LIBR 287-12
Management of Technical Services
(Executive MLIS)
Spring 2009 Greensheet

Dr. Robert Ellett
Office Location: Norfolk, VA
Office Hours:
Office hours and telephone conferences arranged by e-mail

Greensheet Links

Course Requirements
Deliverable Products

ANGEL Tutorials
iSchool eBookstore

Students must self-enroll for this course on ANGEL between January 19-22. You will be required to use a password access code which the instructor will provide using the MySJSU Messaging system.

Course Description

Survey of current technical services operations and techniques in libraries associated with the acquisition, organization for access, physical processing, automated processes for retrieval, outsourcing functions, and maintenance of library materials. Special emphasis will be placed on the management and evaluation of cataloging and other technical services functions in a variety of types of libraries for both print and digital collections. This class is not designed as a “how-to” approach to cataloging, although basic cataloging principles will be taught in order to provide a framework for evaluation.

Course Prerequisites: Libr 202

Course Objectives

The course is designed to offer you the opportunity to:

  1. identify and compare theories and systems dealing with the organization and description of materials in multiple formats for access and retrieval;
  2. explain trends and research in the field of cataloging and explain and evaluate their impacts on the organization and retrieval of information; and,
  3. develop a philosophy of bibliographic control and technical services.
  4. be conversant with the principles and standards for descriptive cataloging, access points, authority control, and subject cataloging and understand the broader theoretical context in which these principles function in order to measure and evaluate technical services operations in libraries

Course Requirements

Virtual Classes
Optional synchronous virtual classes will be scheduled during the course using the Elluminate software. These classes will be recorded for later viewing.

Deliverable Products
Students will be evaluated in the performance of the following tasks:

  • Assignment 1 – Job Advertisement Evaluation Report (20%)
    Locate at least ten job advertisements/announcements for openings posted within the last year (from February 2007-present) for a particular type of technical services librarian (e.g., monographic cataloger, acquisitions librarians, metadata specialist, etc,) in different types of libraries such as public, academic, special (government, law, medical, corporate, non-profit), or school. Attempt to include at least one posting from each of the three main types of libraries (academic, public, special). Compare similar positions (such as all acquisitions librarians, catalog librarians, serial librarians, metadata librarians, etc.)

    Prepare a 2-3 page report summarizing the characteristics they share. What job titles are used? What skills are in demand? If salaries are included, how do they differ?

    Append to your report a list including: Job Title, Job Location, Location of Posting (e.g., American Libraries).
  • Assignment 2 – Acquistions/ Serials Vendor Evaluation Report (20%)
    Identify a vendor of books, periodicals, online services (such as databases) or contract services, and interview a representative offering acquisitions and/or serials services.

    You may work from the list of ALA conference exhibitors at

    IF you currently work in a library, this must be a vendor your employer does not currently use, and with which a library might reasonably set up an ongoing purchasing relationship, not a onetime purchase, and preferably one that offers a variety of services.

    For example: EBSCO, Swets, Baker and Taylor, Yankee Book Peddler (part of Baker & Taylor), Ingram, Casalini… even Amazon has library programs.

    Find out: What services does the vendor offer? What are the terms? What did you have to ask, vs. what you could find out on their web site? What sets them aside from their competition?

    What sort of discounts do they offer? Can you pay electronically? Do you get ownership, or just access, if it's an electronic product? Is there anything about their service that might make you adjust processes at your library to take advantage of them? What do other customers say about them? We will brainstorm additional questions in the discussion forum.

    Helpful site:"vendor questions fulfillment discounts library"

    Skip down to the section on buying AV resources, with a list of vendors and questions to ask them (to start you thinking).

    Note: Identify yourself VERY clearly as a library school student; it would not be ethical to pretend you are interviewing the rep for a real purchase. Set a time limit and ask if they can spend that much time to help you, and if possible send them your questions in advance.

    Prepare a 4-5 page report summarizing your findings and comparing your vendor’s services with comparable vendor(s).
  • Assignment 3 – Electronic List Reflection Paper (25%)
    AUTOCAT is a listserv devoted to issues related to cataloging and classification. It provides a good instruction to current trends and problems related to this area of librarianship. This is a high-volume list. If you find your mailbox overwhelmed you can either unsubscribe or temporarily set your option to NOMAIL until you have more time.

    All commands must be addressed to
    Case is immaterial for the address and the commands.
    To subscribe to AUTOCAT:
    SUB AUTOCAT Firstname Lastname
    To unsubscribe from AUTOCAT:
    To temporarily halt AUTOCAT delivery:
    To set AUTOCAT back to mail:
    These commands temporarily halt delivery, then turn it on again, regardless of the delivery option you have selected (MAIL, DIGEST or INDEX)
    To change from mail (the default option) to another delivery option:

    To set AUTOCAT to digest:
    To set AUTOCAT to index:
    To change from digest or index back to mail:
    (N.B. If you are set NOMAIL that last command will simply turn delivery on again. If you want to change from DIGEST or INDEX to MAIL you will have to send the command twice, first to turn on delivery, then to change the manner of delivery.)
    To find out how your AUTOCAT subscription options are currently set:
    To have the tag [ACAT] appear at the beginning of the subject line of each piece of AUTOCAT mail that you receive (does not apply to Digest or Index distributions):
    This is a HEADER option, of which there are seven. Normally one does not need to change from the default unless one wants the tag, but for some systems a change may improve header display.
    To search the archives send a message in the form:
    to the LISTSERV address. Replace 'topics' by the terms you wish to use. Terms are automatically right-truncated. Boolean logic may be used. The implied term is "near", which is relational, not logical. If you want to use a logical "and" you must state it. That is for searching via email.
    If you receive a message that your subscription has been changed to DIGEST, without your having requested such a change, that means that your subscription has experienced delivery problems and one of the listowners set your subscription to DIGEST to reduce the number of error messages generated. Please reset your subscription to your desired delivery option. See above for instructions on how to do so.
    If you receive a message that your subscription has been deleted that means that your subscription experienced numerous delivery problems over a period of some days. Please resubscribe. See above for instructions on how to do so.
    You can get a synopsis of all commands by sending to the LISTSERV address given above or below:
    For subscription option commands to work they must be sent from the address under which you are subscribed, and must be sent to:
    If your address has changed (if you are getting AUTOCAT mail but are told you aren't subscribed when you send a command your address has probably changed) or you have other problems, please write directly to the listowners:
    To post a message to the list, send your message to:
    1. Subscribe to the AUTOCAT list as directed above for at least a month.
    2. Read the posting and note the types of issues, themes, and trends. What issues are being discussed? Note cataloging questions asked. Are they resolved?
    3. From the postings and discussions, write a 4-5 page paper discussing the current state of cataloging. Are different issues discussed in different library types? If you are unfamiliar with the topic(s) being discussed, read articles in the cataloging literature. Cite these articles in your paper. Do they agree or disagree with the postings?
  • Assignment 4 (Cataloging Evaluative Study Paper) 35%
    1. Read the Sanchez (2007) text. Choose a particular library (academic, public, special) that includes cataloging operations. Avoid libraries with only solo librarians.
    2. Following the outline presented in the text for analyzing and evaluating cataloging services, write a paper from the interview conducted. Attempt to cover all sections analyzed in the Sanchez (2007) text.
    3. Your choice of library must be approved prior (by March 23rd). Please send an email to the instructor.
    4. This paper should be between 10-12 pages.
    5. All citations, references, and formatting must follow the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (2001).
    6. Prepare a short Powerpoint presentation of no more than 15 slides highlighting the content of your paper. Elluminate presentations will be conducted beginning in May.
Product Due Date Percentage of Final Grade
Assignment 1 (Job Advertisement Evaluation Report) 2/27 20%
Assignment 2 (Acquisitions/Serials Vendor Evaluation Report) 3/27 20%
Assignment 3 (Electronic List Reflection Paper) 4/10 25%
Assignment 4 (Cataloging Evaluative Study Paper)
Elluminate Presentation


week of 5/2


Greensheet (Syllabus)
This syllabus may be altered to meet education objectives based on needs of the learning environment.

Attendance and Participation
To receive the most benefit from this course, you must read the text and online resource materials, complete the assignments, and participate in class activities. Regular participation has a positive effect on the course grade earned.

Late Assignments and Incompletes
Late assignments will not be accepted. If you have an illness (medical certificate supplied) or a family tragedy, please contact the instructor. Incomplete grades will not be granted except in extraordinary circumstances. Supporting documentation will be required in cases of medical or health emergencies.



  • Balas, J. L. (2007). Will the ILS soon be as obsolete as the card catalog? Computers in Libraries, 7(9), 41-43.
  • Branton, A., Green, C., & Martin, M. (2006). Technical services: General overview of its organization and functions. Mississippi Libraries, 70(2), 22-25.
  • Breeding, M. (2007). Recasting library catalogs. American Libraries, 38(9), 43.
  • Buttler, L., & Rajinder, G. (1998). Catalogers in academic libraries: Their evolving and
    expanding roles. College & Research Libraries, 59(4), 311-321.
  • Chapman, J. W. (2007). The roles of the metadata librarian in a research library.
    Library Resources & Technical Services, 51(4), 279-285.
  • Charbonneau, M. D. (2005). Production benchmarks for catalogers in academic
    libraries: Are we there yet? Library Resources & Technical Services, 49(1), 40-48.
  • Danskin, A. (2006). What difference does it make? Measuring the quality of
    cataloguing and the catalogue. Catalogue & Index, 154, 9-12.
  • Fessler, V. (2007). The future of technical services (It's not the technical services it was). Library Administration & Management, 21(3), 139-144, 155-.
  • Fischer, R., Lugg, R., & Boese, K. C. (2004). Cataloging: how to take a business
    approach. The Bottom Line: Managing Library Finance, 17(2), 50-54.
  • Fowler, D. C., & Arcand, J. (2003). Monographs acquisitions time and cost studies: The next generation. Library Resources & Technical Services, 47(3), 109-124.
  • Fuller, D. (2006). Cataloging of original materials in the 21st century: Frequency and
    preparation factors. Education Libraries, 29(2), 5-11.
  • Hall-Ellis, S. D. (2006). Descriptive impressions of managerial and supervisory cataloger positions as reflected in American Libraries, AutoCAT, and the Colorado State Library positions as reflected in American Libraries, AutoCAT, and the Colorado State Library Jobline, 2000-2004: A content analysis of education, competencies, and experience. Cataloging & Classification Quarterly, 42(1), 55-92.
  • Hall-Ellis, S. D. (2007). Language proficiencies among catalogers and technical services librarians. Technical Services Quarterly, 25(2), 31-47.
  • Hopkins, J. (2002). The community of catalogers: Its role in the education of catalogers. Cataloging & Classification Quarterly, 34(3), 375-381.
  • Intner, S. S. (2006). Three little words. Technicalities. 26(6), 1, 13-15.
  • Jones, N. (1998). Network-accessible resources and the redefinition of technical services. OCLC Systems & Services, 14(1), 16-41.
  • Leonhardt, T. (2006). Cooperative cataloging: The power behind the scenes.
    Technicalities, 26(1), 4-5.
  • Library of Congress Working Group on Bibliographic Control. (2008). Report of the Library of Congress Working Group on the Ffuture of Bibliographic Control. On the Record. Retrieved January 31, 2008, from the World Wide Web:
  • Marcum, D. B. (2006). The future of cataloging. Library Resources & Technical Services, 50(1), 5-9.
  • Marcum, D. B. (2008). The Library of Congress and dataloging’s future. Cataloging &
    Classification Quarterly, 45(3), 3-16.
  • Robertson, S., & Catoggio, A. (2007). Strategic procurement of public library collections. Australasian Public Libraries and Information Services, 20(1), 20-27.
  • Sanchez, E., (2007). Emerging issues in academic library cataloging & technical services. New York, NY: Primary Research Group.
  • Stephan, E. (2006). What actually happens in technical services. Mississippi Libraries,
    70(2), 21.
  • Sung, M. G. (2004). Increasing technical services efficiency to eliminate cataloging
    backlogs. Public Libraries, 43(6), 347-352.
  • Sutherland, N. R., & Adams, V. P. (2004). Territorial invasion or symbiotic relationship?
  • Technical services and reference cooperation. College & Research Libraries News, 65(1), 12-15.
  • Zuberi, S. (2007). Digital publishing: A new challenge for libraries. Pakistan Library &
    Information Science Journal, 38(1), 11-16.



Required Textbooks:

  • Evans, G.E., Intner, S.S., & Weihs, J. (2002). Introduction to Technical Services. ALA. Available through Amazon: 156308922X. arrow gif indicating link outside sjsu domain

Grading Scale

The standard SJSU School of Information Grading Scale is utilized for all iSchool courses:

97 to 100 A
94 to 96 A minus
91 to 93 B plus
88 to 90 B
85 to 87 B minus
82 to 84 C plus
79 to 81 C
76 to 78 C minus
73 to 75 D plus
70 to 72 D
67 to 69 D minus
Below 67 F


In order to provide consistent guidelines for assessment for graduate level work in the School, these terms are applied to letter grades:

  • C represents Adequate work; a grade of "C" counts for credit for the course;
  • B represents Good work; a grade of "B" clearly meets the standards for graduate level work;
    For core courses in the MLIS program (not MARA) — INFO 200, INFO 202, INFO 204 — the iSchool requires that students earn a B in the course. If the grade is less than B (B- or lower) after the first attempt you will be placed on administrative probation.  You must repeat the class the following semester. If -on the second attempt- you do not pass the class with a grade of B or better (not B- but B) you will be disqualified.
  • A represents Exceptional work; a grade of "A" will be assigned for outstanding work only.

Students are advised that it is their responsibility to maintain a 3.0 Grade Point Average (GPA).

University Policies

General Expectations, Rights and Responsibilities of the Student

As members of the academic community, students accept both the rights and responsibilities incumbent upon all members of the institution. Students are encouraged to familiarize themselves with SJSU's policies and practices pertaining to the procedures to follow if and when questions or concerns about a class arises. See University Policy S90-5 at More detailed information on a variety of related topics is available in the SJSU catalog at In general, it is recommended that students begin by seeking clarification or discussing concerns with their instructor. If such conversation is not possible, or if it does not serve to address the issue, it is recommended that the student contact the Department Chair as a next step.

Dropping and Adding

Students are responsible for understanding the policies and procedures about add/drop, grade forgiveness, etc. Refer to the current semester's Catalog Policies section at Add/drop deadlines can be found on the current academic year calendars document on the Academic Calendars webpage at The Late Drop Policy is available at Students should be aware of the current deadlines and penalties for dropping classes.

Information about the latest changes and news is available at the Advising Hub at

Consent for Recording of Class and Public Sharing of Instructor Material

University Policy S12-7,, requires students to obtain instructor's permission to record the course and the following items to be included in the syllabus:

  • "Common courtesy and professional behavior dictate that you notify someone when you are recording him/her. You must obtain the instructor's permission to make audio or video recordings in this class. Such permission allows the recordings to be used for your private, study purposes only. The recordings are the intellectual property of the instructor; you have not been given any rights to reproduce or distribute the material."
    • It is suggested that the syllabus include the instructor's process for granting permission, whether in writing or orally and whether for the whole semester or on a class by class basis.
    • In classes where active participation of students or guests may be on the recording, permission of those students or guests should be obtained as well.
  • "Course material developed by the instructor is the intellectual property of the instructor and cannot be shared publicly without his/her approval. You may not publicly share or upload instructor generated material for this course such as exam questions, lecture notes, or homework solutions without instructor consent."

Academic integrity

Your commitment, as a student, to learning is evidenced by your enrollment at San Jose State University. The University Academic Integrity Policy F15-7 at requires you to be honest in all your academic course work. Faculty members are required to report all infractions to the office of Student Conduct and Ethical Development. The Student Conduct and Ethical Development website is available at

Campus Policy in Compliance with the American Disabilities Act

If you need course adaptations or accommodations because of a disability, or if you need to make special arrangements in case the building must be evacuated, please make an appointment with me as soon as possible, or see me during office hours. Presidential Directive 97-03 at requires that students with disabilities requesting accommodations must register with the Accessible Education Center (AEC) at to establish a record of their disability.

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