I spent a fun day at the regional OCLC Good Practices, Great Outcomes event yesterday, where I was an invited speaker. It’s always a treat to hear Roy Tennant give a keynote. I was very impressed with the efficiencies Helen Heinrich implemented at CSU Northridge and the big dent Sharon Benamou made in the cataloging back log at UCLA. Holly Tomren did a fabulous job summing up the major themes which emerged. Video and slides from the event will be made available on OCLC web site soon. I promise to share the links. Meanwhile, I’ve put my slides up on slideshare.
It was great to give a talk again. I haven’t presented professionally in several years. I used to do it frequently but fell out of the habit when I switched career streams from public to technical services. Partially it was due to lack of time. I was busy learning the intricacies of MARC and volunteering my time on CC:DA during the development of RDA. Partially it was due to major illness. I spent a good chunk of 2009 on medical leave. And partially it was due to self-doubt. As a new metadata maven I wanted to have something useful to discuss before I began speaking about my work.
The best part of doing the talk was figuring out those things we’re doing at Caltech which may be useful for other tech services librarians. Reflecting back on my four years here, I realize we’ve accomplished a great deal.
- We’re adding more bibliographic records to our ILS despite a reduction in staff — on order of 10′s of thousands more. That’s the beauty of batch loading and purchasing record sets.
- We’re more efficient at our batch loading because we’ve tapped into regular expressions (shout out to Terry Reese. MarcEdit has been the major player in making us more efficient.
- We’ve learned how to apply business process analysis techniques to review our work flows and improve them, freeing up time for for training and developing next generation metadata services.
I have to give credit where credit is due. The Metadata Services Group team has really stepped up to the plate and wholeheartedly embraced the changes we’ve made. I’m so proud of them. It was easier for me to stand up and talk to a hundred or so people because I could share their success.