This study tests the hypothesis that the contributed papers at the 12 ACRL national conferences do not cover topics of interest to technical services librarians in proportion to their membership in ACRL. The analysis showed that 14.66% of contributed papers dealt with subjects that were part of the charge of ALCTS, the technical services division in ALA, and its five sections. This percentage dropped to 7.52% with the removal of collection development papers that are also of high interest to many public services librarians. Current overlap statistics indicate that 18.83% of ACRL members also belong to ALCTS—an indication of potential ACRL member interest in technical services topics. An unexpected discovery was that the contributed papers became much more holistic with the arrival of the Internet and electronic resources in academic libraries and, starting with the 1999 Detroit national conference, were much more difficult to categorize into specialized niches. The author speculates that the attendance at the national conferences by a high proportion of librarians from small to mid-size academic libraries discourages papers on technical services topics since technical services librarians are more likely to work in large ARL libraries.
Information and Library Science | Library and Information Science
Holley, Robert P., "Are Technical Services Topics Underrepresented in the Contributed Papers at the ACRL National Conferences?" (2007). School of Library and Information Science Faculty Research Publications. Paper 31.