Technical Services Division
The Technical Services Division (TSD):
- Formulates, implements, and evaluates National Library of Medicine (NLM) collection development policies
- Selects, acquires, and processes modern books, journals, documents, nonprint, and electronic materials in the field of biomedicine
- Produces and maintains processing and cataloging records and the official catalog for the NLM collection
- Provides original cataloging and other bibliographic services to the biomedical library community
- Maintains NLM’s integrated library system (ILS), used for acquisitions, serials control, cataloging, collection management, circulation, and preservation
- Maintains the online public catalogs, LocatorPlus and NLM Catalog
- Maintains the Library’s Electronic Resource Management System
- Leads the development of NLM’s repository, Digital Collections
TSD coordinates the development and review of policies and guidelines for building and preserving NLM's collection as described in the Collection Development Manual of the National Library of Medicine. The Chief, TSD is responsible for the periodic review and revision of the Manual. New editions are published every few years to reflect shifting emphases in health care, advances in medical research, and new formats. Occasional updates of the Manual, especially those with broad policy implications, may be issued as supplements between editions.
To monitor the effectiveness of NLM's acquisitions program, the Office of the Chief, TSD oversees an ongoing program of collection assessment and evaluation. NLM coordinates its collection development policies and retention practices with those of the Library of Congress (LC) and the National Agricultural Library (NAL). From time to time collecting policy statements are issued jointly with one or both of these national libraries.
The current edition of the Collection Development Manual of the National Library of Medicine and other joint collection development policy statements issued by NLM, LC, and NAL are available at NLM's Web site. (See the Collection Development Section at http://www.nlm.nih.gov/tsd/acquisitions/mainpage.html.)
Selection and Acquisition
The Selection and Acquisition Section is responsible for the selection of modern publications including serials and monographs in all formats (e.g., print books and journals, audiovisuals, electronic publications, etc.) according to guidelines set forth in the Collection Development Manual of the National Library of Medicine and for the acquisition of modern print and nonprint biomedical monographs published world-wide in more than 60 languages. New materials are selected and ordered by NLM staff or acquired through approval plan arrangements with domestic and foreign book vendors, exchange agreements, and the Library of Congress overseas acquisitions programs.
The Section processes approximately 24,000 items annually for possible addition to NLM's collection, monitors the Library's literature budget of over eight million dollars, and participates in a variety of collection assessment efforts.
The Cataloging Section is responsible for review and development of cataloging policies and for descriptive and subject cataloging and classification of modern printed, audiovisual, and computer software materials acquired for NLM's collection, as well as for electronic resources. For further information, see the NLM Cataloging Section Home Page at http://www.nlm.nih.gov/tsd/cataloging/mainpge.html.
The Cataloging Section creates and maintains the bibliographic records resident in NLM's public access catalogs, LocatorPlus and the NLM Catalog.
- Integrate in one file NLM bibliographic records for all materials (print, non-print, electronic resources, etc.) regardless of format, although searches in each file may be limited to a particular format if desired.
- Contain records for a mixture of cataloged and uncataloged materials.
- Include records in certain subject areas, such as health services research, space life sciences, bioethics, or family planning/populations research created cooperatively with other libraries that are part of the National Network of Libraries of Medicine®, or organizations that have or have had a cooperative agreement with NLM to create bibliographic records.
- LocatorPlus contains records in the MARC 21 format and displays holdings and item availability.
- The NLM Catalog uses the NCBI Entrez retrieval system and records are structured in a locally defined XML format.
For further information about these Web Catalogs, see the NLM Cataloging Section Home Page at: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/tsd/cataloging/biblocator.html.
NLM bibliographic records are available via ftp in MARC 21 communications format or in XML format on a subscription basis. For further information, see Leasing Data from the National Library of Medicine at http://www.nlm.nih.gov/databases/leased.html.
The Cataloging Section maintains and develops the online NLM Classification, a scheme for the shelf arrangement of medical literature in libraries. This online tool is available at http://wwwcf.nlm.nih.gov/class and is updated annually. The Section also maintains NLM's internal authority file used in the creation of bibliographic records, including over 1,276,000 name, title, and subject heading records structured in the MARC 21 format and is responsible for the assignment of NLM title abbreviations that appear in the bibliographic records for indexed serials and monographs and in NLM indexing citations.
The Serial Records Section is responsible for acquiring and processing biomedical and related serials, in all formats, for the NLM collection. NLM subscribes to approximately 20,500 unique serial titles, of which over 5,300 are indexed MEDLINE titles. Serials are acquired from over 150 countries, representing about 60 different languages. On an annual basis, NLM selects and orders 700-800 new serial titles. NLM utilizes the services of numerous subscription vendors as well as the Library of Congress Overseas Offices. Major activities supporting these functions include: ordering new titles, maintaining subscriptions and standing orders, processing invoices for payment, receiving serial issues, claiming missing issues and licensing and establishing access to electronic resources.
The Systems Office is responsible for managing NLM’s integrated library system, the online public catalogs, the electronic resources management system, and other systems and publications that support NLM’s indexing and PubMed citation creation activities.
Systems Office staff is leading the development of NLM’s repository, Digital Collections, to aid in building NLM’s collection in the digital environment. The Office is also responsible for coordinating hardware and software support for the Division.
The Technical Services Division:
- Coordinates collection development policies and retention practices with other national libraries
- Participates in the Program for Cooperative Cataloging (PCC), a coalition of libraries organized to promote effective cooperative cataloging by increasing the availability of standard bibliographic records. Specifically, under the PCC umbrella, participates in the programs described below:
- Supplies new serials cataloging information to the CONSER (Cooperative Online Serials Program) database via the OCLC (Online Computer Library Center) system. CONSER, the serials bibliographic record component of the PCC, is an international effort to build a machine-readable bibliographic database for serials.
- Participates in the Cataloging-in-Publication (CIP) Program with the Library of Congress in which books are cataloged from galley proofs and the cataloging information is printed in the books at the time of publication
- Contributes core records for English-language monographs, audiovisuals, and computer software to BIBCO, the monographic bibliographic record component of the PCC
- Contributes name authority records used in NLM cataloging to the Library of Congress for NACO, the name authority program component of the PCC
For information on NLM services, contact:
National Library of Medicine
8600 Rockville Pike
Bethesda, MD 20894
Telephone: 1-888-FINDNLM (1-888-346-3656)
A complete list of NLM Fact Sheets is available at:
(alphabetical list) http://www.nlm.nih.gov/pubs/factsheets/factsheets.html
(subject list): http://www.nlm.nih.gov/pubs/factsheets/factsubj.html
Or write to:
Office of Communications and Public Liaison
National Library of Medicine
8600 Rockville Pike
Bethesda, Maryland 20894
Phone: (301) 496-6308
Fax: (301) 496-4450