Virtual Technical Services: A Handbook

Rowman & Littlefield. May 2022. 166p. ISBN 9781538152621. $72.79. PRO MEDIA
Can people work from home? Should they work from home? Rutgers University librarians Weber and De Fino present evidence that people can and should, arguing that remote and hybrid work schedules are better for employees, libraries, and the environment. This is particularly true when employees are brought into the decision-making process about how and when remote work occurs. Even in “normal” times, some aspects of technical services, including collection development, electronic ordering, invoice payments, database cleanup, and cataloging of online materials, are easily handled remotely. The handling of physical materials, however, usually necessitates a hybrid rather than a fully remote schedule. Though many recent studies have documented the improved productivity of employees who have chosen to work remotely, libraries were thrown into this largely unexplored realm, most with little or no time to plan as a result of the pandemic. Even were it not for pandemics, unforeseen electrical outages, floods, weather emergencies, earthquakes, terrorism, active shooters, and other unfortunate events require that libraries create emergency plans, taking into account the possibility of short- and long-term closures.
VERDICT Applicable to both public and technical services, this work is required reading for librarians and administrators of all types of libraries.
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