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CRS Annual 2011 Executive Committee minutes

CRS Executive Committee
Sunday, June 26, 2011
Hilton Riverside, Elmwood

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
  • Patrick Carr, College and Research Libraries IG
  • Heather Staines, Access to Continuing Resources IG
  • Christine Turner and Liz Babbitt, Electronic Resources IG
  • Jennifer Young, Continuing Resources Cataloging Committee
  • Kurt Blythe, Education, Research, and Publications Coordinating Committee
  • Denise Novak, Nominating Committee
  • Julia McGinnis, Policy & Planning Committee
  • Linda Smith-Griffin, rep to NASIG
  • Cynthia Whitacre, ALCTS President and Betsy Simpson, ALCTS President-Elect, guests

CRS welcome and introductions (Paul Moeller)

  • 2011 Midwinter Meeting minutes were approved and have been made public on the Executive Committee's Connect space and on the ALCTS website.

ALCTS Board Report highlights from Saturday meeting (Paul Moeller)

  • From Betsy Simpson: Division-level and most section-level appointments are done. The focus of her tenure will be advocacy and what that means for ALCTS, examining the appropriate role of ALCTS in supporting and developing standards, and promoting an understanding of the value of librarianship and the role of ALCTS.
  • From Mary Case: Alice Platt will be the new editor for ANO. The ALCTS Nominating Committee is seeking ALCTS-level nominations and people to run for ALA Council.
  • From Charles Wilt: ALCTS has been a big user of ALA Connect relative to other divisions. ALCTS is beginning a process of moving information from web pages to Connect in order to transition into a more flexible web space. Membership is up in total numbers and across all sections, but down in institutional memberships, so income is down overall. Registered attendance as of Friday was around 10,000, down slightly from the previous year but not unexpected because New Orleans is not a big regional draw. Overall, the ALCTS budget is in an acceptable position, due in large part to the role of continuing education webinars. The webinar calendar is booked for the remainder of the calendar year, so those interested in developing a webinar should plan for spring. Traffic to the ALCTS website is up to approximately 7,700 hits for the previous six-week period; this usage is largely attributed to interest in webinars and forums.
  • Attendance at Spectrum and ALCTS 101 activities was robust this year. The incremental Reshaping process is underway, and several changes are already in effect. The Interest Group Coordinator has been doing outreach to interest group chairs. The Collection Management and Development Section (CMDS) was renamed the Collection Management Section (CMS) and some of its committees were reconstituted as interest groups. The Council of Regional Groups (CRG)is being disbanded and will be reformed as a division-level committee. The Cataloging and Classification Section (CCS) is changing its name to Cataloging and Metadata Management Section (CaMMS) to reflect the increasing scope of members' knowledge and job responsibilities beyond traditional cataloging and classification.
  • The Board discussed proposed changes to the conference schedule and ways to better accommodate virtual members. The GoToMeeting platform currently used for webinars can be used to support virtual meetings and committee work. The Board discussed a possible shift toward making Annual the first meeting of the committee cycle in order to improve the climate for groups that wish to meet virtually in lieu of attending Midwinter. The challenges inherent in convening a committee virtually – particularly one whose members are unknown to each other – have limited the efficacy of virtual participation and slowed the momentum of some committees. A shifted cycle would enable groups to convene in person at the better-attended Annual meeting and have their activities well underway for a virtual Midwinter meeting. A Virtual Participation Task Force will be looking at what support is available now and what needs to be done in the future. In the meantime, members are free to experiment with different approaches, bearing in mind that there may not be official support at this time.
  • Overall ALA membership is down about 1%. Total attendance at Annual is around 19,000, down from around 23,000 at the previous conference but about what was expected for this location. The virtual town hall had around 500 attendees. Planners were encouraged by this level of attendance and may repeat this approach at future conferences. LITA has posted draft guidelines for streaming meetings. Meetings are very different from programs with respect to broadcasting and recording. Issues to consider include confidentiality, alerting participants that the meeting is being broadcast, and having guidelines for when conversations need to be moved to a closed session.

Announcements from the ALCTS President (Cynthia Whitacre and Betsy Simpson)

  • The ALCTS Board will be voting on the new strategic plan at their Monday meeting and discussing implementation. Section-level planning committees should be looking at how to implement and ensuring that they have good communication with their representative to the ALCTS Planning Committee.
  • Other issues pending before the ALCTS Board:
    • Virtual participation/virtual membership: The ALCTS Board is considering ways to facilitate virtual participation and virtual groups.
    • Publications: This is not an area of strength or a major revenue stream for ALCTS. The Board will be looking at potential improvements to the ALCTS publishing process.
    • Transforming Collections Task Force: This task force is an offshoot of ALA's “transforming libraries” goal. Its scope is intentionally broad so that it can encompass many exploratory areas such as ebooks, digitization, floating collections, etc. The group has brainstormed a variety of ideas for how to support and encourage the “transforming collections” idea and welcomes feedback from the membership regarding priorities and themes.
  • Linda Smith-Griffin inquired about the role of advocacy in ALCTS. Betsy Simpson acknowledged that this issue was touched on in the “Reshaping ALCTS” survey results, and the Board is exploring the concept further because there are potentially many different things that advocacy could mean.
  • Paul Moeller brought up ongoing questions about the program development process, including whether the online form takes the place of any kind of paper process. Cynthia Whitacre indicated that the program committee can also take ideas more informally. Connie Foster mentioned that the form seems to be asking for the Program Committee chair's contact information, rather than the submitter's contact information – this and other areas of the form may still be confusing to potential submitters. Paul Moeller and Connie Foster also mentioned a potential area of confusing on the proposed conference schedule changes. The Monday afternoon time block for Midwinter is designated “program” when in fact this is the meeting of the ALCTS Program Committee.
  • Betsy Simpson mentioned that the Leadership Development Committee is putting together an orientation for incoming committee and interest group chairs. This orientation will include new leader information that used to be delivered as an in-person program but is now being converted into a webinar. The webinar is expected to be delivered a couple of times live, and will also be recorded for future reference. ALCTS plans to make this webinar free and openly available; the content may be ready as early as this fall.
  • Christine Turner raised questions about interest group affiliations under the Reshaping plan: Is it the intention to move interest groups from the section level to the division level? Who should be the primary contact for interest group chairs? What happens going forward? Cynthia Whitacre emphasized that it is up to each individual interest group to determine what its preferred affiliation is, and this connection can be as strong or as weak as the interest group desires. The role of the ALCTS-level Interest Group Coordinator is not to supervise or direct the interest groups, but to facilitate their process, answer their questions, and head off potential duplication among interest groups across the division. Paul Moeller added that the ALCTS leadership doesn't want to create a lot of boundaries for the interest groups. It is perfectly normal for interest group ideas to cross sections or even divisions; if an interest group feels it is in the wrong place, it can request a change. Christine Turner suggested that the new leader training emphasize that interest groups should focus on the content they want to deliver and not worry too much about affiliation.

CRS general discussion (Paul Moeller)

  • Conference scheduling: The current schedule is difficult for officers; they have many commitments, some of them conflicting. There is good support for having all CRS committees meeting at the same time, with the Executive Committee meeting immediately afterward. Some members may be able to reduce the amount of time they spend at the conference. Meg Mering expressed frustration that the new committee chair orientation is at the same time as the all-committee meeting, such that the incoming chair is not hearing issues from committees first-hand. Paul Moeller agreed that there are inevitably going to be conflicts but that a more compact schedule might help minimize them.
  • ALCTS strategic plan: The strategic plan that was distributed for member review is expected to be ratified by the Board, and CRS needs to be looking at how to implement it. Areas to consider include how to sustain a vibrant membership base through marketing campaigns and outreach, and how to encourage robust attendance and feedback for ALCTS-sponsored events at conference and online. Experimentation is welcome, and the ALCTS leadership is looking for best practices to emerge. Members, committees, and interest groups were again encouraged to consider how their content might work as a webinar or preconference, and how to extend the life of well-received program events through webinars or e-forums.

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

  • Officers
    • Meg Mering, Chair-Elect: Meg Mering and incoming Chair-Elect Jacquie Samples attended ALCTS 101. During the round robin session, it was apparent that many people had aspects of their work that related to continuing resources, but seldom their full job. As of the Annual meeting, all committee appointments were made and Meg Mering will be arranging which groups each member-at-large will be a liaison to.
  • Interest Group Chairs
    • Patrick Carr for Beth Bernhardt, College and Research Libraries IG: The IG's program was occurring simultaneously with the Executive Committee meeting, so there was nothing program-related to report. Patrick Carr has been working with outgoing chair Beth Bernhardt to get oriented.
    • Heather Staines, Access to Continuing Resources IG: The IG's program was scheduled for later in the day, so there was nothing program-related to report. The IG has been discussing how best to disseminate event information, since IG events are publicized differently than formal programs. This IG typically alternates the chair position between a librarian and a vendor; Anneliese Taylor is the incoming chair.
    • Christine Turner, Electronic Resources IG: The IG held a web-scale discovery forum centering around concerns about integrating the catalog into discovery services. Attendance was lower than anticipated (approx. 40 attendees). Possible reasons for lower-than-expected attendance include the event location, overlap with similar programs, and/or the timing of publicity. The IG felt that there were many fruitful avenues for future discussion in this area.
  • Committee Chairs
    • Denise Novak for Clint Chamberlain, Acquisitions Committee: The committee is putting forward a program about decoupling the Big Deal, and plans to moderate an e-forum to generate interest. Rob Van Rennes is the incoming chair.
    • Jennifer Young, Continuing Resources Cataloging Committee: The CRCC forum is held on Monday, so the committee has nothing program-related to report. They anticipate a lively program addressing PIE-J and RDA.
    • Kurt Blythe, Education, Research, and Publications Coordinating Committee: One long-outstanding publication is still outstanding, and the Committee is considering what to do about it. As of the Executive Committee meeting, the ALCTS Publications Committee had not yet met.
    • Heather Staines for Julie Su, Committee on Holdings Information: The committee's program addressed universal holdings and repurposing holdings information. Attendance was estimated at about 60. The committee is still discussing topics for Midwinter.
    • Denise Novak, Nominating Committee: Denise Novak suggested having a checklist of Nominating Committee functions and requirements.
    • Julia McGinnis, Policy & Planning Committee: The committee will be comparing the CRS organization with CMS and PARS and how this group fits with the new strategic plan to determine if any changes are needed. The committee is hoping to accomplish much of its investigative work during the fall, discuss its findings at Midwinter, and identify future directions early in the year so that CRS committees will be able to discuss those directions at Annual.
  • Representatives
    • Linda Smith-Griffin, rep to NASIG: The NASIG conference was held June 2-5. Steve Shadle is the current President; Bob Boissy is the President-Elect. NASIG has been encouraging brainstorming on its name, role, and mission.