Tag Archives: Jean Weihs

G. Edward Evans, Sheila S. Intner, and Jean Weihls, Introduction to Technical Services–Choice 2006

Evans, G. Edward, Sheila S. Intner, and Jean Weihs. Introduction to Technical Services [DRAFT]

284. Evans, G. Edward, Sheila S. Intner, and Jean Weihs. Introduction to Technical Services. 7th ed. Greenwood Village, Colo., Libraries Unlimited/Greenwood Publishing Group, 2002. 543 p. index. (Library and Information Science Text Series). $65.00. ISBN 1-56308-918-1; 1-56308-922-X (paper).

This seventh edition updates the sixth, published in 1994. The book is divided into three parts: general background, acquisitions and serials, and cataloging and processing. The illustrations, plentiful in places, include pie charts, copies of title pages, and illustrations that show how different databases display the MARC record. There is no bibliography at the end of the book. Instead, there are end notes after each chapter, along with a chapter summary, a list of suggested readings and review questions. Sometimes, the suggested readings are divided into sections, or another section is added. Chapter 5 (Acquisitions—Overview) has suggested readings grouped into general, public and academic sections while Chapter 8 (Order Processes) has no division in the suggested readings list, but adds a section on web sites and listservs of pertinent interest to those in acquisitions and serials.

An evaluation of the suggested readings lists are revealing. Michael Gorman’s Technical Services: Today and Tomorrow (1999) is cited in the first chapter. Coming from a cataloging background, I looked for the standard books used in library schools. Arlene Taylor’s The Organization of Information (1999) is listed although Lois Mai Chan’s Cataloging and Classification is missing, although two of her recent works are listed at the end of Chapter 20 (Classification). The vast majority of books and articles cited were published in the last five years, and indication that the authors are current in their professional readings.

The original edition of this book sought to create a reference work for para-professionals working in libraries. This edition goes far beyond the scope of para-professional work. True, chapters do deal with the everyday jobs done in technical services, including those that are not so attractive. Nonetheless, there are chapters that deal with electronic serials, allocation of monies, book dealers, pricing, using vendors, principles of subject cataloging—things that librarians and administrators, at one time or another, have to address.

There is also a more international focus, thanks to the addition of author Jean Weihs, a Canadian librarian. A previous edition was criticized for being too detail-oriented and bogged down with the day-to-day activities of technical services; not enough theory was presented. One must learn to crawl before one can walk, and this includes librarians. The basic processes of technical services must be understood before changes can be made. Most people entering library schools have never worked in libraries and need a textbook that introduces them to the functions, processes, and philosophy of technical services work. The authors are sure to point out that, even though technical services is traditionally a “back room” operation, that operation serves the public; everything done in technical services is to aid the user in finding and retrieving materials.

An excellent introduction to technical services processes for students and those new to the profession.—Michael W. Handis, Associate Librarian for Technical Services and Collection Management, Mina Rees Library, City University of New York Graduate and University Center


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