Today we are visiting with the ALCTS Creative Ideas in Technical Services (CITS) Interest Group, which can always be counted on for engaging discussion sessions at ALA conferences! Chair Whitney Buccicone and Vice-Chair Ryan Mendenhall talked with us about the group’s current work.
What’s the mission of CITS?
Our official charge is “To provide a forum for discussion of issues within the field of technical services which are relevant to library staff at all levels, particularly those issues relating to the evolution of technical services as it affects and is affected by technology and greater interdependency among all library departments.”
Unofficially, CITS provides a low-barrier channel for librarians who may not have institutional support to prepare a paper or presentation to take active part in the conference as discussion facilitators, and its roundtable format permits everyone to contribute. We hope that CITS sparks bigger discussions and projects, fosters a spirit of inquiry and collaboration, and enables librarians with different skills, backgrounds, and institutional contexts to hear each others’ voices.
Tell us about some past projects of CITS which you’re particularly proud.
After the 2017 ALA Annual Conference, we began sending out surveys to both our attendees and group discussion facilitators. Doing so has allowed us to better adapt our programming to the changing world of library technical services.
How has the focus of CITS changed over time?
Over the last few years there has been growing interest in discussing cross-departmental collaboration and the changing role of technical services librarians within the library ecosystem. Discussions relating to linked data workflows are also increasingly popular.
What are the future directions of the interest group?
Based on the surveys we began sending out last year, we would like to increase participation from a broader range of technical services librarians and beyond and figure out ways to enable remote participation in the discussions, especially as many travel budgets shrink.
What upcoming programming, publications, or initiatives would you like to share with readers of ALCTS News?
Join us for our meeting at the 2018 ALA Annual Conference, which will take place on Saturday, June 24, at 4:00 p.m. in Room 398 of the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center (MCC).