Library technical services

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Library technical services are the processing and maintenance activities of a library's collection. These include:[1]

Collection Development

  • Identification: locating potentially worthwhile items to add to the collection
  • Selection: deciding which of the identified items to add to the collection
  • Acquisitions: securing the items for the collection. This includes purchasing books, electronic resources, and multimedia materials for a library's collection.[2]


  • Cataloging and Metadata Creation: creating and adapting records for the library's materials to allow users to search for them via online catalog. These records may include descriptive metadata to assist users in identifying relevant resources in online catalog searches.
  • Organization and Classification: indexing and cataloging the items acquired in a manner that will aid the end-user in locating materials in the collection. Materials are organized by classification systems such as the Dewey Decimal System or Library of Congress classification system.


  • Preparation: labeling, binding, repairing, conservation, and otherwise making items ready for (and maintained during) storage in a manner that allows for easy retrieval and maintenance of what is in a collection.
  • Preservation: maintaining and repairing of both print and electronic materials. The former includes repairing damaged books, binding journals into hardcover volumes, and reformatting print materials to digital. The latter includes digital curation, in which archivists work to preserve electronic materials from data deterioration, and periodically migrate data from older to newer formats.

Technical services may also include: maintenance of online catalogs, creation and maintenance of MARC records in the catalog, security processing, maintaining a library's technology resources, such as servers, OPACs, circulation, scanners, and other devices.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ G. Edward Evans, Sheila S. Intner, Jean Weihs Introduction to Technical Services; 7th ed. Englewood, Colo.: Libraries Unlimited, 2002 ISBN 1-56308-918-1
  2. ^ Technical Services Librarian. (2012)., an initiative of the American Library Association. Online, available: