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CRS Midwinter 2011 Executive Committee minutes

CRS Executive Committee
Sunday, January 9, 2011
Hilton, Cobalt 500

In attendance:

  • Paul Moeller, Chair
  • Meg Mering, Chair-Elect
  • Connie Foster, Past Chair
  • Anne Mitchell, Secretary
  • Eugene Dickerson, Member-at-Large
  • Ann Fath, Member-at-Large
  • Bonnie Parks, Member-at-Large
  • Jennifer Young, Continuing Resources Cataloging Committee
  • Julia McGinnis, Policy & Planning Committee
  • Charlene Chou, Standards Committee
  • Betty Landesman, First Step Award Jury
  • Angie Ohler, rep to ALCTS Program Committee
  • Lynda Wright, rep to ALCTS Membership Committee
  • Linda Smith-Griffin, rep to NASIG
  • Cynthia Whitacre and Betsy Simpson, guests

CRS welcome and introductions (Paul Moeller)

  • 2010 Annual Meeting minutes were approved and have been made public. on the Executive Commitee's Connect space.
  • A slight change was approved to the Holdings Committee charge: the text "local catalogs, group catalogs and union catalogs" should become "local catalogs, group catalogs, union catalogs, and knowledgebases." Anne Mitchell has forwarded this request to ALCTS staff.

ALCTS Board Report highlights from Saturday meeting (Moeller)

  • The ALCTS Board meets twice during the conference, Saturday and Monday 1:30-5:30.
  • Midwinter preconferences in general, and ALCTS preconferences in particular, were well attended. Walk-in numbers were down only slightly from Boston, which was considered a good turnout.
  • ALCTS President Cynthia Whitacre asked for nominations for the Presidential Citation. This award is for an outstanding recent contribution to ALCTS, not a lifetime achievement award.
  • ALA's current emphasis is buiding a culture of library advocacy. Another priority is promoting diversity; Whitacre indicated that Spectrum scholarship fundraising is ongoing.
  • ALCTS is seeking a new editor for ALCTS Newsletter Online (ANO).
  • ALCTS Executive Director Charles Wilt provided a budget update. ALCTS membership is down about 3% overall, although CRS membership is actually increasing. Declining membership is offset by continuing education efforts such as webinars. Fifteen webinars are scheduled for the spring, including the possibility of some offered free as an outreach tool. Wilt encouraged members to join more than one section, which they can do at no additional cost.
  • Base membership age in ALCTS is around 50, versus late 40s for ALA overall. This is a potential area of concern for long-term membership development, and various recruitment efforts are being considered to encourage younger members to join. Current mentoring partnerships with New Members' Interest Group has resulted in far more mentor volunteers than mentees, and there may be a need to rethink what new members need and want from a mentor relationship.
  • ALA Past President Camilla Alire visited the ALCTS Board to talk about the white paper on the future of Midwinter. The white paper was not a policy change but a look at what was happening. The ALCTS Board expressed surprise that the report didn't mention the economic issues surrounding Midwinter or identify a threshold for viability. Within the CRS Executive Committee, members found the report notably uncritical of the two-meeting format, particularly given that there is less programming at Midwinter than in years past, and many groups are opting out of in-person business meetings. Moeller noted that ALA regards Midwinter as a regional outreach, development and networking tool, because it can be held in cities with smaller facilities than those required for the Annual meeting.
  • The Board received a visit from Maureen Sullivan, candidate for ALA President. Sullivan indicated she does not have a significant background in technical services, and would look to ALCTS for guidance and opinion in this area. Her platform emphasizes advancing collaborative leadership, enhancing learning, advancing literacy, and becoming more engaged with global partnerships. The other candidate, Sue Stroyan, was expected to visit the Monday meeting.

CRS general discussion (Moeller)

  • Whitacre and ALCTS President-Elect Betsy Simpson visited the committee to discuss the ALCTS restructuring. ALCTS is moving forward with incremental reshaping, rather than waiting for a comprehensive plan. The first change was to appoint an Interest Group Coordinator (Dale Swensen) to facilitate interest group activity across the division. Virtual meetings are taking place throughout the division and need to be explored further. The ALCTS Organization & Bylaws Committee has been charged with developing a formal section evaluation plan. CRS will not be part of the first round of evaluations.
  • The committee further discussed the Reshaping ALCTS' Future plan and the reasons for it. ALCTS has not been reorganized since 1988, and our work and needs as an association have changed. The Reshaping report was based on approximately 200 member responses. Much of the change appeared to be motivated by the need for better communication within ALCTS. Meg Mering expressed surprise that more radical change had not been proposed. Whitacre stated that the Board tried to be responsive to member concerns, and that CRS members had been particularly vocal about wanting to sustain a distinct presence within ALCTS. There were also reservations from the ALCTS Membership Committee about membership being conflated with leadership development, as it was in all reshaping scenarios. The Membership Committee considered these to be related but separate. Connie Foster reminded the committee that the section can reorganize itself on its own initiative, and that the CRS Policy & Planning Committee wanted to look at all committes across the section for overlap with CRS activities and potential areas for internal reshaping.
  • Moeller mentioned some issues with virtual participation that arose during the CRS committee meetings. In particular, it was difficult for virtual members to join a live committee meeting by conference call because  of the limited communication infrastructure in the meeting rooms and a shared meeting space that was not conducive to a call. Mering indicated a desire to hear more from committee chairs about their virtual membership experiences. Each group will have different needs and expectations with respect to virtual participation, and will need to define for itself what virtual participation will entail. Moeller added that the appointments database should be reviewed and possibly changed to address diverse needs for in-person and virtual participation. Some committee chairs mentioned having difficulty engaging virtual members in the work of the group, despite ongoing encouragement. Moeller reminded chairs that they can request that non-participating members (virtual or otherwise) not be reappointed, or even removed from a committee assignment. Volunteers agree to do the work of the committee when they accept an appointment, and committee leadership should feel empowered to ask a reasonable level of participation from all members on an ongoing basis.
  • The committee discussed ALCTS' proposed changes to conference scheduling. The major changes involve the ALCTS Board meetings, which would occur Friday afternoon and Monday afternoon of the conference, and the section-level Executive Committee meetings, which would follow immediately after the regular committee meetings. Simpson mentioned that stable no-conflict times are easy to communicate to the membership, and are more convenient for members who come to the conference only to fulfill committee obligations. Foster appreciated the simplicity of the new schedule and the fact that Executive Committee meetings would have less conflict with ALCTS programs.

Reports and action items (see all CRS committee and interest group reports)

  • Committee Chairs
    • Jennifer Young, Continuing Resources Cataloging Committee: The CRCC task force just finished testing of RDA, report just came out. The testers produced 63 bibliographic and 43 authority records, including some new, some copy, and some maintenance. Overall consensus reflected ambivalence about adoption of RDA. The informal test had 25 participants, and responses were submitted through a survey. Most participants were not CONSER members. CRCC is considering scheduling their regular update forum as a webinar instead of, or possibly in addition to, the live forum. Moeller reminded the committee that if holding an update forum at every conference is onerous, the committee is not obligated to do so.
    • Betty Landesman, First Step Award Jury: The award jury received one application, and did not recommend an award because serials were not addressed in the nomination. A low nomination rate and problematic applications are a regular occurrence in recent years. Moeller noted that the eligibility requirements ask for ALCTS members who have never attended ALA before, which is a small pool. Landesman added that the award is for work in the “serials field,” language that might discourage potential applicants whose job responsibilities are much broader. The Executive Committee welcomes any suggestions from the First Step Committee regarding these changes.
  • Representatives
    • Lila (Angie) Ohler, rep to ALCTS Program Committee: The Program Committee is looking forward to working with the new ALCTS Interest Group Coordinator and a new program/interest group session plan to avoid scheduling competing content in time slots. Ohler felt this development would lead to programming that is better thought out and coordinated, particularly given how much content is now emanating from interest groups. Ohler encouraged members and committees to plan programs for 2012. For the 2012 program timeline, preliminary proposals should be submitted at Annual 2011 and formalized by next Midwinter. Late-breaking programs that are well thought out by Midwinter can also be fast-tracked. A how-to for the process is posted on the ALCTS website; the Program Committee is hopeful that a more transparent and streamlined process will be more approachable. The committee has requested that the Program Committee chair be a two-year appointment with a co-chair and staggered terms.
    • Lynda Wright, rep to ALCTS Membership Committee: The committee held a Saturday reception and will be repeating ALCTS 101 at Annual.  The committee is also working with New Members Round Table. Outreach to public libraries is ongoing but has been a success – there is now a Public Libraries Interest Group within ALCTS. Outreach to library schools has been ad hoc, and could become more efficient and effective.
    • Linda Smith-Griffin, rep to NASIG: The annual NASIG conference will be held June 2-5, 2011 in St. Louis.