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2011 Annual Conference Report: Children and Libraries Editorial Advisory Committee

Children & Libraries Editorial Advisory Committee

ALA Annual Conference, New Orleans

ALSC All Committee Meeting Meeting I, Marriot Hotel, Balconies L-M

June 25, 2011, 8:30am



Christina Desai (chair), Sharon Verbeten (editor), Laura Schulte Cooper (ALA/ALSC staff/liaison), Kay Weisman (Priority Group Consultant), Lisa Taylor, Robin Kurz.

Absent: Jean Stevenson (excused), Tim Capehart (excused); Cecilia Perez, Carol Hopkins (virtual member). Also attending briefly, incoming ALSC president, Mary Fellows.


1. Introductions

The meeting began with member introductions.


2. Report from Division Leadership Meeting. Chris Desai and discussion

Chris brought the members up-to-date on various ALSC issues and concerns from the June 25 Leadership Meeting, including its discussion of the Division’s next strategic plan. Attendees agreed on the following priorities: advocacy, including advocacy for “digital citizenship,” diversity, and professional development. There was continuing discussion about the age range targeted by ALSC, particularly about whether ALSC does enough for the older children in that age range. This was followed by a selection of “Table Talks.” Chris summarized two talks she attended: one was a short primer on how to obtain a position on an ALSC Award Committee; the second was on how to chair a committee effectively.


The biggest news from Division Leadership was that five ALSC Committees (including CAL) are slated to go “all virtual.”  The Children & Libraries, Oral History, Managing Children’s Services, Arbuthnot, and Education committees will become the “Frontier Five,” all-virtual committees.  A Metamorphosis Task Force has been set up to assist with issues regarding the change. The group discussed this change; most were supportive, but there were reservations about the lack of funding for non-essential conference attendance and about the lack of networking opportunities that a live conference provides. Kay Weisman discussed the proposed process for going virtual and reported that CAL is tasked with re-examining the committee’s charge to see if any changes are necessary due to the new virtual status.


3. Report from the Children & Libraries editor, Sharon Verbeten, and discussion

Sharon shared a preview of the Winter 2011 edition.  She also gave the committee the list of manuscripts pending review, and advised members that we are in need of more “best practices” articles.  There was a general discussion of our “referreed” status and how widely the journal is indexed. Chris volunteered to find out how CAL appears in EBSCOHost and other databases—where it is indexed, whether it is listed as peer-reviewed, and what content is included (See update below). Sharon’s suggestion to add an icon to indicate which articles are peer-reviewed was welcomed. To celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Caldecott Award, Sharon suggested that we devote a themed issue of CAL in 2013 to Caldecott articles and features. Laura then shared the report she submitted to the ALSC Board of Directors on ALSC publications. The report highlighted CAL articles of the past year and the revamped online subscription page. She also reported that CAL’s Children and Technology column received the APEX Award, which is now posted on the journal’s web page.


4. Children and Libraries’ Facebook presence

As planned at the last meeting, Children and Libraries now appears on ALSC’s Facebook page, with a link to the journal’s web site and subscription information for ALSC members and non-members.  The CAL committee will attempt some cross-promotion with the ALSC Facebook page.


At this point ALSC president, Mary Fellows, joined the meeting to thank our committee for becoming a member of the Frontier Five.  She answered questions and shared the division leadership’s vision for the future of ALSC, emphasizing the hope that a move to more virtual opportunities will help to engage the newer/younger generation of incoming librarians.  The committee had many questions and Mary promised Chris a follow-up conference call in July or August and a liaison to help with any transition issues.


5. Future Directions: CAL online?

There was a lengthy discussion on the possibility of CAL becoming an online journal. It was noted that RUSA went online this year. Following up on this discussion from the Midwinter Meeting, Chris had contacted Laura and learned that this was already being discussed at the Division level and that it is a Division level decision. The committee’s idea of conducting a survey to determine enthusiasm (or lack thereof) for an online format is also being considered at the Division level. Laura will consult with the committee if and when a survey is developed.


6. Other issues?

The group discussed readership, and whether the journal is reaching all those who might find it useful.  Laura reported that there are approximately 3,000 ALSC members receiving CAL as a benefit of membership.  Approximately 300 people subscribe to CAL who are not ALSC members.  There was a question about an institutional rate for CAL without membership (so that smaller public and school libraries might subscribe without having to join ALA), and it was suggested that we check with Marsha Burgess on this matter.      


Minutes for the meeting will be posted on ALA Connect and it was decided that we, as a group, will attempt to conduct more business on ALA Connect.


Updates, as of July 19:

Laura: CAL will participate in Caldecott Award 75th Anniversary activities by devoting an issue of CAL to Caldecott themes some time in 2011. ALSC Caldecott Task Force will contribute ideas.

Chris: CAL is indexed extensively in general, education, and library science databases and includes full text in many sources. EBSCO and Wilson databases include indexing and full text from 2003. Images in EBSCO databases are in color. Proquest sources include indexing and full text from 2008. The journal is listed as peer-reviewed in the Serials Directory and in Ulrich’s.


Minutes: Lisa Taylor and Chris Desai, July 20, 2011