By Beth McGough, Communications and Creative Services Manager
The ProQuest New Titles Team loves books! The New Titles Team profiles and selects new print titles, then adds them to OASIS for libraries. The team in La Verne, Tennessee includes six librarians and educators and 80 years of collective industry experience.
Last year, ProQuest welcomed Coutts Information Services into the ProQuest family. Now librarians can turn to ProQuest for a rich, diverse selection of digital content and 25 million print books.
I sat down with three members of the New Titles Team to hear about how they are working as librarians for librarians. Jean, New Titles Team Manager, Jase, Specialist I and Brooke, Specialist II share what they love (books, of course!) and the challenges they face treating 75,000 books each year.
Digging up treasure for libraries
Everyday Jase, and his colleagues hunt for treasure, researching and finding new book titles for libraries. Visiting publisher websites and reviewing catalogs and publisher emails, Jase sees a diverse range of books. The team maintains relationships with over 100 publishers meeting them in person and in online meetings. The team sees new book presentations, has metadata improvement discussions, and receives review alert notification.
Jase filters through new titles looking for the most suitable works for academic libraries, as well as esoteric materials that are of interest to special programs at universities. After new titles are chosen he sends them to Brooke and her counterparts for profiling and selection.
Jase disclosed, with a smile, one of the coolest aspects of his job is finding new books for his personal reading list.
Connecting libraries to books with metadata
Brooke, and the team of Specialist II’s work with both physical books and without “books in hand” checking each book individually for the correct bibliographic data. Metadata, such as subject and author affiliation, are added to each book before it is matched against customer profiles and updated in OASIS.
Brooke enjoys having the freedom to experiment and improve processes, such utilizing IT advancements that improve automated sets and series management programs. What does she love about her job? Working with a team of fellow book lovers dedicated to connecting libraries with the right books.
Improving services to libraries
Jean leads Jase, Brooke, and the team through the treatment of more than 75,000 new book titles each year. She is constantly looking for ways to improve the team’s processes. Jean analyzes the team’s output looking for gaps in coverage or opportunities to expand. Librarians are constantly thinking about improving service to their patrons, and Jean is constantly thinking about improving services to librarians. By improving the team’s workflow for speed and accuracy, content is delivered to libraries more quickly helping them anticipate patron needs.
The New Titles Team is in a unique position to serve many libraries at once. They are simultaneously conscious of library budgets and the research needs of library users.
The team finds the opportunity to help libraries better serve their users inspiring.
Taking on challenges
In their passion for books, and connecting libraries with the right books, the New Titles Team faces challenges.
- The New Titles Team is conducting internal analysis looking for gaps in coverage and areas for improvement. Ideas for the future include curated lists and improving the visibility of award-winning books and best sellers.
- Improving the visibility of small publishers is challenging. But, they are constantly working to provide a diverse range of titles for customers.
- The team is constantly re-evaluating and coming together to ensure metadata is consistent across the 75,000+ new titles they work with every year. They aim to maintain consistency with customers too, welcoming and incorporating feedback into their processes.
The Book Pusher
Working with books all day doesn’t stop the New Titles Team from enjoying books outside of work. Brooke, a self-described “book pusher” and “audio book junkie,” has got the team reading young adult books like More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera. Two of the selectors are engrossed in the Man Booker Prize winner A Brief History of Seven Killings by Marlon James.
This is the first in a series of posts introducing the ProQuest teams that bring books from the publisher to your library’s shelves. Stay tuned to hear from the ProQuest Collections Consultants.