Transforming Technical Services through Training and Development

ALA Member
Item Number
ALA Editions
AP Categories
Read a sample of this book now!
1.83 MB • pdf • Download

Primary tabs

You don't need to be an ALA Member to purchase from the ALA Store, but you'll be asked to create an online account/profile during the checkout to proceed. This Web Account is for both Members and non-Members. 

If you are Tax-Exempt, please verify that your account is currently set up as exempt before placing your order, as our new fulfillment center will need current documentation. Learn how to verify here.

  • Description
  • Table of Contents
  • About the authors
  • Reviews

Read an interview with the editors now!

Busy technical services managers looking for reliable, theoretically-sound methods to incorporate formal and informal staff development into the everyday work of their employees will find them in this practical guide from Core: Leadership, Infrastructure, Futures.

Technical services departments are increasingly expected to do more with less, which means that finding a balance between meeting service demands and developing staff knowledge and skills is more challenging than ever. Today's next gen catalogs, changing cataloging rules, and diverse formats and delivery models demand that technical services professionals and paraprofessionals keep up with evolving best practices for the work they do. Fortunately, libraries can adopt methods such as Training Within Industry (TWI), lean management, and instructional design methodologies to develop a learning culture that continuously improves service delivery. Using case studies, this collection showcases a variety of creative and practical training development and organizational strategies that libraries and consortia have used to tackle issues related to skills gaps, remote work, student worker turnover, reorganizations, technology migrations, and more. You will learn about

  • techniques for establishing a positive training and learning culture; 
  • project management tools and business methodologies such as a Deming approach and just-in-time training for continuous improvement and staff skill development; 
  • reactive and proactive approaches in the training program for the University of Nevada, Las Vegas Acquisitions Unit; 
  • how the University of Toronto Libraries (UTL) harnessed the power of remote work to undertake a library services platform migration during the pandemic;
  • applying concepts from information literacy instruction to e-resources training; 
  • reinventing student worker training;
  • collaborative initiatives such as cross-organizational learning through Community of Practice (CoP); 
  • assessing metadata competencies by transforming records for a multi-system migration in an academic library at a R1 research university; and
  • how staff training and documentation eased a library system’s transition from Voyager to Alma.


Chapter 1    Growing a Technical Services Learning Culture at NC State University Libraries
by Beth Ashmore, Maria Collins, Xiaoyan Song, and Lynn Whittenberger

Chapter 2    Establishing a Positive Training Culture
by Hyun Chu Kim and Ariel Turner

Chapter 3    A Deming Approach to Training in Technical Services
by Kristy White and John White

Chapter 4    Just-in-Time Training for Continuous Improvement within a Consortium
by Rachel K. Fischer

Chapter 5    Practicing Partnerships
A Case Study on How Realizing an In-House Cataloging Course Set the Stage for a Collaborative Future
by Juliya Borie, May Chan, Elisa Sze, and Polina Vendrova

Chapter 6    Cross-Organizational Learning through a Community of Practice
by Laura Sill

Chapter 7    Mind the (Training) Gap
A Case Study in Assessing Metadata Competencies by Transforming Records for a Multi-System Migration
by Dana Reijerkerk and Kristen J. Nyitray

Chapter 8    Looking Back to Move Forward
Future-Proofing Staff through Skill Development
by Tammie Busch and Marlee Graser

Chapter 9    Circulation Services Training in a Remote Work Environment
A Case Study of UTM Library’s Library Services Platform Migration during a Pandemic
by Mai Lu

Chapter 10    Reinvention of Student Worker Training
A Positive Response and Outcome to Disruption
by Leslie A. Engelson

Chapter 11    Training Tech Services Using Concepts from Information Literacy Instruction
by Jharina Pascual

Chapter 12    Reactive and Proactive Approaches in the Training Program for the University of Nevada, Las Vegas Acquisitions Unit
by Jennifer R. Culley

Chapter 13    Technical Services Staff Training and Documentation during and after a Transition from Voyager to Alma
by Daricus Larry

About the Editors and Contributors

Marlee Givens

Marlee Givens has been librarian for modern languages and a library learning consultant at the Georgia Tech Library since 2017, and liaison to the School of Psychology there since 2018. In this position she works with faculty in the schools of Modern Languages and Psychology to support their teaching and scholarship, provides classroom and online instruction, and facilitates learning for library employees. Marlee also holds two certificates in learning design from the Association for Talent Development.

Sofia Slutskaya

Sofia Slutskaya is the head of resource description at Emory University’s Woodruff Library. Over the years, Sofia has held a variety of positions in both public and technical services. Her research interests include staff training, cataloging print and electronic materials, e-resource management, and e-book acquisitions.


The former Association for Library Collections and Technical Services (ALCTS), the Library Information Technology Association (LITA), and the Library Leadership and Management Association (LLAMA) are now Core: Leadership, Infrastructure, Futures, a new division of ALA. Its mission is to cultivate and amplify the collective expertise of library workers in core functions through community building, advocacy, and learning.

"The authors concisely and clearly provide both practical case studies and philosophical arguments illustrating the many ways in which training can be successfully planned and implemented. Topics include student training, project management, just-in-time training and continued staff development, information literacy instruction, eresources training, and more. Although the majority of the 13 brief chapters are written by academic librarians, the problems and solutions discussed are applicable in any technical services setting ... Well-researched and written."
— Library Journal

"The strength of this collection is in the diversity of methods and experiences shared by the authors. While all of the chapters represent the perspective of academic libraries or consortia, the organizational structures and staffing concerns are unique to each institution, resulting in a wide variety of approaches to technical services staff training ... There is something in this book to interest almost any technical services manager or administrator.”
— Technicalities

"Presents several training methodologies, examples, and case studies from academic and public libraries ... The underpinning principles and concepts presented throughout the book are applicable to any library area. In fact, the re-envisioning of libraries as learning organizations where change is expected and anticipated demands a supportive framework for training librarywide. Creating a culture of continuous learning enables staff to adapt and make changes quickly, in technical services and every other area of the library.”
— Journal of Electronic Resources Librarianship