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The traditional distinction between the “front office” and the “back office” fails to align with contemporary technical services practice. Today, technical and public services personnel are equally involved in providing resources, services, and support direct to patrons, demanding communication, collaboration, and public service competencies library-wide. Drawing upon participants' experiences, this roundtable will discuss the importance of communication and referral skills commonly associated with reference and instruction to the delivery of effective technical services. Discussion questions include:

  • What are the emerging points of contact between technical and public services, and technical services and patrons? What role has the ongoing transition to electronic resources played in changing or increasing these points of contact, and the need for technical services personnel to participate in their mediation?
  • How do technical services personnel provide education, promotion, and support for library resources? What practices work well, and what can we do better?
  • How does technical services’ participation in patron education and support impact technical and public services roles library-wide? Are traditional service models well adapted to emerging technical and public service practices?


American Library Association Midwinter Meeting


Seattle, WA