Publication Date


Document Type



James Madison University Libraries' workflow for distributing its Special Collections finding aids to various discovery platforms historically involved a significant amount of manual data entry and hand-encoding. Through a series of small steps, we have been gradually improving this process by automating select tasks. I will share different iterations of our workflow, the automated solutions we've put into place, and the tools and technologies used, including XSLTs, APIs, and Spaceport, a custom Python app. As evidenced through the efficiencies, staff excitement, and other benefits we've observed, automation has transformed a previously tedious process while also facilitating the completion of other related projects. Our experience suggests a number of advantages to taking an incremental approach to technical services workflow automation projects.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.


Presentation given at "Work Smarter, Not Harder: Innovating Technical Services Workflows" Amigos Library Services online conference.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.