Employers' Expectations for Head of Technical Services Positions in Academic Libraries
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Technical services in libraries have been defined as "library operations concerned with the acquisition, organization (bibliographic control), physical processing, and maintenance of library collections, as opposed to the delivery of public services." (Reitz, 2009) In the past 10 years or so, technical services experienced tremendous changes due to advances in technology, scholarly communication, research, information retrieval and higher education. Have the employers' expectations for head of technical services positions changed in the past 10 years or so? This study uses job ads for head of technical services positions in academic libraries to answer the following research questions. Considered together and separately, the research questions (RQ) attempt to compare employers' expectations for head of technical services positions in academic libraries from 1996-1998 to those in 2006-2008 to track changes. RQ 1: Have the position titles for head of technical services positions in academic libraries changed from 1996 to 2008? RQ 2: Have the areas of responsibilities of head of technical services positions in academic libraries changed from 1996 to 2008? RQ 3: Have the employers' required/preferred requirements for head of technical services positions in academic libraries changed from 1996 to 2008? This study uses the content analysis model (Hall-Ellis 2006) -- a coding scheme that includes an appropriate code for each data element along with detailed instructions. Selected job ads were reviewed and their content is tabulated according to the coding scheme. The findings of this study will be of value for recruiting, training and evaluating library technical services managers.