Technical Services - Organizational Structure

Since more and more work in Technical Services falls across unit lines, the three units on the 4th floor (BibControl, Acquisitions, and Serials and Electronic Resources) were reorganized successfully to form a single dynamic unit "Technical Services" under a single unit head (Lihong Zhu) on January 1, 2009. The new unit was organized as a new team environment instead of the traditional unit model.

Supervisory Structure

Head, Technical Services

Lihong Zhu (reporting to Associate Dean, Beth Blakesley).

Name Classification Supervisor
Lihong Zhu Librarian IV Beth Blakesley
TE in TS   Lani Walton and Debra Spidal
Lael Turnbow Program Assistant Lani Walton
Chris Benson LAP 6 Lihong Zhu
Debra Spidal Librarian III Lihong Zhu
Estelle Sertich LAP 4 Lihong Zhu
Jessica Striffler LAP 4 Lihong Zhu
Lani Walton LAP 6 Lihong Zhu
Margaret Paden LAP 4 Lihong Zhu
Reed David Librarian II Lihong Zhu
Suzanne James-Bacon LAP 6 Lihong Zhu
Sylvia Thompson LAP 4 Lihong Zhu
Wendy Blake LAP 4 Lihong Zhu

General Responsibilities of staff supervisors (Lihong Zhu, Lani Walton)

  • Responsible for creating and/or revising position descriptions and performance expectations with input from coordinators and team leaders
  • Responsible for staff annual evaluations and corrective action when performance is not acceptable with input from coordinators and team leaders
  • Responsible for reviewing and approving requests for leave and change of working schedules
  • Responsible for performance management and personnel actions

Coordinators (coordinators are not supervisors)

Five areas that need coordination were identified:

Functional Area Coordinator Assistant Coordinator
Acquisition (serial and mono in all formats) Chris Benson (vacant)
Print Serials (checkin, binding, DBM, etc.) Lani Walton Debra Spidal
Physical Cataloging (cataloging, processing, recon, DBM, etc.) Debra Spidal Reed David
Electronic Resources (e-management, e-cataloging) Suzanne James-Bacon Chris Benson, Reed David

General responsibilities of coordinators

  • Keep current on trends and developments in your areas and make recommendations for changes to the unit head
  • Work with team leaders and the unit head on issues in your area
  • Act as primary resource for issues in your area, interpreting policies and procedures, and solving problems.
  • Provide training to staff and faculty in Technical Services and at WSU Libraries
  • Provide feedback to the unit head for annual staff evaluation
  • Collect required statistics in your area
  • Provide needed resources for the teams under your coordination
  • Send written monthly reports to the unit head
  • Perform other coordination duties as assigned

General responsibilities of assistant coordinators

  • Assist coordinators in all the areas listed under "General responsibilities of coordinators"
  • Serve as back up when coordinators are out


The new unit is organized into teams:

Names Team Leaders Coordinator Assistant Coordinator
Acquisition Chris Chris  
Physical cataloging Debra Debra Reed
Marking/Mending Debra Debra Reed
Electronic resources Suzanne Suzanne Chris, Reed
Physical serials Lani, Debra Lani Debra
Comp Sto/DBM/Recon team Debra, Lani Debra Reed

General Guidelines for Teams

  • The primary purpose of implementing a teamwork model in the Technical Services unit is to maximize flexibility. This will minimize the need for frequent changes in position descriptions (PDs) and in supervisory lines as needs within the unit change.
  • The teamwork model Technical Services will be implementing is, of necessity, a hybrid model between a true egalitarian team such as is often found in the private sector and the more traditional hierarchical structure that is mandated by the Washington Administrative Code (WAC) rules which govern Washington State Civil Service. The WAC rules delineate boundaries within which our unit may implement any teamwork model.
  • The Technical Services team model is essentially project oriented, focusing on workflow and productivity issues. This model incorporates the needs of state legal requirements while maintaining the desired flexibility. The implementation of a teamwork model in Technical Services will focus on “horizontal” working relationships while retaining the established “vertical”supervisor/employee relationship.
  • The composition and existence of teams is fluid. In response to changes in procedures, technology and workflow, we can create new teams, merge existing teams or disband existing teams.
  • The unit head works with coordinators/team leaders to assign team members.
  • If a team needs volunteers, the unit head sends out a call for volunteers.
  • If team members have questions about procedures, they should discuss them with their team leaders. Team leaders should work with coordinators/unit head on changes in procedures.
  • If team members have questions about personnel issues, they should discuss them with their direct supervisors (Lihong Zhu, Lani Walton). Team leaders and coordinators are not supervisors and should not deal with personnel issues).
  • Team members work together in solving problems, changing procedures and improving productivity and quality of the team's work.
  • Teamwork skills (
    • Listening – it is important to listen to other people's ideas. When people are allowed to freely express their ideas, these initial ideas will produce other ideas.
    • Discussing – It is important to discuss your ideas with your teammates to reach consensus.
    • Questioning – it is important to ask questions, interact, and discuss the objectives of the team.
    • Persuading – individuals are encouraged to exchange, defend, and then to ultimately rethink their ideas.
    • Respecting – it is important to treat others with respect and to support their ideas.
    • Helping – it is crucial to help one's coworkers, which is the general theme of teamwork.
    • Sharing – it is important to share with the team to create an environment of teamwork.
    • Participating – all members of the team are encouraged to participate in the team.
    • Communicating – For a team to work effectively it is essential team members acquire communication skills and use effective communication channels between one another e.g. using email, oral communication, group meetings and so on. This will enable team members of the group to work together and achieve the team's purpose and goals.

General responsibilities of team leaders (team leaders are not supervisors)

  • Monitor and adjust as needed the everyday working of the team so that materials are processed more efficiently while maintaining attention to high quality
  • Update procedures
  • Work with coordinators/unit head on procedures and issues
  • Assign team members projects within their civil service classification
  • Provide training for team members within their civil service classification