Last week was the Mass. Library Association's annual conference in Hyannis. All of the Tech. Services programs were held on Thursday; that is the day I was there.
The MLA/TSS Executive Board organized 4 programs. All were very different and all were full of really good information. I hope to blog about the other programs (especially about the eXtensible Catalog), but my favorite program was Improving Communication Between Technical and Public Services.
Sara Simpson is the Technical Services Manager for the Tulsa City-County Library. Tulsa is one of those large systems where the library in a town is a branch of the county library. The Tech Services functions (Acquisitions, Cataloging, Processing) are centralized in the main facility. The traditional Public Services occur in every branch. The communication project began about 8 years ago and the situation has finally gotten to the point where TS people no longer consider every PS request an interruption and PS people no longer view TS staff as people who say "no" to every request.
Lots of things happened during those 8 years including TSers working with PSers and vice versa to see what it was like to be one of "them" and PS staff being able to make some of the changes they once forwarded on to TS (and didn't get returned for a long time). Something that really struck me was the revised attitude that the staff in Public Services are the customers of Technical Services. When someone in Public Services has a request, it is not an interruption for Tech Services staff, but part of the job. That alone makes a difference.
If you have a less than wonderful relationship with the Public Services staff in your library, perhaps you should evaluate your view of PS. Do you consider the people in Public Services your customers?