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Staff Development

There are considerable shifts afoot to the methods and tools by which metadata are being managed by information professionals, including BIBFRAME, Linked Data, EAD3, EAC-CPF and other metadata initiatives.  There are also Harvard Library initiatives, including the move to ArchivesSpace and the eventual  implementation of ALMA.  Because of these events, the department has made staff development an important goal for the year.

Along with attending relevant conferences and RBS classes, the department is focused on:

  • ACLTS webinars and Library Juice classes on the Semantic web, BIBFRAME, etc (Fall 2016);
  • Houghton training on ArchivesSpace (Fall 2016);
  • Houghton workshop on using the Harvard Library LibraryCloud (January 2017);
  • SAA/DACS online trainings (Spring 2016).



Contributing to the Houghton goal of improving security, the Technical Services staff has several projects for the coming year:

  • Continued commitment to timely accessioning, both for purchases and gift collections (including transfers from within Harvard);
  • Retrospective conversion projects, including HTC designs, music material, TYP shelf list;
  • Continued scanning and retention of invoices and book dealer information regarding collections purchases;
  • Leading, with Public Services, a shelf-reading project in our stacks;
  • End-processing that both protects and safeguards our material, including housing materials in a timely fashion, committing to no CMI backlog, and contributing to the rehousing of the Book Hospital material.


All the functions of the Technical Services Department have the goal of aiding in improving discovery and access for our patrons.  Some highlights include:

  • Continued timely cataloging and processing of new acquisitions;
  • Completion of arrangement and description of the Wilson Collection;
  • Completion of cataloging the books in the Santo Domingo Collection;
  • Implementation of ArchivesSpace;
  • Enhancement and maintenance of our metadata;
  • Continued service on the Reading Room desk and in the stacks;
  • Regular contributions to the Houghton Library blog about newly cataloged items.



A continuing Houghton goal is greater emphasis on digital, both born-digital material and digitized collections.  The Technical Services department has a crucial role to play in this endeavor.  Our annual goals in this area include:

  • Participating on the Houghton Digital Committee;
  • Developing workflows and policies regarding born-digital material—both in Houghton and Harvard;
  • Continuing Scanning Key Content work;
  • Increasing workflow for digitization projects;
  • Co-chairing Digital Collections Discovery Working Group.


Harvard Library and Beyond Collaborations

The Technical Services department plays a prominent role within Harvard Library endeavors, a role that has increased with the Harvard Library’s goal in improving access and discovery to library collections.  Also, the department is actively involved in the profession beyond Harvard.  Sharing our knowledge and expertise is important, as well as bringing back to Houghton what we learn outside its walls.  Highlights of our coming year’s activities include:

  • Serving on Harvard Library committees and working groups: Access and Discovery Standing Committee, Metadata Standards, Digital Forensics, Next Generation Archival Discovery, Cataloger’s discussion Group, etc;
  • Involvement in national endeavors: SAA’s TS-DACS Committee, Social Networks in Context’s pilot project (EAC-CPF), ALA-LITA Diversity and Inclusion Committee, etc;
  • Contributing to collaborative cataloging projects: RISM, MEI, NACO;
  • Other outside collaborations, School-to-work program, Houghton’s Facebook page, etc.


75th Anniversary

In 2017, Houghton will be celebrating its 75th anniversary, an important milestone and a chance to highlight Houghton’s importance, at Harvard and beyond.  The department will be contributing to the celebration:

  • Contributing picks and descriptions to the staff exhibition;
  • Serving on the symposium committee;
  • Helping with the podcasts;
  • Taking a lead in the author cards.

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