2020 NETSL Annual Spring Conference


The NETSL Executive Board has been closely monitoring and evaluating the situation concerning the novel coronavirus COVID-19  and it has become clear that it is no longer logistically feasible to hold our in-person meeting as planned, as the College of the Holy Cross has cancelled outside events on campus through May 15th, 2020.  We are exploring the possibility of transitioning the NETSL 2020 Annual Spring Conference to a virtual conference using Zoom. 

 We will be in touch soon with further plans, information regarding registration reimbursement, and next steps for participating. Thank you for your understanding.

2020 NETSL Annual Spring Conference

Friday, April 17, 2020 | 9:30 AM – 3:30 PM

College of the Holy Cross, Worcester, MA

Under Pressure: Coping with New Realities in Technical Services

Schedule at-a-glance

8:30am – 9:30am             Registration and breakfast

9:30am -9:45am              Welcome

9:45am-10:45am             Keynote Address

10:45am -11:00am          Break (coffee & tea)

11:00am – 12:00pm    Breakout Sessions 1 A, B, C, D, E

12:00pm -1:15pm           Lunch and NETSL Award

1:15pm – 2:15pm            Breakout Sessions 2 A, B, C, D, E

2:15pm – 2:30pm            Break (cold drinks)

2:30pm – 3:30pm        Lightning Talks


Technical Services – Trends, Challenges, and Opportunities: Change and Innovation as the New Norm

Matthew Sheehy, University Librarian, Brandeis University

Matthew Sheehy is the Brandeis National Committee University Librarian. His goal is to provide services and collections that augment teaching, learning, and research activities, as well as enhance the experience of the Brandeis Community.

Prior to joining the Brandeis administration, Matthew held leadership positions at the Harvard University Library, The New York Public Library, was an associate dean at Adelphi University and has worked in other academic and public libraries. Matthew earned a BM in music composition from the Hartt School, the conservatory of the University of Hartford, and both an MA in musicology and an MLS in Library and Information Studies from the University of Buffalo. He is a member of the Beta Phi Mu Honor Society for library and information studies.

Morning Breakout Sessions

Session 1A

Crossing the Minefield: How to Handle Constant Change Without Burning Out

This presentation will explore managing constant change while avoiding job burnout. Some changes that will be addressed include: starting a new position, staffing changes, and an ILS migration; all of which the presenter has experienced in the past year.

Brittney Bergholm, Acquisitions and Serials Coordinator, Clark University

Session 1B

Turn and Face the Strange: Strategies for Leading Change During a Technology Implementation

Utilizing change management principles for large projects can help employees meet project outcomes and permanently integrate the change into the organizational culture. This presentation will use the current Five Colleges FOLIO implementation as a case for applying change management principles. Attendees will engage in guided group discussion and critical thinking exercises in order to apply what they learn at their own institutions.

Aaron Neslin, Library System Coordinator, UMass Amherst

Ann Kardos, Metadata Librarian, UMass Amherst 

Michelle Paquette, Metadata and Technical Services Archivist, Smith College

Colin Van Alstine, Metadata Technologies Librarian, Smith College

Session 1C

From Catalogers to Metadata Specialists. How to Organically Move into the Future of Technical Services.

While cataloging functions of tech services shrinking the metadata responsibilities are growing. The age of technical advancement sideline traditional cataloging but open up to hybrids where traditional catalogers performed sophisticated non-Marc operations. To secure that metadata specialists stay within the LIS profession, few necessary adjustments should be made, including changes in LIS education, on-site training, and expectations of all wanting to work in technical services in the nearest future.

Anita Kazmierczak, Catalog & Metadata Management, Tulane University

Session 1D

KBART Phase III Update 

KBART, a NISO Recommended Practice, enables the standardized transfer of data between content providers and knowledge bases, facilitating the efficient management of a library’s electronic resources. This session will provide an overview of the changes planned for KBART Phase III, which will clarify current recommendations, revise the KBART endorsement process, add support for additional content types, improve the usefulness of KBART for non-English/European language content, and ensure that the KBART mission accurately reflects modern usage of KBART along with the needs of KBART Automation.

Andrée Rathemacher, University of Rhode Island (and Co-Chair, NISO KBART Standing Committee)

Nettie Lagace, Associate Executive Director, NISO

Session 1E

Preventing Duplication with SQL/Too Many Books

Think outside the box by using SQL, Python, and other coding languages to speed up and improve your workflows. Many outdated workflows can be automated or sped up using simple coding, and in this presentation Brown University presents how they used SQL and Python to reduce time and effort spent removing DDA duplications by 75%.

Kylene Hutchinson, Senior Library Specialist in Metadata, Brown University

We developed a Python tool that automates rare book accession record creation into ArchivesSpace, in order to reduce a sizable backlog and speed up future large book accessioning.

Abigail Connick, Rare Books Technical Services Project Librarian, Smith College

Claire Marshall, Metadata Migration Project Archivist, Smith College

Afternoon Breakout Sessions

Session 2A

The Power of Improv-Stress Reliever, Communication Facilitator and Just Plain Fun!

Research has shown that learning improv can help to “retrain” the brain to actively listen, communicate more effectively, be more open to ideas, and work collaboratively. Plus, because improv is a lot of fun, it is a great stress reliever as well! Participants should come dressed to move, and leave inhibitions and worries at the door. This is a low-risk, but participatory workshop.

Meredith Charles, Owner/Creative Director of Drama Out of the Box

Session 2B

Technical Services: A Constant Balancing Act: Navigating the Sea of Changes

Working in Technical Services isn’t the most glamorous department of the library, in fact, the department is often misunderstood, undervalued. But what does it take to keep the department motivated and to adapt to the changes? This session will discuss how a small academic library went through major changes in its ILS, staff and culture for 2 years, is still changing, and the lessons and best practices we have learned from this experience.

Fatoma Rad, Senior Assistant Librarian, Farmingdale State College

Kathryn Machin, Senior Assistant Librarian, Farmingdale State College

Session 2C

Negotiation Skills for Leaders

Most people negotiate everyday with spouses and children and enhancing this skill enhances the quality of life, both at work and at home. During this session attendees will learn about negotiation and the Information Based Bargaining Plan.

Sarah Theimer, Cataloging and Metadata Librarian, University of New Hampshire

Session 2D

A Head Start to the Beta RDA Toolkit

Are you dreading the implementation of the RDA Toolkit? If so, this workshop is for you. Learn how to “decipher” instructions in the beta RDA Toolkit by cataloging a monograph, and be better prepared to cope with the changes ahead.

Dominique Bourassa, Chair, North American RDA Committee; Catalog Librarian, Yale University

Session 2E

Learning While Doing: Skill-building with an Already Full Plate

As job responsibilities bloat, how do we make time for skill building? Two librarians from different-sized shops will discuss their strategies for learning new things amid the unceasing tide of day-to-day work.

Michelle Paquette, Metadata and Technical Services Archivist, Smith College

Amedeo DeCara, Resource and Instruction Librarian for Science,  Hampshire College

Lightning Talks

Multiple Projects and Time Management

To meet the demands of the library world, many of us are assigned to work on multiple projects along with our day-to-day tasks, which can cause stress, frustration, and anxiety. In order to create a balance it is necessary to develop a time management plan or schedule to alleviate stress while meeting deadlines, project goals and everyday demands.

Joanna M. Fuchs, Metadata Coordinator, Brandeis University

Spiderwebs, Cobwebs, and the Library in the 4th Industrial Revolution Era

Examines the technologies that connect the library services and the expected roles of librarian in this dispensation with interest in developing countries. 

Babalola N. Akorede, Department of Educational Media Resource Studies, University of Ibadan, Nigeria

Dr. Kola Aramide, Department of Educational Media Resource Studies, University of Ibadan, Nigeria

Enhancing Cataloging and Technical Services Skills of Library Support Staff

In many libraries self-taught Library Support Staff (LSS) are responsible for cataloging and technical services. With professional learning and practice, LSS can greatly enhance their knowledge and skills to support these services.

Dr. Marie Shaw, Program Coordinator, Library Technology Certificate, Three Rivers Community College, Norwich, CT

Getting Things Done in Technical Services

Many of us in technical services handle a wide range of tasks and projects and are overwhelmed with the feeling of “there’s something I need to do but I can’t remember what it is!” We need an “outboard brain” to keep track of everything and I’ve found the Getting Things Done (GTD) method, based on David Allen’s book, to help get stuff off my brain and into a trustworthy external system.

Kimberly Kennedy, Digital Production Coordinator, Northeastern University Library

Hiring three (out of four) technical specialists in one year

In a controlled Choose Your Own Adventure format, the presenter will explain the decision-making processes involved in filling three open positions (metadata, ILL, and acquisitions/budget) in a five-person department in the span of one year.

Elena O’Malley, Assistant Library Director for Systems and Technology at Emerson College Iwasaki Library

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Submit your proposals for the Annual Spring Conference!

The New England Technical Services Librarians (NETSL) mission is to bring together  all persons in the region interested in technical services for the exchange of ideas and discussion of problems. 

The NETSL Annual Spring Conference will be held Friday, April 17th, 2020 at the College of the Holy Cross, Worcester, MA.

We are seeking proposals for 60-minute breakout sessions and 7-minute lightning talks for our 2020 theme, Under Pressure: Coping with New Realities in Technical Services. Topics might include:

  •  strategies for handling aggregated job responsibilities
  •  techniques for articulating expectations and consequences
  •  tools for keeping the library running with limited resources
  •  aligning job descriptions with job actualities
  •  methods for navigating through constant change
  •  advocacy ideas for moving technical services forward as a profession.

The deadline for proposal submission is 5:00 p.m. EST on Thursday, January 16. Please submit your proposal using the form at https://forms.gle/yRV4fq1iiiEsetyJ6  Presenters will be notified about proposals via email in late February.

You can see titles of past presentations since 2005 at https://netsl.wordpress.com/netslconference.

Please direct any questions to the NETSL Executive Board at netsl@nelib.org

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Announcing the 2019-2020 NETSL Executive Board

NETSL’s Elections have closed, and we are pleased to announce our new executive board:

  • President: Rosemarie Reynolds – Electronic Resources Librarian, Smith College
  • Past President: Kate Zdepski – Resource Sharing Librarian, University of Massachusetts Amherst
  • Vice President/President Elect: Liz Bodian –  Metadata Technologies Librarian, Brandeis University
  • Outreach Officer: Lori Looney – Technical Services & E-Resources Specialist, Connecticut College
  • Secretary: Lisa Ladd –  Library Collections and Resource Sharing, Dartmouth College
  • Treasurer: Anne Meringolo – Library Collection Services Manager, New England Historic Genealogical Society
  • Archivist: Alison Baitz – Special Collections Social Media Content Intern, Smith College
  • Local Arrangements Coordinator: Mary Moran –  Senior Content and Information Strategist, College of the Holy Cross
  • Member at Large: Brittney Bergholm –  Acquisitions and Serials Coordinator, Clark University
  • Public Library Member at Large: Angela Brown –  Technical Services LIbrarian, Amherst Town Library
  • Student Member at Large: Rebecca Fisher –  Library Assistant, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Lamar Soutter Library / Student, Simmons University

Meghan Bergin, who has served as Archivist for a number of years, will act as a member of a special committee to transition NETSL’s documentation.

The 2019-2020 Executive Board’s term will begin on October 22, 2019.

Many thanks to all who voted, and to previous members of the board for their service. We look forward to seeing everyone at the 2020 NETSL Conference!

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Volunteer for the NETSL Executive Board!

We are seeking volunteers and nominees to run for NETSL Executive Board positions. Do you go to the NETSL conference every year and want to give back? Have some great ideas to make NETSL even better and want to share? Then we want you! Submit your nomination:  https://forms.gle/fhXWu64CjSBnKVqTA

The NETSL Executive Board is committed to promoting and supporting technical services activities in New England. Board members plan and present the annual NETSL Spring conference. The Board also develops programs for the NELA Annual conference, presents the annual NETSL Award for excellence in technical services, and promotes technical services throughout New England and beyond through partnerships with other similar organizations. Each year NETSL holds elections to fill open positions on the Board. If you are enthusiastic about innovations in technical services, are interested in contributing to regional technical services programming, and would like to have direct input into the direction of NETSL as an organization, consider running for a position on the NETSL Executive Board!

The following positions on NETSL’s 2019-2020 Executive Board are open:

Vice President/President Elect (3 year term)
After serving as Vice President for one year, the VP succeeds to the office of President and remains a third year on the Board as Past President. The VP runs NETSL Board meetings in the absence of the president, coordinates the NETSL presentation track at the annual NELA conference, creates feedback surveys for the annual NETSL conference and the ballot for NETSL elections, and coordinates the award giving process, including managing nominee documentation and ordering awards.

Secretary (1 year term, with option to renew for a second year)
Take minutes at business meetings. Distributes all official records and reports of NETSL to board members and forward them to the Archivist. Also conducts internal correspondence to the Board and NELA as needed.

Outreach Officer (1 year term, with option to renew for a second year)
Send publicity about NETSL programs, activities, elections, and special events to online discussion groups, individuals, and social media outlets where appropriate. Administrate NETSL technologies and methods of communicating with membership, including eGroups, websites, and social media. This includes publicizing the NETSL Spring Conference and NETSL programs held at the NELA Annual Conference and other correspondence as required.

Archivist (Appointed by the president, may serve as long as they and the president choose)
File print and electronic copies of agenda & minutes for NETSL Board and NETSL Annual Business meetings and other official NETSL documentation as appropriate. Act as administrator of the NETSL Wiki.

Treasurer (1 year term, with option to renew for a second year)
Responsible for keeping track of NETSL’s finances, the treasurer creates the NETSL registration page, monitors numbers, creates name tags, tracks signups for breakout sessions in order to assign rooms, processes payment for any needed supplies, and writes a post-conference finance report.

Student at large (Appointed by the president for one year, may serve one additional year)
Members At Large collaborate with the Board to provide support and distribute workload as well as to suggest, volunteer, and take point on new projects and initiatives.

You can read more about these and other Executive Board job descriptions at: https://netsl.wordpress.com/about/board/boardjobs/

Submit your nomination:  https://forms.gle/fhXWu64CjSBnKVqTA

Nominations must be submitted by Friday, August 3rd at noon!

Election ballots will go out to the membership in early August. Once voting is complete, terms of office officially begin at the end of the NELA Annual Conference, October 22nd 2019.

If you have questions, please contact us at netsl@nelib.org.

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Registration Open for 2019 NETSL Conference!

Registration open for the
2019 NETSL Annual Spring Conference!

Register Now!

Keynote & Session Descriptions

Questions? Email netsl@nelib.org and a board member will respond.

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Nominate a great librarian for the NETSL Award for Excellence in Library Technical Services!

New England Technical Services Librarians (NETSL) Executive Board is seeking nominations for our annual NETSL Award for Excellence in Library Technical Services.

The NETSL Award recognizes and honors contributions to the field of library technical services in New England. We want to hear about those technical services librarians and library staff who have inspired others. Do you have a colleague who has tackled today’s challenges in technical services and triumphed? Do you know a person who leads the way in innovation, collaboration, or data integration? If you know someone who fits any or all of these descriptions, please consider submitting a nomination.

The next NETSL Award will be presented at the annual conference to be held on Friday, April 5, 2019 at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, MA.

Eligibility for nomination:

  • Nominees living in New England who have made contributions on a national level through publications, service, or innovations in practice.
  • Nominees living outside of New England whose service to the profession has positively impacted New England libraries.
  • Nominators and nominees are not required to be NETSL/NELA members.
  • Current members of the NETSL Executive Board are not eligible for consideration.

It’s easy to nominate someone, just fill out this brief submission form by Friday, January 25, 2019.

Further information, including past recipients, is available here: https://netsl.wordpress.com/award/.

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Submit your proposals for the Annual Spring Conference!

The NETSL Annual Spring Conference will be held Friday April 5, 2019 at the College of the Holy Cross, Worcester, MA.

We are seeking proposals for 60-minute breakout sessions and 7-minute lightning talks for our 2019 theme, Back to Basics: Everyday Skills for Technical Services. After so many themes on the library of the future, for this year we invite proposals that share attainable projects, tools for keeping the library running on lower budgets, software demos, project management ideas, financial discussions, troubleshooting copyright issues or presentations on any number of our “everyday skills.”  

The deadline for proposal submission is 5:00 p.m. EST on Thursday, January 31. Please submit your proposal using the form at https://goo.gl/forms/qhDPzKzrN51qLVne2. Presenters will be notified about proposals via email in late February.

You can see titles of past presentations since 2005 at https://netsl.wordpress.com/netslconference.

Please direct any questions to the NETSL Executive Board at netsl@nelib.org.

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