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Mid-Winter Virtual Meeting Minutes

ERIC Users Committee Meeting Mid-Winter Conference December 23, 2010 Minutes


Present: Lesley Farmer, Christina Dunn


                The meeting was convened by Lesley Farmer at 8:00am EST via conference phone call, which was arranged by Christina Dunn.

                The agenda was approved.

                The committee could select another chair, but no other nominations were sent. Lesley will continue as chair.

                The minutes from mid-winter’s virtual meeting (June 26, 2010) were disseminated with no changes recommended

                The mid-winter and annual ERIC sessions are set. A series of ERIC usability testing sessions have been set up during the conference (the agency is one of the only ones to have a testing office for ADA compliance, which is staffed by individuals with disabilities as well as abled staff). Lesley suggested that a portion of the June ERIC session should cover disabilities: the site’s ADA compliance as well as resources about disabilities.

                Communications channels.

* Lesley sent ACRL a press release about the ERIC contract renewal, but it does not seem to have been published. ACRL’s News issue about mid-winter programs omitted the ERIC session, so Lesley emailed them about the omission, and reminded them to include the ERIC session for annual.

* Lesley mentioned ALA Connect, and has been using that tool for announcements to the committee and the larger ALA community.

* Lesley contacted PLA, who said they would announce the ERIC sessions; AASL did not follow up.

* Beth volunteered to write an article for Against the Grain, but Lesley has not heard of any follow-up on that effort.

                 Christina shared news about the National Library of Education (NLE).

* No new programs or services have started because the budget is flat.

* The staff have had to attend more trainings because of rising government expectations; specifically, Christina oversees 35 contracts, which takes much time to administrate.

* Christina is the one person doing collection development. The collection has improved over time, and is very responsive to user needs. Christina mentioned an article on readers’ involvement in collection development: HOWARD, J. (2010). Reader Choice, Not Vendor Influence, Reshapes Library Collections. Chronicle of Higher Education, 57(12), A11-A12.

* More dissertations are being collected; Christina is waiting for a critical mass, at which point she will announce their increasing numbers and availability.

* The library is trying to decrease its “footprint” by digitizing more of the collection, so that the print materials can be stored remotely. The library space is open for meetings, and people come in to browse (especially the newspapers), which gives the library more visibility.

* The library provides free ILL service, and can digitize and deliver documents. There was a question about the legality of lending digital versions of some documents, but the government’s “green” initiative supported the library’s approach. However, the firewall is not letting some of those documents go through, probably because of their size. Lesley suggested that NLE use a “zip” compressing program, which NLE could test for free.

                ERIC projects.

* ERIC has been focusing on the quality of its database.

* ERIC’s topics are being reviewed. An outside person was contracted to so do, and has submitted a report. Christina thought it would be useful to investigate how librarians develop a research strategy as compared to a topic expert (e.g., school psychologist). Perhaps the ERIC committee can help in this study.

                The agenda being completed and no other business arising, the committee was adjourned at 9:00am.


Respectfully submitted, Lesley Farmer