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CRS Midwinter 2012 Executive Committee minutes

CRS Executive Committee
Saturday, January 21, 2012
10:00-noon
Omni, Dallas A

In attendance:

  • Meg Mering, Chair
  • Jacquie Samples, Chair-Elect
  • Paul Moeller, Past Chair
  • Anne Mitchell, Secretary
  • Eugene Dickerson, Member-at-Large
  • Bonnie Parks, Member-at-Large
  • Sion Romaine, Member-at-Large
  • Patrick Carr, College and Research Libraries IG
  • Robert Van Rennes, Acquisitions Committee
  • Jennifer Young, Continuing Resources Cataloging Committee
  • Mavis Molto for Kurt Blythe, Education, Research, and Publications Coordinating Committee
  • Heather Staines, Committee on Holdings Information
  • Connie Foster, Nominating Committee
  • Erin Leach, Policy & Planning Committee
  • Naomi Young for Charlene Chou, Standards Committee
  • Selina Lin, First Step Award Jury
  • Shana McDanold, rep to ALCTS Organization & Bylaws Committee
  • Betsy Simpson, ALCTS President and Carolynne Myall, ALCTS President-Elect, guests

Interim business (Meg Mering)

  • Meg Mering recapped business that the Executive Committee completed since the previous conference:
    • minutes from the 2011 Annual Conference were approved
    • approved the Nominating Committee’s slate of candidates
    • approved a change to the First Step Award criteria removing the requirement that applicants have not previously attended an ALA Annual Conference
    • approved the Ulrichs Serials Librarianship Award winner and the First Step Award winner recommended by the respective award juries

Announcements from the ALCTS President (Betsy Simpson and Carolynne Myall)

  • Betsy Simpson began with an update from the ALCTS Board. She recapped the changes that ALCTS has made thus far based on the Reshaping ALCTS survey:
    • published its “strategic issues” document
    • revamped the conference schedule
    • appointed an Interest Group Coordinator to facilitate IG activities across the division
    • converted CRG into the Affiliate Relations Committee
    • restructured CMS and PARS

    A section review process is imminent. CaMMS will be the first section to undergo review. The Organization & Bylaws Committee will be publishing a 5-year schedule for section review.

  • Priorities for ALCTS based on the Reshaping survey are virtual participation, advocacy, and standards. A task force to examine advocacy in the ALCTS context is being chaired by Mary Beth Weber and is expected to complete its report by Annual 2012. ALCTS publication activities are also a priority, although not one that emerged from the Reshaping survey. A task force to review and recommend future directions for ALCTS Publishing is being chaired by Mary Case and is also expected to complete its report by Annual 2012. A search is underway to fill the LRTS editor position following Peggy Johnson's retirement; the Board hopes to have someone in place by June so they can overlap with Peggy.
  • Leadership succession planning is a significant issue for the division. Carolynne Myall reminded all present to recruit and/or recommend volunteers. ALCTS has a commitment to find a place for capable volunteers, although new volunteers cannot be guaranteed their first preference of committee assignment. A discussion followed regarding rules about committee interns. Meg Mering sought clarification on whether internships are one-time assignments or if an individual can have successive intern assignments. Carolynne Myall thought that interns who perform well should receive full committee assignments, but that intern positions might occasionally be the only appointments available. She added that some people are willing to accept intern assignments on committees of significant interest that seldom have full appointments open. Paul Moeller suggested that someone with previous committee experience might be assigned an intern position if they return from a prolonged absence or take on new responsibilities in a different area, or even occupy a full committee position and an intern position simultaneously. This type of dual appointment technically isn't supposed to happen, but Jacquie Samples pointed out that if the two committees were in different sections, neither appointing officer would be aware of the other appointment. Betsy Simpson and Carolynne Myall indicated that ALCTS is moving toward single appointments in order to involve as many volunteers as possible. Those present agreed that single appointments were a more beneficial goal than merely enforcing an arbitrary rule about who may hold an intern position, and that this objective should be made clear to volunteers and appointing officials.
  • Paul Moeller asked if there had been any movement on streaming the CRCC forum, a request that CRS has raised repeatedly with the ALCTS Board. Betsy Simpson indicated that with the growing emphasis on virtual participation, there is widespread interest in broadcasting sessions. PARS anticipated piloting a streamed forum at the Midwinter meeting as part of an Emerging Leaders proposal, but the financial and technological infrastructure for providing this service on a larger scale is not yet in place. This has been a problem for virtual committee participation as well. Shana McDanold indicated that the ALCTS Organization & Bylaws committee had planned to conduct their meeting via Skype but found that wifi didn't extend to the assigned meeting room. Meeting room amenities can be unpredictable from conference to conference, and committee chairs don't know in advance what the situation will be. Betsy Simpson brought up the changing expectations for virtual participation. Virtual membership used to be conducted by email and phone, but there is an increasing expectation that virtual participation will be synchronous. She stressed that all of ALA is looking at this issue, not just ALCTS, but that Charles Wilt was working on how to address the unpredictability of resources at the meeting site.
  • Meg Mering mentioned the scheduling changes being considered at the ALA executive level. Based on feedback about program length that ALA has gathered from surveys and focus groups, the proposal is to do away with 2- and 4-hour program blocks and disallow back-to-back meetings so that all scheduled programs are 90 minutes or less, beginning in 2013. Under the proposed plan, sessions could be as short as 30 minutes. Meg remarked that she doesn't want to spend as long getting to a meeting as attending the meeting. Betsy Simpson added that Charles Wilt was looking at potential ways to bypass the restrictions, but work-arounds could be problematic. The proposal primarily addresses programs; business entities such as boards, MARBI, and CC:DA would be exempt from the changes.
  • At the time of the conference, the long-anticipated ALCTS website migration to a Drupal platform was expected for early February; this migration has now taken place.

CRS General Discussion (Meg Mering)

  • Meg Mering shared a few more items from the ALCTS Board Report, including an announcement of a memorial resolution honoring longtime ALCTS member D. Whitney Coe and a proposal from Division Councilor Brian Schottlaender to move the Print Archive Network under the auspices of ALCTS. Because it is an election year, the Board reminded members that lobbying for political candidates is not allowed in any ALA medium (e.g., discussion lists) because of ALA's tax exempt status.
  • There was continued discussion of ALCTS demographics and leadership development. Connie Foster pointed out that, as with the committee appointment process, there is not a surfeit of nominees for elected positions at the section level. ALCTS gets first refusal on candidates, and there is competition for candidates with ALCTS and among sections. ALCTS and CRS demographics skew overwhelmingly in favor of academic libraries. Meg Mering reports that 35% of ALCTS members belong only to ALCTS, 48% belong to both ALCTS and ACRL, and just 13% belong to both ALCTS and PLA. The ALCTS Board currently has three vendor members and no public library members. ALCTS and CRS are interested in promoting more public library involvement. Paul Moeller indicated that a Public Library IG has emerged and the CRS chairs have actively sought to appoint public library volunteers to committee positions. T. J. Kao, the intern on the Continuing Resources Cataloging Committee, is from a public library in Oregon. Nonetheless, public libraries are still underrepresented, largely due to factors outside ALCTS' control such as travel funding. Naomi Young suggested that many public librarians are more likely to be involved in their state library associations. Jacquie Samples agreed that recruiting public library participants to ALCTS and CRS might require a more focused and proactive approach.
  • Paul Moeller asked the committee chairs about their virtual participation experiences. Committees with long-standing virtual participants reported reasonably good outcomes, but synchronous participation of virtual members with in-person meetings is perennially difficult because of factors like acoustics and cellular signals. Jacquie Samples and Shana McDanold raised the issue that the technology limitations are sometimes on the remote end, as virtual participants may lack the technology or permissions to use solutions like Google+ Hangouts from their workplaces. Naomi Young added that while ALA provides services such as dial-in web conferencing that could potentially be used to support virtual participation, most ordinary members and committee chairs aren’t aware of them. Jacquie Samples offered to summarize the available tools and report back to the group. Shana McDanold and Meg Mering mentioned that soft skills as well as technology are necessary for productive virtual communication, whether in a meeting or a classroom situation. These skills include as managing multiple input streams like chat and phone conversations, clearly documenting expectations and action items, and establishing rapport and feedback within the group in the absence of visual cues. Jacquie Samples will take this issue back to the ALCTS Continuing Education Committee.
  • The final planned discussion topic was standards: whether ALCTS is covering standards sufficiently, how the ALCTS structure helps or hinders involvement in standards activities, and what more ALCTS can do to support members engaged in standards work. Some sections (esp. CaMMS, CRS, PARS) have very active standards committees. Other sections do not, but the absence of a standards committee doesn’t mean there aren’t standards relevant to their interests. Naomi Young wondered whether organizations like NISO would be receptive to ALCTS recommending qualified people to serve on standards groups and/or respond to requests for feedback. At present, the process for raising questions or concerns about standards is not well understood. If ALCTS’ relationship with standards organizations was more formal, issues would be less likely to fall through the cracks. It might also be helpful for ALCTS to maintain a standards page listing the standards relevant to each section. Such a resource could acclimate new members to the standards jargon as well as fuel discussion within ALCTS about why these standards are relevant to our practice. In the past, standards activity within CRS has primarily revolved around forums, but perhaps more could be done in the area of tracking standards and generating continuing education. Jacquie Samples reminded the group that Nancy Kraft is now the NISO liaison.
  • Robert Van Rennes expressed concern about topical and speaker overlap between the upcoming Acquisitions Committee program on the “big deal” and a College & Research Libraries Interest Group discussion at Midwinter. Patrick Carr added that the IG might have geared its session differently had the planners been aware that the Acquisitions Committee had a similar program coming forward. Meg Mering felt that modest overlap even at the same conference can be beneficial, as interested attendees might be able to get to one meeting time but not another, but acknowledged the problem of coordination between formal programs and more spontaneous IG discussions. Gene Dickerson suggested that there might be a role for the IG Coordinator in sharing information about evolving IG programming with the Program Committee and vice versa. Heather Staines suggested that a couple of mid-year conference calls for all the committee and interest group chairs would improve opportunities for cooperation within the section.

Reports and action items

  • Officers
    • Meg Mering, Chair – Meg will arrange a conference call for committee chairs for mid-spring.
    • Jacquie Samples, Chair-Elect – Jacquie urged all present to volunteer and encourage others to volunteer.
  • Interest Groups
    • Patrick Carr, College and Research Libraries IG – The interest group sponsored a session at the Midwinter Meeting titled “Discontinuing Big Deal Publisher Packages: Perspectives and Processes.” The session was held from 8:30-10AM on Sunday, January 22 2012 in the Dallas Convention Center room 227. The session featured two 25 minute presentations: "Big Deals: Where Do We Go from Here?" by Beth Bernhardt, Electronic Resources Librarian at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro; and "Leaving the Big Deal: The University of Oregon Experience" David Fowler, Head, Licensing, Grants Administration & Collection Analysis at the University of Oregon. Following the presentations, the presenters addressed questions and comments from attendees. The sign-in sheet indicated a total of 54 attendees (the actual turn-out was significantly higher – closer to 75 – because some attendees did not enter a name on the sign in sheet). Carr received a number of positive comments about how useful and engaging the session was. Following the session, the presentation slides were posted on ALA Connect and session attendees were notified of this via email.
  • Committee Chairs
    • Robert Van Rennes, Acquisitions Committee – The Committee discussed and worked out the details to their upcoming program, "Ending the Big Deal: Truth and Consequences" for next year's Annual Conference in Anaheim. All indications are that the program is on track. In addition the Committee brainstormed ideas for programming in 2013. A tentative topic of consortial e-book purchasing was agreed upon by the members and potential speakers, including vendor and consortia representatives, were discussed.
    • Jennifer Young, Continuing Resources Cataloging Committee – The Committee has continued to provide feedback on several proposals concerning RDA via the CRS rep to CC:DA, Adolfo Tarango. The Committee’s popular Midwinter Update Forum focused on a demo of VTLS software and a discussion of several CC:DA proposals concerning RDA.
    • Mavis Molto for Kurt Blythe, Education, Research, and Publications Coordinating Committee – The committee is working on updates to the syllabus for serials cataloging that is posted on the ALCTS website. The Guide to Managing Microforms manuscript has been revised, and the committee is waiting to hear back from the ALCTS Publications Committee on whether the manuscript will go forward or if a new proposal is needed.
    • Heather Staines, Committee on Holdings Information – The committee is working with the Standards Committee for the first time to plan a program: Discovering and Cataloging Repositories and Unique Collections.
    • Christopher Walker, Ulrich’s Serials Librarianship Award Jury – The Jury selected a winner; the selection was approved by the necessary Executive Committee and Board; the winner and sponsor have been notified; and the Jury will next draft a press release.
  • Representatives
    • Felicity Dykas, rep to ALCTS Program Committee – The committee is meeting twice at the Midwinter conference to meet with program planners for ALA Annual 2012. The Program Committee also oversees virtual preconferences; there are two scheduled for June 2012. At the annual conference the Program Committee will meet with those who are proposing programs and preconferences for Annual 2013. Please think of ideas and submit them. The Program Committee helps planners through the process. The online submission form can be found on the ALCTS website.
    • Shana McDanold, rep to ALCTS Organization & Bylaws Committee – The committee has been working with CaMMS bylaws changes and working out the schedule for section reviews. The committee has had to alter the section review schedule because of the recent restructuring.