The Changing Landscape of Technical Services Education

Innovative Online Pedagogy, EDI, & Competencies


  • Karen Snow Dominican University, School of Information Studies
  • Shawne Miksa University of North Texas
  • Susan Rathbun-Grubb University of South Carolina
  • Lesley Farmer California State University - Long Beach



Technical Services, EDI, Innovative online pedagogy, Competencies, User behavior, User needs


Technical Services (TS) has been undergoing many changes in response to societal, technological, and institutional shifts as are many areas within LIS. In addition to understanding changes in cataloging standards, technical services staff must have cultural and behavioral competency to meet the needs of increasingly diverse user populations. To prepare LIS students effectively, technical services educators must continually adapt and update their courses.  

The Technical Services Education SIG session will include a panel of three educators who will discuss current areas of importance in TS education: innovative online pedagogy, EDI (equity, diversity, and inclusion), and core competencies.

Susan Rathbun-Grubb will report on the development of a new online course supported by a University of South Carolina Center for Teaching Excellence (CTE) Innovative Pedagogy Grant. This includes collaborating with a CTE instructional designer in preparation for teaching the course in Spring 2024. This presentation will describe the creative process and the proposed course plan including objectives, topical coverage, pedagogical strategies, and assessments. Dr. Rathbun-Grubb is interested in having a conversation with attendees about their best practices for teaching TS management online in a student-centered seminar format.

Lesley Farmer will present on the incorporation of EDI into the Organization of Information course in California State University Long Beach's Teacher (school) Librarian program. An explicit EDI strand was developed for the course, including readings/videos for each module and corresponding learning activities. Students have responded very favorably by actively identifying and addressing EDI issues and by seeing themselves as necessary change agents for social justice. This presentation explains the process, the results, and useful resources.

Karen Snow is leading an effort to revise the American Library Association’s 2017 Core Competencies for Cataloging and Metadata Professional Librarians and will report on the status of the endeavor. This includes determining if the 2017 Competencies are sufficient for current cataloging and metadata professionals. Dr. Snow will discuss how TS educators help provide a good foundation of cataloging and metadata competencies that best prepares our students for such a rapidly-changing field. 

After the presentations, audience members will be encouraged to ask questions and offer their own experiences and ideas concerning this area of LIS education. These presentations align well with the ALISE 2023 conference theme of “Bridge the Gap: Teaching, Learning, Practice, and Competencies.”