Don’t scare your audience, dear.

Are you going to be at Midwinter in January? Are you intrigued, concerned, or terrified by the thought of “the future of Technical Services”? Do you like hearing me talk? Or want to meet me? Then come.

Re-envisioning “Technical Services” to Transform Libraries: Identifying Leadership and Talent Management Practices

Friday, January 8, 2016  |  8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.  |  event code ALC2

Join your colleagues to explore how libraries can recruit and cultivate staff who can serve as both leaders and contributors and provide insight into talent management, including identifying and nurturing leaders; succession planning; promoting diversity; and connecting staff with the best training options throughout their careers.

I will be speaking in the afternoon with a title of “Bringing the “Back Room” Forward: Thoughts on Recruiting, Supporting, and Transforming the Tech Services Librarian”.

So that’s the sales pitch. Join us!


But here’s the interesting bit, if you ask me.

I was invited to participate because of the job ad I wrote for our most recent job opening, which caught the eye of one of the organizers. She thought it was forward-looking, interesting, and relevant to a discussion of “the future of technical services.” I agree with her thoughts; I wrote it. I wrote it to reflect what I think we need, who I think we are, and where I think we’re going. The thing is, though… I wrote something that didn’t resonate with the people I know are out there looking for library jobs. We got very few applicants who had the qualifications we need.  And I  *know* those people exist, and I know librarians can be enticed to come to Potsdam, so… what? So the job ad said important things, but it didn’t speak to the people whose attention I hoped to engage. So the job ad reflected some important emerging truths, but it didn’t reflect the self-identities and goals of the people who could address those truths.

And that’s some of what I plan to talk about in January, as well as what I did to rewrite the ad for the reopened search to ensure that it’s still true and accurate and honest but also speaks the language of the people I need to speak to… and why I suspect that disconnect existed in the first place. If you can’t join us in Boston, I will share here after the fact (at which point it will actually exist, which it does not yet).


  1. I really like the title of the presentation! I’m sure you’ll do a great job. Nobody used to want to be in TS but hopefully that’s changing (or will change). It’s more than cataloging, way more.


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