Technical Services

Members Present

  • Michael Bradford, Wayne State University
  • Jeff Brigham, Andover Newton Theological School
  • Clay-Edward Dixon, Graduate Theological Union
  • Leslie Engelson, Murray State University
  • Ellen Frost, Bridwell Library, Southern Methodist University
  • Heather Hicks, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary
  • Stephanie Garrett, Catholic Distance University
  • Richard Lammert, Concordia Theological Seminary
  • Brinna Michael, Pitts Theology Library, Emory University
  • Elizabeth Miller, Pitts Theology Library, Emory University
  • Seth Miskimins, Bridwell Library, Southern Methodist University
  • Ann Owen, Sacred Heart Seminary & School of Theology
  • Sheila Owen, Harding School of Theology
  • Christa Strickler, University of Notre Dame
  • Christina Torbert, University of Mississippi
  • Donna Wells, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, CC:DA Liaison
  • Alexis Weiss, Atla, Atla Funnels Coordinator
  • Jessie Zhong, Dallas Theological Seminary
  • W. Field, William Booth College
  • Helena Kudzia, St. Mark’s College

Absentee Members

  • Anna Appleman, Columbia Theological Seminary
  • Bro. Andrew Kosmowski, North American Center for Marianist Studies, Secretary
  • Armin Siedlecki, Pitts Theology Library, Emory University


  1. Steering Committee Introductions
  2. Call for nominations to fill the remaining vacant position
  3. Liaison Reports
  4. See “Round Robin Reports” below.
  5. TSIG Webpage: Liaisons
  6. Discussed changes to the list of liaisons, including removal of inactive liaisons, updates to roles, and addition of new liaisons
  7. TSIG Membership Scope
  8. Proposal put forward by Brinna Michael to change the wording of the membership scope as it appears on the webpage to explicitly reflect the broad range of roles that constitute “technical services”
  9. Discussion included support for the change
  10. Recommendation added to remove language specifying “theological librarians” and replace with “members”
  11. Motion to approve by Heather Hicks, seconded by Michael Bradford
  12. Draft of new language to be sent out via atlatech-l for approval by mid-August 2023
  13. Open Discussion

Year in Review

TSIG has had a light year as leadership transitioned from Richard Lammert to Brinna Michael. TCB has had an active year and is growing steadily in readership and content production. TSIG members participated in a consultation with Jamie Carelstone at Northwestern University who reached out regarding subject authority work with the term “Cults” and other related terms. Volunteers met with Jamie to discuss her work so far and provide insight and expertise on the use and misuse of the term.

Round Robin Reports

CC:DA Liaison – Reported by Donna Wells. ALA Committee on Cataloging: Description and Access (CC:DA) will continue meeting online in the future, with two meetings per year after ALA Annual and the midwinter meeting. Largely, CC:DA has been getting reports from RDA, PCC, MARC Advisory Committee, and on the project to update LC Romanization tables. Additionally, updates on big LCSH changes include:

  • “Illegal Aliens” has been changed to “Noncitizens”, post-coordinated with “Illegal immigration. “Aliens” has also been changed to “Noncitizens”. (Nov. 2021)
  • “Blacks” has been changed to “Black people”; “Whites” to “White people”.
  • “Law, Primitive” has been cancelled in favor of “Customary law”. Further work to remove all other uses of the term primitive has been undertaken.
  • “Marranos” has been cancelled in favor of “Crypto-Jews—Iberian Peninsula”. Similar terms for crypto-Jews in specific locations were cancelled in favor of using the consistent practice of “Crypto-Jews--[Place]”.
  • The proposal to change “Slaves” to “Enslaved persons” was approved and a project is being established to enact all related changes.
  • “Capitol Riot, Washington, D.C., 2021” was added (Sept. 2021).
  • The N cutters for the term Negroes have been changed across LCC.

Atla PCC Funnels – Reported by Alexis Weiss. To date in FY2023, Atla catalogers contributed 450 name authority records (NACO) and 7 subject records (SACO), both down from last year. The number of contributing institutions has decreased again from seven last year to five this year. Alexis Weiss, Member Engagement Librarian for Atla has taken on the role of Funnels Coordinator for all the administrative aspects of that position. Moving forward, funnel participants with NACO training and independent status will be called upon to act as mentors and evaluators for new NACO trainees. We will be collaborating with the Association of Christian Librarians (ACL) to train any of their interested librarians. Atla Staff will also now have the opportunity to be trained and join the funnels. Alexis has been in contact with the Library of Congress about potentially offering directed NACO and SACO trainings and is looking for interested participants, both new and those needing/wanting a refresher course.

TCB: Technical Services in Religion & Theology – Reported by Christa Stickler. TCB has continued to grow with an increasing number of submissions and views. The first ever special issue will be published in October 2023 on system migrations with ten articles set to be included. There has been a lot of recruitment from outside of Atla, but the editors would love to see more involvement from Atla members. Christa issued an invitation to submit or reach out to the editors to discuss your ideas/interests/questions. The editors also request topics that readers would like to read about, including software/etc. to be reviewed. Currently, TCB is searching for a fourth editorial board member to help with the increased editorial workload.


During open discussion at the business meeting, members raised several points of discussion, summarized below.

Several members voiced a desire for more Technical Services programming both during the Annual Meeting and throughout the year. More practical and area-specific programming allows members to make a stronger case to their respective administrative heads to support their attendance at the Annual Conference.

To address the above, a suggestion was made to hold more regular TSIG meetings throughout the year and to host a conference proposal workshop approximately six months (or whenever the call for proposals goes out) before the Annual Conference in order to encourage submissions/proposals.

Suggestions for conference programming included: a panel on eResource workflows, a panel with aggregators (EBSCO, Project MUSE, ProQuest, etc.) in the style of the “What, Why, and How? Publishers, Ebooks, and Theology Libraries” session hosted by the Collection Evaluation and Development Interest Group at Atla Annual 2023, metadata/cataloging practices regarding materials held in institutional repositories, disaster planning, and preservation/conservation (potentially as a sponsored guest from a local Los Angeles institution).

Members also voiced an interest in promoting TSIG to new Atla partners, CRRA, to encourage additional participation and new perspectives. Suggestions were also made to potentially partner with other interest groups, such as the Small Libraries Interest Group, to put on programming pertaining to areas of overlap between interest groups.