Database Management and Services Committee

Core Competencies for
Technical Services Staff in OhioLINK Libraries

The purpose of this document is to help local OhioLINK institutions define core competencies for technical services staff and to aid them as they design training for their staff. The competencies recommended here can be locally interpreted by each institution, with staff knowing how to do things only as they are trained and authorized to do them by their local institutions. However, wherever possible it is recommended that technical services staff have a basic awareness of the competencies listed in this document, whether or not they have a true understanding of them, and for higher level staff, a true understanding is recommended.

Technical services staff are defined as individuals performing functions involving acquisitions, cataloging, materials processing, metadata analysis, preservation, serials and authority work. Technical services staff should exhibit the following competencies.

Access competencies

1. Connect to OhioLINK central catalog, either

a. via Millennium by “View Public Display” and then passing a search to central

b. by passing a search in the WebOPAC

c. via the OhioLINK website.

2. Access resources in the Electronic Journal Center, Electronic Book Center, ETD Center, Digital Resource Commons, OhioLINK databases and other future OhioLINK services.

3. Access policy and training materials on the OhioLINK Technical Services Staff Information page.

4. Log in and log off a Millennium session

Ownership, contribution, and display competencies

1. Determine the "owning" library of an OhioLINK central record.

2. Understand the parts of the central catalog's institutional record

3. Know how to report central catalog errors.

4. Know when records should be contributed to OhioLINK central and when they should not, based on OhioLINK standards and local practice.

5. Know the use of all the display codes and how this affects the record's display in the local III system and at OhioLINK central, particularly OhioLINK owned resources (code g).

6. Understand the overlay protocol at OhioLINK central. The record display is determined first by the Encoding Level followed by institutional priority.

7. Understand the matching and contribution rules at the central site.

8. Understand the different displays for serial holdings, including where the information is stored.

9. Understand the difference between MARC and non-MARC fields or non-MARC records, such as fields in provisional records, labeled records, or records from other schema (Dublin Core).

10. Know the display in the Web OPAC that the patron sees, including where the information is stored and how to access this display from within Millennium.

10. Understand the display and linking function of the URL in the 856/956 field in the MARC record. Know where and how this displays and links in the WebOPAC.

Searching competencies

1. Be familiar with all searches and be able to use them effectively, including the numeric searches: OCLC #, barcode number, record number, and ISSN / ISBN. Use truncation and the words "and", "or", and "not" properly in keyword searches, including proper nesting of searches. Correctly and effectively use limit features. Understand that options may differ between central and local catalog:.

2. Understand how the RightResult key word relevance ranking impacts keyword searches:


3. Understand which fields are included in each search type. Understand that search results in the central catalog may differ from results in the local catalog because of differing indexing rules.

4. Be able to effectively search other OhioLINK databases and resources. Understand the benefits of performing branded vs. federated searches in the DRC.

Record comprehension

1. Understand and interpret the different kinds of records, understand the basic record structural relationships and what kind of information is in each: bibliographic, order, checkin, authority, item, patron, course, and the summary screen of all records attached to a bibliographic record.

2. Know how to add, delete and modify records used in their work, including, but not necessarily limited to the following records: bibliographic, authority, item, order and checkin.

3. Understand the difference between a monograph and serial publication and the role of associated order, checkin and holdings records.

4. Understand the basic structure of the MARC record.

5. Understand III field group tags.

6. For staff involved in digital resource initiatives, understand the basic structure of other schema, such as Dublin Core and Encoded Archival Description (EAD) records in the DRC.

Awareness of other system competencies

Technical Services staff should be aware of the following system features, and the role they can play in materials processing; however, we do not recommend that all staff must fully understand how they function. Consult the Millennium Manual for details.

  1. Loading and outputting records via FTP III Data Exchange, if locally available.
  2. Rapid updating
  3. Creating lists
  4. Statistical reporting
  5. Global updating
  6. Index rules and field groups
  7. MARC load tables
  8. SCAT tables
  9. Substitution phrases
  10. Change your own III password, if authorized.
  11. Knowledge of the ability to force ownership in OhioLINK central, if authorized.
  12. Creation record templates
  13. Macros
  14. Electronic Resource Management (ERM)
  15. Status code mapping in central catalog

April 2002
rev. December 3, 2007
updated November 2008