Sunday, June 6, 2010
"Technical Services: an obsolete term used to describe the largest component of most library staffs in the twentieth century. That component of the staff was entirely devoted to arcane and mysterious processes involved in selecting, acquiring, cataloging, processing, and otherwise making available to library users physical material containing information content pieces (incops). The processes were complicated, expensive, and time-consuming, and generally served to severely limit direct service to users both by producing records that were difficult to understand and interpret, even by other library staff, and by consuming from 75–80 percent of the library’s financial and personnel resources. In the twenty-first century, the advent of new forms of publication and new techniques for providing universal records and universal access to information content made the organizational structure obsolete. That change in organizational structure, more than any other single factor, is generally credited as being responsible for the dramatic improvement in the quality of library service that has occurred in the first decade of the twenty-first century."