Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Getting to Know TS Librarians: Erica Nutzman

1. Introduce yourself (name & position). 
Erica Nutzman, Head of Technical Services for the Minnesota State Law Library.

2. Does your job title actually describe what you do? Why/why not?
Yes, mostly, I do a number of things not usually considered technical services, like manage the special collection and archives, and oversee our online Briefs archive. I also oversee, and participate in, the traditional technical services, like acquisitions, cataloging, serials and general collection management. I have a team of 5 who do most of the day-to-day tasks so I spend most of my time working on projects or planning new initiatives. We are currently ramping up to start a systems migration, so I’ll be spending a lot of time working on that very soon.

3. What are you reading right now?
Personally I’m reading Winterlong, by Elizabeth Hand. I usually have multiple books going, but at the moment, just the one. Professionally, I’m reading Digital Library Programs for Libraries and Archives by Aaron D. Purcell.

4a. If you could work in any library (either a type of library or a specific one), what would it be? Why?
I love the library I’m working in now but I think it would be really interesting to work at an historical society or a library related to archaeology. My college major was anthropology/archaeology and I still follow the field. 

4b. You suddenly have a free day at work, what project would you work on?
I am working on a historical biographical research project and I’ve been busy lately and haven’t had time to work on it, so I’d like to spend some more time on that.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Negotiating with Vendors

As I begin to dive into acquisitions and vendor relations, a recent article in Online Searcher appears to be well-timed and of potential benefit to others facing negotiations with vendors (see Michael L. Gruenberg, Five Key Questions for Negotiators to Ask, Online Searcher, Nov.-Dec. 2017, 44-47). In this article, Michael L. Gruenberg discusses key questions librarians repeatedly asked while he was promoting his book Buying and Selling Information. These topics are things we should, as negotiators for our institutions, be addressing with our sales representatives and vendors.

The questions Gruenberg addresses in this article:
  1. Should you ask for, and expect, a price sheet from your sales rep?
  2. Can the vendor defend the price?
  3. Can a library request a different representative be assigned?
  4. What is the standard renewal rate?
  5. Do I really need to create a negotiation plan?

If you’ve taken a Negotiations course in college or law school, you probably already know the answer to #5…

Gruenberg has some useful insight from his background in sales that can benefit us as negotiators for our organizations.

Friday, December 1, 2017

2017 DLF Forum and NDSA Digital Preservation

In October, I attended the 2017 Digital Library Federation (DLF) Forum and the National Digital Stewardship Alliance (NDSA) Digital Preservation conference for the first time. The core theme of the 2017 Digital Preservation conference is “Preservation is Political” but both events touch on the preservation of cultural heritage material and digital information through political changes and across boundaries.

Jason Eiseman wrote an excellent blog post on both affiliated events for the Law Librarians of New England (LLNE) blog so I will not provide another recap here. If you are also interested in viewing recordings, slides, notes, and photos from the events, in addition to keeping up with the latest Forum newsletter, the DLF has posted links to these resources in its November 22, 2017 Blog and News post, DLF Forum Recap and Working Group News. The post highlights Forum activities of all active DLF working groups. I will just highlight here the work of a few of those groups potentially of interest to TS members.

At the DLF Forum, I attended the Assessment Interest Group (AIG) meeting. This group is very welcoming and encourages anyone who is interested in getting involved to take part—there is no membership requirement. Of particular interest to TS members may be the AIG subgroup, Metadata Assessment Working Group. The Metadata group is currently working on developing a framework for assessing descriptive metadata, building a repository of metadata assessment tools, and creating a clearinghouse of metadata application profiles. More information about the group can be found on their wiki page and information on their current projects can be found on their toolkit page.

Another group of potential interest is the Government Records Transparency and Accountability Interest Group. During the group’s Forum working lunch meeting, members discussed planning for future projects and creating subgroups around issues related to sharing public information, education, advocacy, documentation, and potential special projects. The interest group will be making plans for its participation in the second annual Endangered Data Week.

Other groups of potential interest to TS librarians include the Linked Open Data Zotero Group and Born-Digital Access Group. DLF groups of interest to librarianship in general include the Digital Library Pedagogy Group, Technologies of Surveillance Group, Labor Working Group, and Project Managers Group. You can learn more about all working groups at the DLF Groups page.