NASIG Core Competencies for Print Serials Management

NASIG Newsletter, Feb 2016

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NASIG Core Competencies for Print Serials Management

NASIG C  ORE  COMPETENCIES  FORP R INT  SERIALS  MANAGEMENT    Final  Version   Approved  and  adopted  by  the  NASIG  Executive  Bo, a  Mrday  30,  201 5 This  document  supplements  the  NASIG  Core  Competencies  for  Electronic  Resources  Librarians   (adopted  July  22,  2013)  by  describing  skills  and  knowledge  that  librarians  need  to  manage   physical  format  serials  in  today's  libraries.  The  Core  Competencies  fort  PSerirnials  Management   follows  the  structure  of  its  companion  document,  highlighting  competencies  distinctive  to   managing  information  in  physical  formats.  It  is  based  on  research  conducted  by  the  NASIG  Core   Competencies  Task  Force  (CCTF),  including  an  oriagli n content  analysis  of  position  description s .     The  prominence  of  electronic  resources  in  many  libraries'  collections  does  not  render  obsolete   traditional  print  management  tasks  like  receiving,  claiming  and  binding,  contrary  to  common   perception.  Libraries o f  all  sizes  report  they  are  actively  managing  print  serials  and  allocating   considerable  budgets  and  staff  time  to  these  activities.  The  personnel  responsible  for   performing  physical  serials  workflows  vary  according  to  staffing  patterns  based  on  a 's lib  rary size  and  organizational  complexity.  At  some  libraries,  M-h­‐LoSlding  librarians  work  directly  with   print  serials;  at  others,  paraprofessional  staff  perform  these  roles  while  librarians  are   responsible  for  supervision,  budgeting  and  strategic  planning. n Ev wehen  they  do  not  directly   perform  workflows,  librarians  still  need  to  be  familiar  with  the  print  serials  lifecycle  and  with   tasks  like  binding,  claiming  and  physical  processing,  in  order  to  oversee  staff,  troubleshoot   difficult  problems,  and  evaluate  the effectiveness  of  workflows.    We  recognize  that  responsibility  for  print  serials  management  is  shared  among  librarians  and   paraprofessional  staff,  and  that  in  many  cases,  individuals  have  responsibility  for  both  physical   and  electronic  format  serials.  Wero ppose  the  following  competencies  for  librarians  involved  in   print  serials  management,  with  the  understanding  that  librarians  can  demonstrate  proficiency   in  performing  these  tasks  or  supervising  others,  and  that  each  institution  may  adopt  a  subset  of   these c  ompetencies,  depending  on  its  size,  mission  and  workflow  s.     1. Life  Cycle  of  Print  Serial s   Serials  librarians  have  extensive  knowledge  of  the  life  cycle  of  physical  format  serials,  beyond   that  required  of  a  generalist.  This  depth  of  understanding  alloewriasls s  librarians  to  collaborate   across  the  multiple  units  or  departments  involved  in  decisions  about  print  se rials.     Serials  librarians  have:    1.1  Thorough  knowledge  of  serials  acquisitions,  including  trends  in  publishing  and  subscription   services,  publication  patterns  for  receipt  and  claiming,  and  shipping  practi c es. - 1.2  Ability  to  apply  the  principles  involved  in  the  organization  and  reptaretisoenn  of  recorded   knowledge  and  information  to  the  organization  of  physical  format  resources,  in  order  to  select   and  provide  useful  access  points  for  the  communities  they  ser ve.     1.2.1  Experience  describing  physical  format  items  using  standards  suchO aNsS E CR  and   RDA. 1.2.2  Ability  to  describe  materials  written  in  languages  other  than  English  may  be   necessary  at  some  libraries .   1 .3  Thorough  understanding  of  records  management  to  coordinate  and  manage  records   related  to  serials  purchases,  subscriptioncs h,eckins,  and  holdings. 1.4  Knowledge  of  best  practices  in  physical  processing  of  items  (such  as  labeling,  barcoding,   inventory,  and  security  treatments) . 1.4.1  Tracking  and  shipping  may  be  of  particular  importance  to  libraries  that  contain   multiple  branches,  store  serials  offsite,  or  participate  in  a  shared  print  initia  tive. 1.4.2  Some  responding  libraries  stated  specific  expectations  of  physical  abilities  needed   to  hold,  carry  and  otherwise  manipulate  serials,  with  accommodations  to  make  these   tasks  accessible  to  people  of  all  abilitie  s. 1.5  Ability  to  apply  classification  systems  (such  as  Library  of  Congress  call  numbers)  and  local   practices  (such  as  shelving  and  stack  maintenance  procedures)  to  ensure  access  to  physical   serials  of  all  formats. 1.6 A bility  to  assist  library  users  and  provide  basic  instruction  in  how  to  use  technical  systems   (e.g.  microfilm  readers)  required  for  access  to  physical  seri a ls. 1.7  Knowledge  of  basic  principles  related  to  conservation  of  physical  mater i als.       1.7.1  Familiarity  with  basic  principles  of  binding.  Ability  to  establish  or  apply  consistent   practices  for  itemization. 1.7.2  Familiarity  with  the  library's  disaster  recovery  pla  n.     1.8  Knowledge  of  local  practices  related  to  item  deselection  and  withdrawali,n  f arnasdtructure   for  exchanging  duplicate  or  otherwise  unwanted  items  between  librar  ies. 2.  Technology 2.1  Serials  librarians  are  familiar  with  library  software  specific  to  print  workflows,  partic u larly:   2.1.1  ILS  serials  modul e 2.1.2  Bindery  recordso  ftware 2.1.3  Bibliographic  and  other  utilities  used  to  record  metad  ata   2.2  Serials  librarians  are  familiar  with  the  operation  of  physical  equipment  (e.g.  microfiche   readers)  used  in  the  storage  and  retrieval  of  print  ser i als. 2.3  Serials  librarians o cnsider  how  new  library  technologies  (e.g.  clo-bu­‐adsed  Library   Management  Systems)  may  impact  print  serials  workflows,  and  contribute  to  discussions  about   the  implementation  of  library  systems. 3.  Research  and  Professional  Developmen  t Serials  management  is  a  field  characterized  by  rapid  change,  and  the  skillset  required  for   serialists  to  be  successful  at  their  work  is  also  in  flux.  Responding  libraries  emphasize  the   rewards  of  creating  an  organizational  culture  that  values  collaboration  and  team  lge.a r nin Serials  librarians  have  opportunities  to  model  a  commitment  to  professional  development   through  continuing  education  and  engagement  with  the  defining  problems  of  the  field.     Research  skills  are  also  helpful  for  serials  librarians.  Many  positions  ree q thueir  incumbent  to   define  and  pursue  a  research  agenda.  Even  in  positions  that  do  not  include  a  formal  research   requirement,  many  da-yt­‐ o-d­‐ay  decisions  related  to  print  serials  management  can  be  improved   by  gathering  and  evaluating  evidence  related  to  wloorwkfs  or  the  collection.  Respondents   mentioned  several  specific  examples  of  ways  that  serials  librarians  can  help  to  promote  a   culture  of  evidence-b­‐ased  decision  making.  Among  other  areas,  serials  librarians  can  provide   useful  input  on: 3.1  Acquisitions  and  collection  management  (e.g.  determining  the  c-oe­‐sfftectiveness  of   converting  a  subscription  from  print  to  online  formats;  minimizing  service  fees)     3.2  Preservation  (e.g.  most  effective  format  for  retaining  back  issues  of  a  seri-ael­‐;ffe coctsitve   physical  preservation  of  serials;  participation  in  a  shared  print  reposit ory) 3.3  Use  of  physical  space  (e.g.  determining  shelf  space  to  be  freed  by  a  stack  shifting  or   weeding  project)     3.4  Troubleshooting  access  problems  (e.g.  estimating  error  rates  inl o cgata records) 4.  Effective  Communication Serials  librarians  strive  for  effective  communication  with  colleagues  in  the  library,  as  well  as   with  vendors,  agents,  patrons  and  other  external  stakeholders  in  the  serials  information  cycle.   Libraries  value  thea b ility  to  clearly  articulate  problems  and  goals,  the  capacity  to  collectively   brainstorm  solutions  and  the  trait  of  continuously  innovating  on  current  practices.  Therefore,   the  ability  to  clearly  communicate  both  verbally  and  in  writing  is  crucial ia folsr   l siberarians,   although  the  extent  to  which  these  skills  may  be  called  upon  in  the  performance  of  the  job  will   likely  vary,  depending  on  the  organization.  Language  competency  was  also  a  preferred   qualification  in  some  position  statements,  and  respondilnibgra  ries  mentioned  situations  where   language  skills  were  helpful,  such  as  communicating  with  international  vendors  or  describing   collections  in  fields  like  modern  languages,  art  or  hist o ry. 5. S  upervision  and  Management In  many  libraries,  paraprofessioanl  serials  staff  are  responsible  for  hiring,  training,  supervising   and  evaluating  the  work  of  student  assistants  or  other  staff.  Serials  librarians  model  effective   managerial  skills,  time  management  and  the  ability  to  evaluate  and  improve  workflows.   Effective  serials  librarians  are  advocates  for  their  staffs,  building  trusted  relationships  that  serve   to  motivate  and  encourage  their  subordinates'  grow t h. 6. P ersonal  Qualities Most  of  the  same  qualities  that  make  a  librarian  effective  at  managing  elecr tersoonuicrces –    flexibility,  tolerance  for  ambiguity  and  complexity,  a  focus  on  serving  users  and  effective  time   management  skills- ­‐a  lso  apply  to  managing  print  serials.  Responding  libraries  often  specifically   mentioned  the  need  to  apply  logical  reasonings  u ipnport  of  troubleshooting  activities  (such  as   fixing  errors  in  ILS  records  or  locating  misrouted  issu e s).       This  document  was  prepared  by  thee m mbers  of  the  NASIG  Core  Competencies  Task  F:o r ce Eugenia  Beh,  member  (Massachusetts  Institute  of  Technolog  y) Steve  Black,  member  (College  of  Saint  Ros  e) Susan  Davis,  member  (State  University  of  New  York,  Buffa lo) Sanjeet  Mann,  chair  (University  of  Redland s) Taryn  Resnick,  member  (University  of  Wisconsin,  Madiso  n) Sarah  Sutton,  board  liaison  201-23­‐015  (Emporia  Sttae  University)


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NASIG Core Competencies for Print Serials Management, NASIG Newsletter, 2016,