Category Archives: Professional Development

Ohio’s Regional Innovative Users Group calls for proposals



The OH-IUG conference planning committee invites the submission of presentation proposals for the

OH-IUG Annual Conference, to be held on October 12, 2018 at the State Library in Columbus.

Guidelines for Presentations

1) Sessions will be approximately 50 minutes and should include a brief Q&A period at the end

2) Formats can include: presentation, panel presentation, guided discussion

3) Repeats of presentations from the annual IUG conference are acceptable

4) Presenters from other regional Innovative Users Group and surrounding states are welcome

5) The deadline for presentation proposal submissions is July 27, 2018

6) Topics of interest include:

  • APIs (Polaris/Sierra)
  • Basics of Polaris/Sierra/Millennium codes & tables, database structure
  • Batch loading/MarcEdit
  • Best practices for: circulation, cataloging, serials, acquisitions, collection development Millennium/Sierra/Polaris)
  • BIBFRAME or linked data
  • Circulation and circulation reports
  • Collection management and collection management reports
  • Decision making and assessment
  • Disaster prevention and recovery
  • Encore or Polaris Discovery
  • Hosted and cloud services
  • ILS migrations
  • Implementation of new products or processes
  • Inn-Reach
  • IT security
  • Loan rules/system cleanup
  • Polaris Statistics: Report Builder, Simply Reports, and SQL
  • Process workflows
  • Sierra/Millennium: Create Lists basics and advanced, tips and tricks, Enhanced/JSON
  • SQL Access and Queries (Polaris/Sierra)
  • Statistical reporting
  • System admin (Polaris/Sierra/Millennium)
  • Training tips and tools
  • WebPAC or Polaris PAC


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Put on your “thinking cap” for the Technical Services retreat

Librarianship is all about providing access to information. Getting caught up in the day-to-day tasks of Technical Services, it can be easy to lose track of that “bigger picture” concept.

So I’m excited that this year’s OLC Technical Services retreat (March 28-29, 2018 at the Nationwide Hotel & Conference Center in Lewis Center, Ohio) delves not only into topics related to our daily duties, but some philosophical concepts that impact our work on a deeper level. In addition to presentations on project management, acquisitions modules, vendor relationships, the NACO authority portal and cataloging realia, there are sessions on the ethical implications of decisions made in Technical Services, generational learning styles, and the important technical services/public services relationship.

Several sessions are also slanted toward special and local heritage collections–materials unique to their individual libraries. Programs explore creating and maintaining such collections, circulating those materials, and discuss digital forms of access via the Ohio Digital Network and the Ohio Memory Project. Opening keynote speaker Eboni Johnson will speak about her work as a field archivist in the Africatown area of Mobile, Alabama, empowering that community to tell its own story for future generations.

Terry Reese will close the programming with his presentation “Making the Choice to Be Relevant: Open Systems, Open Communications” about our reluctance to adopt the open source materials we often promote to our patrons and the consequences of that attitude.

The theme of the 2018 retreat is “Wearing Many Hats” but it’s also about exploring new perspectives about our daily routines. It promises to be a fun and informative few days and we hope you’ll join us.

— Barbara Satow

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Speak Up, Speak Out!

purpose-open-door-policy_b8f0dbef670b2e6dIt may seem like we’re trying hard to encourage readers of this blog to “get involved”—and that’s exactly right. The Ohio Library Council depends on its members to bring their best ideas and skills forward, in order to help prepare and present the OLC’s nationally recognized programming content.  And that’s where you come in.

OLC educational opportunities to present come in many forms:

Convention and Expo – the premier annual event, covering the “big picture” in library issues across the state and around the world. Breakouts sessions range from one-hour programs and panel discussions to “un-programs,” rapid-fire LIBChats, and graphical poster sessions illustrating a concept.

Specialized Conferences – more subject-specific educational programming developed by Committees and Divisions and presented at locations throughout the state. These events may be targeted at different regional or size/service-based library groups; it’s a relatively new format, so think creatively.

Workshops & Retreats – including the 2018 OLC Technical Services Retreat. Focused in scope and targeted to specialty groups within the library, these events can include peer-to-peer training by recognized experts in a particular field.  We’ll be looking for your TS Retreat program submissions this summer!

Webinars – sixty- to ninety-minute, focused online presentations dealing with a single topic, such as RDA, patron-driven acquisitions, managing digital collections, and so on. Save funds and reach more participants with your knowledge.

Do you have experience to share? Do you want to connect with your peers and advance your skills in technical services?  We know you do, and OLC programming is the best way to do so in Ohio libraries!  Feel free to contact a TS Division Action Council member to learn how to get started.

— Michael Christian-Budd

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Becoming More Engaged

Around the beginning of each year, we start thinking about resolutions and create a to do list that we will hopefully complete within the next 300+ days.  A few years ago, before I was on the Technical Services Action Council, “Become more involved with the Ohio Library Council” made my list.  At that time I reached out to the names I could find associated with the Technical Services Division.  I did not immediately become a member on the Action Council, but I was provided recommendations of how I could increase my involvement.

With the recommendations provided, I have been able to find more ways to be involved which has included having the honor to serve on the actual Action Council.  And now, as a current Action Council member, I see that there are others reaching out in hopes to become more involved and to help the larger library community.  Instead of limiting our responses back to just the individuals that have contacted the Action Council directly, we have decided to extend a response out to everyone via our blog.  Hopefully this will help others with this yearning to find ways to become more engaged.

So… how can you become more involved with the Ohio Library Council, Technical Services Division?  How can you help other librarians?  Well, let me count the ways…

  1. Contribute to the Technical Services Blog (aka, this blog)!

You do not need to have been a journalism major or have groundbreaking ideas.  This blog is to foster communication and sharing of professional observations, lessons, and research.  It actually helps the Action Council better serve members by knowing what the members want to talk about.  Contributing to the blog is probably one of the easiest ways to be involved.  Share something your library is doing; a resource that you have found useful; or an article you read and what you think about it or why you think others might benefit from reading it.

If you are intimidated by writing a full post, you can still contribute by commenting or asking questions on posts made by others.  This can help engage others by breaking the ice.  Others may be waiting for someone else to begin the conversation.  Additionally, comments and questions are another way to spawn future posts because it helps to identify topics that are relevant and immediately impacting our membership.

  1. Attend an OLC conference/convention/retreat/training.

By attending conferences you get to meet other librarians and staff from all areas in library service.  You get to contribute with other OLC members and the larger professional community of librarians; engage in conversations; provide feedback in the surveys; and recharge your professional batteries.

  1. Present at an OLC conference/convention/retreat/training.

This might be a little out of your comfort zone, but do not think you are the first person that has questioned their ability to get up there or are unsure if their ideas are “good enough” to present.  There is a range of ways to present.  You do not have to do it alone nor do you have to be up in the front talking for 60 minutes about a single topic.  One of our upcoming blog posts will outline different types of presentations.

In contrast to those that are nervous to be in front of people, you may be a person that is willing to get up there, but you do not have a topic or know how to get started.  For starters, if you are reading this blog, then you are likely involved in TechServices one way or another.  We are a division organized to provide opportunities to help each other.  I am positive there is another individual within this division or another division that would be interested in pairing up to provide multiple perspectives on a topic.

  1. Run for a seat on the Action Council.

As an Action Council member you get to help develop programs and events, inform division members about trends in TechServices, and keep membership engaged.  If this is heightens your senses and what has been described is in line with your passions, just make your interest known!  You do not need to put out press statements or participate in debates to run for a seat on the Action Council.  To communicate your interest, you can fill out the Get Involved! Membership Participation form on the OLC Website, or you can contact one of the active Action Council members directly.  You can find the list of active Action Council members and their contact information on the Technical Services Division page.

I hope some of you feel inspired to make the next step towards fulfilling your goal.  If something listed sounds interesting to you or you have an idea for another way you can contribute, please contact one of us!  We are friendly and eager to help the library community.  That is one of the many reasons each of us have chosen to be a part of this Action Council.  You can find the list of current Action Council members by visiting the Technical Services Division page.  We hope to hear from you soon!

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Whatcha Wanna Know?

The deadline for the submission of OLC Convention and Expo programs is coming up FAST — 2/13/17!

As the Technical Services Division eyes that deadline and as we start planning the (gasp!) 2018 (2018!) Technical Services Retreat, we want to know….

What do YOU want to know?

What kinds of programs float your boat? What new services/procedures/products do you want to hear about? What have you heard about that you were all “Hey, I want to know more about THAT!”?

Leave us a comment here or email one – or all! — of the committee members. (Find us all here).


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Opportunities to Learn and Share in 2017


If you attended the 2016 Ohio Library Council Convention & Expo this September, you may still be basking in the afterglow of gentle Sandusky breezes and memorable professional contacts.  But don’t get too sleepy—2017 is just around the corner, with chapter conferences and new opportunities to come!

The Technical Services Division has several program offerings on tap for 2017 Chapter Conferences, happening March through May around Ohio:

  • Fifty Shades of Genre: Understanding and Taking Advantage of Form/Genre Headings
  • Getting to Know Your Catalog
  • Helping the Tech-Resistant Patron
  • Respect Your Authorities! Authority Records Demystified

Bookmark the OLC webpage for Chapter Conference details as they develop.

You say you want to get involved?  Now is the time to plan!  Program proposals for the 2017 Convention & Expo—LIBRARIES IN BALANCE, October 4-6 at the Dayton Convention Center—are being accepted through February 13.  Your Action Council members are always looking for timely topics and willing presenters to explore the many facets of library technical services.  Please contact a TS Division member if you have an idea!

Best wishes as we near the close of 2016 …

— Michael Christian-Budd

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