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RBMS Seminars Committee draft minutes, 2012 Annual


Please find draft minutes of the Seminars Committee meeting below.  Special thanks to Mattie Taormina for taking such great notes!

Draft Minutes of the Seminars Committee Meeting, RBMS
ALA Annual, Anaheim, CA

Members Present: Danielle Culpepper (Co-chair, Rare Book School), Aislin Sotelo (University of California, San Diego), Anne Bahde (Oregon State University), Mattie Taormina (Stanford University), Becky Fenning (Clark Library), Martha Lawler (Louisiana State University-Shreveport).

Members Absent: Laura Micham (Co-chair, Duke University), Donia Conn (NEDCC), Jackie Parascandola (Columbia University), Dennis Moser (University of Wyoming), Meg Meiman (University of Delaware), Jacqueline Parascandola (Columbia) , Jennifer Borderud (Baylor).

Guests: Gerald Cloud (UCLA), Heather Smedberg (UC San Deigo), Jessica Pigza (NYPL), Eva Guggemos (Pacific University), Jackie Dooley (OCLC Research), Jennifer Schaffner (OCLC Research), Juli McLoone (University of Texas-San Antonio), Meghan Constantinou (Grolier Club), Katie Henningsen (University of Kentucky), Rachel DiAgostino (Library Company of Philadelphia), Charlotte B. Brown (UCLA), Richenda Brim (Getty Research), Michael Inman (NYPL), Emily Epstein (Univ. of Colorado), Daryl Morrison (UC Davis), Jennifer Lowe (St. Louis University), Matthew Beacom (Yale).

1.  Call to order
Committee Co-Chair Danielle Culpepper called the meeting to order at 1:34 p.m. Danielle mentioned that Laura Micham was unable to attend the meeting.

2.  Select recorder for minutes
Mattie Taormina volunteered to take minutes.

3.  Introductions
Everyone went around the room and introduced themselves.

4.  Approval of minutes from January Midwinter meeting
The minutes from January ALA Midwinter were approved via email in February.

5. Changes in committee membership
Three members will rotate off the committee on July 1st: Martha Lawler, Donia Conn, and Meg Meiman. The new members of the committee will be: Gerald Cloud, Lara Friedman Shedlov, Mark Greenberg, and Melissa Nykanen. Danielle and Laura will remain Co-Chairs.

6.  Review of seminars presented at the 2012 RBMS preconference in San Diego
Danielle asked the committee and its guests for feedback on the seminars presented at the Preconference in San Diego. The general consensus of the group was that the seminar on Linked Data following the plenary on the same topic was a good idea. Generally, many attendees remarked how the preconference seminars were a good balance of topics and a nice mix between technology and traditional analog. One person remarked that a conference attendee told her that she felt the preconference’s content was “moving less and less away from the book every year.”  There seemed to be some interest in having a follow up to the seminar on collaboration in the future.

Many rooms had technical issues which caused minor frustrations and delays.  Culpepper reminded committee members that it is the duty of the seminar onsite coordinator, not of the panel moderator, to alert hotel AV technicians when something like that occurs. The seminar featuring the rare book dealers was well received.  The practice of panelists participating by phone received mixed reviews with some attendees remarking that it was jarring to have a disembodied voice “enter” the room.  Culpepper reminded the committee that fees for technology such as skype and phone conference call capability must be considered early on for seminars, even before ALA Midwinter.

7.  Report from the RBMS Preconference Program Planning Committee on the 2013 preconference in Minneapolis
James P. Ascher could not attend the meeting so his report would be delivered to all members on Sunday at the RBMS Information Exchange. The 2013 Preconference will take place in Minneapolis from June 23-27th.  ALA Annual meetings will begin on the 28th.  If the Technology Petting Zoo occurs again, it will be Sunday June 23rd. The new members and booksellers event will be on June 24th.  The Preconference will feature three plenaries and 9-10 seminars scattered throughout the days of June 24-26th, ending with workshops on the 27th.

8.  Discussion of proposed or potential seminars for RBMS 2013 preconference
Laura and Danielle put two Calls For Proposals out with a deadline of June 1, 2012.   Eleven proposals were submitted for consideration.   Danielle anticipated that there could be a few more ideas proposed at the committee meeting.  Danielle proposed that the committee discuss the merits of each proposal and then vote on the finalists on the wiki page during the month after the meeting.  By the end of July, it was hoped that the voting on sessions would have occurred with liaisons assigned to each seminar. Looking toward the fall schedule, Danielle also told members that they should expect to have a virtual meeting in the early fall, and an ACRL deadline by December for full titles, speaker names, and descriptions for seminars selected for 2013.

The following proposals were considered:

PROPOSAL 1: “Artist Books in the Ivory Tower”
Proposal submitted by Bruce Cammack

This seminar would examine artist books in an academic setting.   It would encompass input and discussion from individual stakeholders involved in the creation, distribution, acquisition, and use of artist books. The committee members thought this panel would build on the Researching Artists Books panel just held the day before.  A question arose of what this seminar teaches, since seminars serve a teaching function for the members. The committee felt this seminar needed further shaping as there should be a heavier focus on description and access to artists books.

PROPOSAL 2: “Bibliography in Action”
Proposal submitted by Gerald Cloud and Marcia Reed

This seminar will feature [3] speakers (ideally librarians, or scholar-fellows from Huntington, GRI, Clark) who are currently producing bibliographical scholarship in their local special collections library, which they in turn share with their faculty and students.  This seminar will bring in researchers who use collections and will teach the audience about what they do.  The seminar would be sponsored by the Bibliographical Society of America. BSA would like to integrate their programs with RBMS and thus, their involvement would bring in very high profile speakers. Sara Werner at the Folger Library was mentioned as a possible speaker but any other names for participation should be sent to Gerald Cloud.

PROPOSAL 3: “Cataloging Medieval Manuscripts”
Proposal submitted by Debra Cashion

The purpose of this seminar is to introduce librarians and collection managers to medieval manuscripts and discuss issues relevant to cataloging them. If you work with pre-modern manuscripts in any way, knowing how to catalog them is an important skill to develop. This seminar would be learning focused but is proposed as a one-presenter seminar. The quality of the speaker is quite high but the committee would like to see if she is open to adding other speakers as well, such as a preservation person. There was also a suggestion that this would like a workshop as it would be very difficult for the audience to do exercises if there were more than 50 people attending. The consensus was that this proposal would be more inclusive and manageable if it were opened up to other speakers. Danielle will check in with the proposer and will also check in with the RBMS workshops committee.

PROPOSAL 4: “Conservation and Curation in the Age of Offsite Storage: What does it mean for special collections librarians and conservators?”
Proposal submitted by Charlotte Priddle and Laura McCann

To discuss the issues at stake for curators and conservators with the rise in use of offsite storage facilities by special collections, and to provide insight into the ways in which colleagues have dealt and are dealing with such challenges. The committee liked the idea of this seminar as it fit nicely into the idea of collection maintenance.  The suggestions were to slightly alter the proposed participation format: 1/3 panelists and 2/3 audience feedback.  Maybe the addition of catalogers and reference archivists would also help augment the idea of this seminar.

PROPOSAL 5: “Diversity: A Strategy for Grant Success?”
Proposal submitted by the Diversity Committee (Michael Taylor and Juli McLoone)

As the United States becomes increasingly diverse and special collections libraries more inclusive, building, preserving, and providing access to collections that represent diverse social and cultural backgrounds has emerged an issue of high priority. The speakers in this seminar would be asked to discuss their success (or lack of success) in using diversity as leverage to make grant proposals stand out. The committee liked the idea of this panel as it meets the goals of highlighting diverse collections that many institutions have.  It is hoped that people would attend this seminar and leave with practical advice and ideas they could implement.  Possible speakers were discussed: A tribe in Minnesota which is working on a reformatting project; the Hill Museum, which received a Mellon grant for cataloging their Middle Eastern items; and the Minnesota Historical Society, which is working on digital repatriation. Thus, the committee concluded that they would like to see multiple strategies explored rather than just one use case discussed so that the seminar is not in danger of being a case study.  The committee also requested the title be reworked to better represent the content.

PROPOSAL 6: “Evaluating our Teaching: The next Step for Special Collections Instruction”
Proposal submitted by Sarah Horowitz

Teaching has become an important aspect of special collections librarianship over the past ten years as special collections have come to be described as the “laboratory of the humanities.”  Now that teaching has become such an integral part of special collections, how do we evaluate that teaching?  The committee thought this seminar would fit nicely with the Friday morning session in short papers on instruction. Additionally, the next issue of RBM will be focused solely on instruction assessment so having this seminar would be timely.

PROPOSAL 7: “ILL Prepared? How to Collaborate with Interlibrary Loan Librarians to Enhance Access to Special Collections”
Proposal submitted by Christian Dupont

The purpose of this seminar will be to show how some pioneering institutions have been using the new  ACRL/RBMS Guidelines for Interlibrary and Exhibition Loan of Special Collections Materials to transform their resource-sharing practices though programmatic collaboration between interlibrary loan and special collections librarians.  The seminar would help people decide on how to implement the new guidelines if they wish and would feature the opposite view as well. The committee thought it might be beneficial to round out the panel with a donor who might share their take on the idea of borrowing and loaning collections for research purposes.

PROPOSAL 8: “It Takes Two to make it Out of Sight:  Collaboration and Exhibit Development in Special Collections”
Proposal submitted by Jessica Lacher-Feldman

This RBMS seminar focuses on collaboration as a means to broaden and strengthen exhibit projects in Special Collections Libraries.  This seminar is being proposed as a one-speaker panel, with the speaker who has written a book on the topic.  The committee thought the title should be re-worked to make it more strongly allied with the seminar’s description. The title makes the seminar erroneously sound like it would be about hidden collections.  The seminar could also align itself with the ACRL/RBMS Guidelines For Interlibrary And Exhibition Loan Of Special Collections Materials.  Lastly, the committee wished to hear more voices on the topic: is collaborating worth the staff time or is it a time suck?

PROPOSAL 9: Monetizing Collections
Idea suggested by Jenny Lowe

The broad subject of this seminar would be monetizing collections. Some libraries have been successful at selling digital images from their collections, others at selling publications or keepsakes, whether on the web or on site. The seminar would present how different sizes of special collections departments and libraries approach these opportunities.  The committee thought of possible representatives for this seminar:  someone from a photography collection and an independent library or historical society.  The seminar would be useful for exploring work with outside vendors, associated costs, benefits, and what to avoid, while touching on marketing and branding aspects.  Both Rachel DiAgostino and Jennifer Schaffner offered to help pursue the seminar further.

PROPOSAL 10: “Progressing Primary Source Literacy: Guidelines, Standards, and Assessment”
Proposal submitted by Anne Bahde and Heather Smedberg

This seminar would bring together several people in the profession who are exploring ‘primary source literacy’ standards in theory or in practice. Presenters will discuss the ‘how and why’ of primary source literacy.  The thrust of this seminar is that ACRL standards don’t quite fit us and therefore the information we collect on this topic is flawed. Special Collections and archival literacy is separate and thus, it is hoped the seminar would start a conversation by asking questions about what standards are out there, do they fit us, and should we define our own.  It is the hope of the proposers that people would come away with some actionable items on the topic.

PROPOSAL 11: Repurposing Metadata
Proposal submitted by Susan Pyzynski

Cataloging trends such as More Product, Less Process (MPLP) have encouraged us to "lighten" our metadata and focus on faster cataloging to provide quicker access to our users.  But what does this trend in minimal cataloging mean in light of the digital humanities and open linked data? Can we identify what the characteristics are for reusable metadata in light of digital humanities and open linked data?  How might this affect our approach to cataloging projects, digitization projects, and grant projects? What is our responsibility in providing this type of metadata? The committee thought the seminar sounded promising but would like to see an archivist and possibly a reference voice added to potential panelists.

PROPOSAL 12: Collecting at the moment
Proposal submitted by Danielle Culpepper

With such recent current events as the firing of the University of Virginia President, 9/11, Occupy Movements, and Arab Spring, how do institutions document, save, and preserve current events, especially when those events are born through social networking sites? This seminar would highlight best practices.

PROPOSAL 13: Why are so many library degrees being granted?
Proposal submitted by Eva Guggemos

The library market has seen a spike of library graduates over the last couple of years with many of those graduates unable to secure library jobs due to the current market. What can we do to help this? Can we curb the number of graduates? Possible panelists could include a scholarship winner, a library school representative, someone who mentors library students, and a current library school graduate.

9.  Other business

There was no other business to discuss.

10.  Adjourn

The meeting adjourned at 3:39 p.m.