My current position at Kennesaw State University Library is Catalog and Metadata Assistant in the Technical Services Unit, in this role I perform copy cataloging and metadata techniques for print materials as well as the physical processing of books. Recently due to COVID-19, I obtained another position, that of selecting ebooks through the GOBI fund account. I have never worked with ebooks nor selected any. Since our print book orders were put on hold, we had to convert entirely to ebooks and online classes like other universities. When the Intrieum Director of Collection Development got in touch with my director about selecting the rest of KSU’s year-end ebook selections, I was excited yet nervous about it.
The Interim Director provided my co-worker, and I serval training sessions on creating GOBI accounts and navigating through the website. Also, we had selectors meetings on Microsoft Teams with the rest of the Collection Development Department staff. After all the trainings and meetings, I felt a bit more confident about selecting ebooks. We were given the choice of choosing ebooks for any undergraduate college. I chose the nursing program personally for my mother, who is a nurse. Learning to select ebooks for the first time is like riding a bike in a sense? Slowly the training wheels come off the more comfortable you become. We looked at the upcoming course schedule for our selected colleges, used choice reviews online database to find the best reviews on related titles, as well as the GOBI spotlight features. Through this experience, I had the opportunity of working closely with the Acquisitions unit in my department as well as the Collection Development Department.
What problems did I run into? Checking for duplicate titles in our library’s catalog. I did not know how to properly check the catalog. Usually, I work on the back end of the catalog but not the front user end. This opportunity allowed me to navigate our catalog efficiently and use previous subject headings as keywords for searching titles. The other issue I encountered was selecting the appropriate fund account name and selector acknowledgment status. After the second time, I began to get the hang of the complexities of selecting ebooks. I was grateful to the other co-worker who works in the Acquisitions unit of my department for updating me on how much money was left to spend with the GOBI fund account.
In conclusion, ebook selecting is a new journey for me as my primary role centers on working with print materials. However, the journey was exciting, and I learned a lot more about what other units do and their roles with ebooks. We selected all ebooks for the upcoming semester. After the project, a shadow program will be established for anyone who wants to learn how to select ebooks with GOBI. I am excited as fall 2020 will be my last semester in the MLIS program outside of work. I hope everyone gains the opportunity to cross-train with other departments, it will give you a greater appreciation for your co-workers and those in different units.