The Evolving Nature of Library Technical Services in Response to Outsourcing


  • Jolene Bennett University of Alberta



technical services, libraries, outsourcing, change management, quality control, library vendor, organizational restructuring, user experience


The landscape of library technical services is evolving in response to the outsourcing of library work such as cataloguing, acquisitions, and processing. This literature review explores the body of research on the transitioning nature of library technical services and presents its findings with a thematic overview of the cost effectiveness of outsourcing, vendor quality control and evaluation, staffing levels, changing workloads, organizational restructuring, user experience, knowledge management as well as diversity, inclusion, and access. While the literature reveals little doubt that outsourcing has had a significant impact on library technical services, how can libraries guide their technical services teams forward through this transition? The themes explored here suggest that additional skillsets are necessary for increasingly complex workloads in response to changing library user needs. Library leadership will need to provide their staff with training and professional development to meet these changing needs all while having successful change management strategies in place that leverage existing skillsets and support the continued evolutionary landscape of library technical services.




How to Cite

Bennett, J. (2022). The Evolving Nature of Library Technical Services in Response to Outsourcing. Pathfinder: A Canadian Journal for Information Science Students and Early Career Professionals, 3(1), 30–46.



Literature Reviews