboration spreadsheet if you are interested in participating and answering and/or asking your own questions. Use this if you feel it would be helpful.

We thank you for your understanding. And hope to see you all again very soon.

CANCELLED! Tour San Jose’s Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library with NCTPG!

This tour has been cancelled. For more information, see our latest post. Apologies for the inconvenience.

Northern California Technical Processes Group is pleased to offer a free tour of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library in San Jose on March 6, 2020. The library serves as both a public library for the city of San Jose and an academic library for San Jose State University. The tour will focus on the unique partnership between the city and university libraries and how this informs and impacts the work of technical services.


All of the following scheduled events will take place at Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library (with the exception of lunch) on Friday, March 6, 2020 in San Jose. The tour begins at 10 am.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library
150 East San Fernando Street
San Jose, CA 95112

Coffee option before the tour
No-host coffee at the cafe inside the library: On Fourth–A Novel Café

10:00 am
Welcome – Carole Correa-Morris & Sharon Fung
4th floor Board Room

10:30 am
Visit Technical Services Department
Lower Level

11:30 am
No-host lunch at Flames Eatery and Bar
88 S. 4th Street, Suite 150
San Jose, CA 95112
Phone: 408-971-1960

Orientation for afternoon session
4th floor Board Room

1:15 pm
Special Collections: Tour California Room
5th floor

2:45 pm
Closing Session
4th floor Board Room

Transportation & parking

Please review the library’s visitor information to learn more about public transportation and parking options. The library will validate parking for the 4th Street Parking Garage, 44 S 4th St, San Jose, CA 95112. Bring ticket to the library for validation.


Sign up for the tour! The tour is free, but limited to 25 attendees so be sure to sign up early. The form will close once maximum attendance is reached OR end-of-day Tuesday, March 3—whichever comes first. If you do sign up and find out later that you are unable to attend, please contact NCTPG as early as possible at

NCTPG Event at California State Railroad Museum Library & Archives

Northern California Technical Processes Group is excited to offer a tour of the Library & Archives at the California State Railroad Museum in Sacramento on Friday, January 31. Join us for a tour of the library and archives, no-host lunch, and a visit to the museum!


Morning Tour – 10AM
California State Railroad Museum Library & Archives
125 I Street
Sacramento, CA 95814

FREE tour of the CSRM Library & Archives hosted by Chris Rockwell – Librarian, CSRM Library & Archives. There is a limit of 20 attendees, so please see RSVP information below. This does not include general admission to the museum.

No-Host Lunch
No-host lunch arrangements will be made closer to the date of the event. Lunch will immediately follow the tour of the Library & Archives. There are several options close to the museum.

Afternoon Visit to the Museum
Attendees can return to CSRM for a visit to the museum. Regular admission rates will apply.

Transportation & Parking

Please review the available transportation and parking options. If you’re traveling from outside Sacramento, consider taking the Capitol Corridor train. The museum is conveniently located close to Sacramento Valley Amtrak Station.


Sign up for the tour! The tour is limited to 20 attendees, so be sure to sign up early. The form will close end of day Tuesday, January 28. If you do sign up and find out later that you are unable to attend, please contact NCTPG as early as possible at

Save the Dates for Upcoming NCTPG Events

The Northern California Technical Processes Group will be holding a couple events in the early months of 2020 and we invite you to join us! The details are still being ironed out, so we ask interested parties to please save the following dates:

  • Friday, March 6, 2020 – Tour of the public / academic hybrid Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library in San Jose

More information will be provided soon!

NCTPG Call for Presentations 2020

We are pleased to announce that the next Annual Meeting of the Northern California Technical Processes Group (NCTPG) will take place in San Francisco on Friday, May 8, 2020.

Our 83rd annual meeting theme is “Open in Technical Services”

For 2020, we will have two options for presenting. Full presentations are
usually 20-30 minutes with additional participation in a panel discussion.
Or participants can do a 5 minute lightning round talk on a project or idea that fits the theme.

At this event, we expect to have a broad representation of types of libraries (public, academic, special) and a diverse representation of roles within and around technical services. This half-day event will be held in Koret Auditorium at San Francisco Public Library, with optional afternoon tours of related interest nearby.

Possible topics related to the theme include:

  • How Open Access resources are organized and maintained in your library system
  • Ebook package management
  • Managing vendor relationships in the digital landscape
  • Digital repository management
  • Accessing, cataloging and maintaining free and open resources on the web
  • Maximizing library resources on a tightening budget
  • Textbook management and Open Educational Resources

Please submit your proposal to the NCTPG steering committee with the subject “2020 Call for Presentations” at

Deadline for submission: Wednesday, January 8th, 2020.

NCTPG 2019 Fall Event

Northern California Technical Processes Group is holding a Fall event in Richmond, CA next Friday, October 11. Join us for tours of the UC Library Bindery and Northern Regional Library Facility, lunch, and general technical services camaraderie!


Morning Tour – 10:30AM-Noon
UC Library Bindery
B-175, 1301 South 46th Street
Richmond, CA 94804-3580

Tour hosted by Michael Foley, MBA – Director, UC Library Bindery. More information about the services UC Library Bindery provides.

Anh Restaurant & Bar
1950 Esplanade Dr.
Richmond, CA 94804

Afternoon Tour – 1:30PM-3:00PM
Northern Regional Library Facility
Richmond Field Station Bldg 400
Meade & South 47th Street
Richmond, CA 94804-4698

Tour hosted by Jutta Wiemhoff – Operations Manager, NRLF. More information about NRLF.

NCTPG would like to thank UC Berkeley Bindery and NRLF for offering tours.


The easiest way to get to the UC Library Bindery and NRLF is by car. Public transportation is also an option via Bear Transit (RFS Line) from Downtown Berkeley BART Station. Transportation to and from lunch can be arranged day-of (carpool, rideshare service, etc.)


We hope to see you there! Please RSVP no later than October 8 to let us know which tours you will be attending:

2019 Annual Meeting Presentation Slides

Thanks to everyone who attended, presented at, and helped coordinate the 2019 Annual Meeting. We had a really great group of library folks (and library-adjacent folks!) join us, which made for a successful event.

Slide decks are available on SlideShare:


Lightning talks


Increasing Access, Increasing Effectiveness – NCTPG 82nd Annual Meeting

San Francisco Public Library • Koret Auditorium

Friday May 10, 2019 • 9:00 am to 1:00 pm

Increasing Access, Increasing Effectiveness

Register Now!

(Note: Registration begins at 9:00 am; NCTPG Annual Meeting starts at 9:30 am)

Libraries are always in flux: with changing times come new formats and collections. While sometimes older formats need to be retired, their content and legacy must be preserved in another way. The conundrum to figure out how to make it all available and accessible to users inspired the theme for this year’s annual meeting: Increasing Access, Increasing Effectiveness. Our speakers will share how they took on these challenges and revamped their collections and workflows to achieve the purpose all libraries share: making collections available and findable to users.

As always, we aim for a broad representation of types of libraries (public, academic, special) and a diverse representation of roles within and around technical services.

Program and Speakers:

Increasing Effectiveness in Technical Services for Public Libraries

Lisa Dale – Collection Services Manager, Sacramento Public Library 

As public libraries continue to evolve to best meet the needs of their communities, so does the role and expectation of Technical Services. Sacramento Public Library Technical Services has transformed into a high-performing Collection Services Department, with a role in the organization that continues to expand. This presentation will describe the transformation, how Collection Services embraces its role as a support department, and the resulting positive changes that have occurred both in improved service to customers and in staff engagement across Sacramento’s 28-branch system.

Increasing Access at Niebyl Proctor Marxist Library through the Cataloging and Preservation of Leftist Thought in Monograph Collections  

Ari Kleinman – Cataloging Librarian & Brian McNeilly – Systems Librarian, Niebyl Proctor Marxist Library

The Niebyl Proctor Marxist Library (NPML) is a small communist library and archive located in Oakland, CA. While the collection includes over 13,000 volumes, without software, policy, or procedures in place, the East Bay community could not easily access resources within the collection. A small committee gathered and sought to increase access, both to scholars who may be interested in Marxist literature, but to also advance the library’s mission of “helping working people understand and create their role in history”.

While still in the beginning of the project, the committee has used tools and policy that aligns with the mission of the library, including using vendors and software run by leftist political groups. This presentation will cover the scope of our project, its progress, and how small community-run groups can increase access to counter-hegemonic literature that may not be prioritized within larger organizations.

The Macro Challenges of Microformats: A Tale of Deaccessioning and Digitization

Sarah McClung – Head of Collection Development, University of California, San Francisco Library & Chris Freeland – Director of Open Libraries, Internet Archive

The University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) was tasked in 2017 with removing its microformat collection of over 12,500 items when the space it occupied was slated for repurposing. This collection was a prime candidate for weeding since the Library had not had operational microformat readers for over a decade, leaving the collection inaccessible for in-house use. As is often the case when undertaking a weeding project, getting rid of these materials was not a straightforward process and uncovered many other issues. Unreliable metadata, shared purchase agreements, and time consuming holdings checks all threatened to stall the project for nearly two years. After extensive analysis, 25% of the microformats were sent to an offsite storage facility that had the appropriate machines to read the materials and make them available for users again. The remaining 75% were deemed duplicative of existing holdings and, instead of simply throwing them away, were donated to Internet Archive for digitizing and wider accessibility.

Increasing Discoverability, Access and Circulation of Objects (Equipment and Realia) in Libraries

Cyrus Ford – Special Formats Librarian, University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Objects bring great value to the library collections of school, public, and academic libraries. They are essential for learning, professional development, and technology literacy of users. Increasing demand for realia and equipment such as laptops, headphones, digital cameras, computer keyboards, projectors, game consoles and the like requires special attention and support by libraries. Catalog records created for public view should include more descriptive information about each piece of equipment to increase access and circulation of these items.

This presentation is about different kinds of objects displayed and used in libraries and discusses how to increase discoverability and enhance MARC records representing these collections.

Lightning Talks


2- 3 quick 5-minute presentations where speakers can discuss one change they have made in their library.

Have an idea for a lighting talk? Stay tuned for a call for quick proposals through our listserve or contact us:

Problem Sharing Activity

Have a problem? Someone (probably) has an answer!

Facilitated by Swetta Abeyta – Collection Management Analyst & Technical Services Specialist, Saint Mary’s College of California

When you join us at our annual meeting this year, please come thinking of ONE workflow-related issue  you have at work that you need help with. Among our members’ varied skill sets, there will probably be at least one person at the meeting who has the knowledge you’re looking for, and we’re going to help you find them and a solution to your problem.

If you’d like a head start on networking, here is the link to the Google sheets where you can list and answer questions:

Happy networking!

Optional Tours:  

After lunch, we continue our tradition of hosting optional tours. All tours are 2:30 – 3:30. You may choose from the following:

Get an overview of the collections, see highlights from the archives and rare books, and see the DigiCenter in action, including the Internet Archive scribes and other equipment.

The C. Laan Chun Library is one of the more comprehensive research libraries of Asian art and culture in the country. Come and see some of the rare and specialized materials housed here. We will also tour the work areas and stacks around the reading room.

The SFMOMA Library collection reflects art movements, organizations, historians, critics, and makers of modern and contemporary art, as well as SFMOMA’s collections, exhibitions, and programming. Our librarian host will pull out unusual and special items for your perusal as well as show you their back-end processing and current projects and describe the offsite Archives.

Registration & Information

Register online to start or renew your membership and attend the Annual Meeting.  

$35 in advance, $40 at the door.

Tour Sign Up

Please visit our Google survey for more information and to sign up for your tour in advance.

If you have any questions about the event, please contact Rice Majors at or you can email us at

This is not a San Francisco Public Library Sponsored Program. Please use contact information provided above.

Note: Refreshments are not allowed in the Auditorium.