Next-Generation Technical Services Update: June 2012 Review
Six of the Power of Three (http://libraries.universityofcalifornia.edu/sopag/ngts_pots.html) groups (POTs) have been charged and actively working since August 2011. Due to the complexity of “Developing policies and practices to implement a technical infrastructure for collaborative UC digital services,” POT 1 did not begin until January 2012.
To date, the groups have continued to build on the work of the earlier phases of NGTS as directed by the priorities set in the Council of University Librarians (CoUL) December 10, 2010 review (http://libraries.universityofcalifornia.edu/about/uls/ngts/docs/CoUL_Priorities_Cover_2010.pdf). The goals of these POTs are to find ways to make library technical services more efficient and to leverage expertise throughout UC.
Proposal for Financial Infrastructure to Support Collaboration
In addition, the Systemwide Operations and Planning Advisory Group (SOPAG) submitted to CoUL a report, “Toward a Financial Model and Process in Support of UC Library Collaboration: Proposal and Planning for Implementation FY 2012-2013 (http://libraries.universityofcalifornia.edu/sopag/sopag_financialmodelproposal_20120409.pdf).” The proposal recommends a well-defined financial structure to support non-collection collaborations and includes funding model criteria and a model decision-making process that would align funding with the UC Libraries Systemwide Plan and Priorities (http://libraries.universityofcalifornia.edu/about/vision_mission_goals.html).
CoUL has formally acknowledged receipt of the report and will be discussing the report’s recommendations over the coming months. As Ginny Steel, chair of CoUL, notes, “The document is a useful overview of previous and existing financial arrangements and also presents a helpful outline of issues related to our financial infrastructure—or lack thereof.” The report underscores the need for a stable financial structure as paramount for the success of current and future collaborative activities such as Next-Generation Technical Services.
POT 1 Build the system-wide infrastructure for digital collections
POT 1 has been working on a requirements document for a system-wide Digital Asset Management System (DAMS) with Discovery/Delivery and is conducting follow-up discussions to test and confirm the findings of the first phase of requirements gathering. Once there is agreement on requirements, the POT will submit the document to the NGTS Management Team and SOPAG for sign-off. Lightning Team 1.B has begun to perform a gap analysis of the Merritt repository for use as a systemwide DAMS. Lightning Team 1.C has been charged to develop potential technical models for a system-wide DAMS with Discovery/Delivery. Lightning Team 5.B has drafted a rights management framework document that is being reviewed by UCLA collections staff.
POT 2 Transform cataloging practices
The POT has submitted a report to the NGTS Management Team with shelf-ready recommendations. The Management Team will ask POT 2 to recommend a Strategic Action Pilot to be incorporated into next steps for NGTS and will include a Chinese shelf-ready materials pilot on the list of projects for next year. The POT will complete its work on a Bibliographic Record Standard by July.
POT 3 Accelerate processing of archival and manuscript collections
POT 3 is wrapping up this summer: it is gathering feedback on Archivists’ Toolkit (AT) recommendations and has drafted a More Product, Less Process (MPLP) manual that will be reviewed by Heads of Special Collections (http://libraries.universityofcalifornia.edu/cdc/hosc/) (HOSC) in July. The Management Team will ask POT 3 to recommend a Strategic Action Pilot to assess application of MPLP and Archivists’ Toolkit (AT) in the coming year.
POT 4 Simplify the recharge process
POT 4 has largely completed its charge and has gone on hiatus given the fiscal close. It has sent the Library Financial Data Best Practices Document to the Acquisitions Common Interest Group (http://libraries.universityofcalifornia.edu/hots/acig/) (ACIG) to be vetted by Library Business Officers after fiscal close. The POT will finalize the document by August. The Management Team recommends that monitoring implementation of the “deposit account” recharge process be included in the SPOT (http://libraries.universityofcalifornia.edu/sopag/ngts_spots.html) responsible for developing a stable funding model.
POT 5 Maximize the effectiveness of Shared Cataloging
POT 5 has completed its assessment of whether efficiencies might be gained if record distribution by the Shared Cataloging Program were eliminated. It has determined that SCP record distribution should be continued and the Management Team and SOPAG have agreed with this recommendation. Instead of pursuing this direction of “maximizing efficiency” of an already streamlined operation, the Management Team will recommend a Strategic Action Pilot be considered that would model other campuses taking responsibility for doing shared cataloging. The Management Team will ask POT 5 over the summer to complete its remaining task of evaluating current SCP cataloging priorities and to recommend a Strategic Action Pilot that could test an additional, alternative model for system-wide shared cataloging.
POT 6 Develop system-wide Collections Services Operations
All POT 6 Lightning Teams have completed their reports on current backlogs, technical services tools, and available expertise. POT 6 has extracted possible pilot projects from its analysis of the Lightning Team reports and has established a definition of a pilot project and proposal for pilot assessment. The Management Team will coordinate the review of POT 6 proposed pilot projects to be conducted and assessed in 2012-13. Assessment of the pilots will establish recommended models that will work long-term.
POT 7 – Transform collection development practices
POT 7 has completed its work building an Inventory of Cooperative Collection Development Activities and recommended a strategy for keeping that inventory up to date. The group has charged lightning teams (http://libraries.universityofcalifornia.edu/sopag/ngts_pots.html) to conduct work on redefining the role of the bibliographer. The POT will complete its work on the role of the bibliographer through the remainder of 2012; these activities will need to be tracked and carried through by the Collection Development Committee (CDC) over the long-term. Management Team will recommend that CDC prioritize proposed Strategic Action Pilots emerging from the work of POTs 2, 3, 5, and 6.
Process for POT Recommendations
As Lightning Teams and Power of Three groups have been completing their deliverables, and given the number of teams and charges under NGTS, the Management Team and SOPAG have outlined the process for handling POT recommendations (http://libraries.universityofcalifornia.edu/sopag/ngts_pot_recommendations_process.pdf). While adjustments may continue to be made to the process, the document lays out for all the expectations for response to, action on, and communication of recommendations emerging from the POTs.
Next Steps for the NGTS Implementation Initiative
This summer, the Systemwide Operations and Planning Advisory Group (SOPAG) will work together with the NGTS Management Team to:
- Revisit the Management Team and POT operating structure, including implications for project management. Refine or consolidate POTs to build on reports and surveys that will be complete by July 2012. Rethink the Management Team such that each member serves as a liaison to a Strategic Action Pilot (or POT).
- Agree on strategic scenarios for the traditional technical services support models (Strategic Action Pilots) to implement and assess by end of 2013. Build on the potential pilot projects identified by POT 6.
- Ask CDC to prioritize the backlogs of each campus and also to provide a list of top UC-wide priorities for backlog elimination.
- Ask CDC to assess and prioritize proposed Strategic Action Pilots.
- Ask CoUL to review and approve pilots.
- Ask CoUL to commit campus resources (expertise) and/or financial support to the pilots.
In 2012-13, the Management Team will oversee implementation of the selected pilots along with assessment of each in order to advance Next-Generation Technical Services.