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2013 Annual Meeting Minutes - RBMS Seminars Committee

RBMS Seminars Committee Meeting

ALA Annual 2013 - Chicago

Saturday, June 29th, 1-2:30 pm and 3:00-400pm

Hyatt Regency Chicago-Columbus CD


Attending: Laura Micham (Duke), Danielle Culpepper (Rare Book School), Meghan Constantinou (Grolier club), Katie Henningsen (University of Puget Sound), Matthew Beacom (Yale), Jennifer Schaffner (OCLC Research), Jackie Dooley (OCLC Research), Alex Johnston (University of Delaware), Nicole Bouché (University of Virginia), Jennifer Lowe (Saint Louis University), Sarah Horowitz (Augustana College), Juli McLoone (UT San Antonio), Anne Bahde (Oregon State), Lara Friedman-Shedlov (University of Minnesota), Heather Smedberg (UC San Diego), Jennifer Borderud (Baylor University, via phone), Katharine Chandler (Free Library of Philiadelphia), Aislinn Sotelo (UC San Diego), Scott Carlisle (Princeton), Jessica Holada (Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences), Richenda Brim (Getty)


I. Those attending the meeting introduced themselves. Horowitz volunteered to be the recorder.


II. Chairs Culpepper and Micham introduced the incoming co-chairs of the committee, Smedberg and Borderud.


III. The chairs asked for general comments on the 2013 seminars. Lowe said that she wished she had been able to attend seminars scheduled at the same time as hers. Micham replied that scheduling is a continuous problem, especially since seminars, which are designed to have a teaching component, are often important in arguing for funding to attend RBMS. Bahde noted that all the seminars she saw were well-attended, and many were full. Dooley noted that the evaluation of teaching seminar was spectacular.


Culpepper thanked Bouché for going ahead with the collecting in the moment seminar when non-UVA presenters dropped out. Micham reminded everyone that having a back-up plan is always a good idea.


Culpepper and Micham also reminded everyone that seminars have an educational component, and that this should be conveyed to all speakers. This gives them a cohesive identity and separates them from talks. Micham noted that the ideal is to get speakers to a place where everything is spontaneous and where they are comfortable with each other, through conference calls, etc. Bahde noted that she and Smedberg started talking with their panel in January, and hoped that this had led to a cohort among the presenters.  


Smedberg read the charge to the committee. Lowe asked whether there was anything written that specified the 90 minute time-frame with three speakers. Micham said that it was not codified, and that this had been different over the years, but that it was important for seminars to be multi-institutional and multi-perspective.


Culpepper asked what challenges organizers had faced. Bahde mentioned the lack of funding for seminars speakers. Micham reminded everyone that non-librarians can have their one-day attendance comped. Lowe and McLoone both said that this can present challenges, partly because of how ACRL defines “librarian.”


Culpepper also asked about the two seminars on assessment, and how those had gone. Bahde indicated that the organizers had kept in contact throughout the year, and that they ended up being very complementary. Horowitz concurred. McLoone also thought they were complementary, and was pleased with the opportunity for consecutive training. Schaffner suggested that the timing was right for this topic, which made having the two seminars possible. 


IV. Proposals for 2014 seminars were presented; Culpepper and Micham distributed copies of the proposals they had received. Micham asked Brim if the conference committee had decided on the number of slots for seminars. Brim said 7-9, but not yet definite. Culpepper stated that the committee is open to new ideas, in addition to those already sent in.


Crowdsourcing in Special Collections

Horowitz presented a proposal for a seminar on crowdsourcing, noting that this is a timely topic and came up in one of the discussion sessions at RBMS. Friedman-Shedlov thought this was a good idea. Bouché noted that it goes well with a discussion about the changing needs for space which came up in the conference programming committee earlier. Lowe said that it would appeal to archivists and historical societies. Sotelo mentioned that Berkeley has a project. Henningsen suggested that having a faculty member who had used a crowdsourcing project with students might be interesting. Bahde suggested including a presentation on crowdsourcing bibliographic information, which would dovetail with another seminar proposal (see below). Bouché said that it might be interesting to hear about how we can avail ourselves of current crowdsourcing tools such as Librarything. Bahde mentioned Zotero as another possible crowdsourcing option.


Professional development for the contemporary special collections professional

Henningsen presented a proposal on professional development from the Membership and Professional Development committee. The panel would consist of two administrators with special collections backgrounds, a person relatively new to the field, and a library educator. Friedman-Shedlov asked if there could be a connection with the revised core competencies for special collections librarians. Culpepper stated that the timelines are different, but Henningsen pointed out that the panel might influence the competencies, and wondered if we could follow the seminar with a discussion session. Culpepper noted that this format has been done before. Schaffner noted that it can be hard to get an emerging professional to speak. Smedberg wondered what angle or vision the committee was hoping the administrators would provide. Henningsen answered what they look for while hiring and how their career has gone. Bahde wondered if one administrator would be enough, and Culpepper recommended keeping a close watch on time if there are four speakers. Smedberg suggested Lisa Carter at Ohio State might be a good speaker, and Sotelo recommended E.C. Schroeder at the Beineke.


The Reinvention of the library catalog, yesterday, today, and tomorrow

Sotelo presented a proposal on the past, present, and future of library catalogs on behalf of the Bibliographic Standards Committee. The panel would include one person presenting historical information; Eric Miller, co-founder and president of Zepheira, which is developing BIBFRAME with LC; and one speaker on the principles and future of rare materials cataloging, perhaps including digital humanities. The hope is that the seminar would draw public services librarians as well as catalogers. Bahde asked if there were ideas for other speakers. Sotelo said it was still up in the air, and that it might be possible to fold the historical person into the moderator’s role, thus leaving more time for questions.  Friedman-Shedlov asked whether archival materials would be included. Sotelo said that since the proposal comes from Bib Standards, it probably won’t. Schaffner said that Miller is such a strong speaker that this could be a potential plenary. She also noted that the future includes EAD and Dublin Core, so perhaps a speaker could address those.


Special Collections Internships

Culpepper presented on behalf of Mark Peterson, who could not attend. Culpepper asked the committee whether they thought it could be done in a meaningful way and fleshed out. Henningsen wondered what the population of interns in question was – undergraduates or library school students? She thought it might be a good follow-up to the set of papers on undergraduates in special collections presented a few years ago. Friedman-Shedlov mentioned the importance of properly managing academic credit for internships. Bouché noted that there have been legal issues surrounding internships in the news recently. She also mentioned that UVA has a rule that interns can’t do something that you are also paying people to do. Lowe thought this was a great topic, and mentioned that Yale has an intern program. Bahde commented that this has an assessment angle: internships are experiential learning, and how do we set learning objectives for and evaluate that? Dooley noted that there is new federal legislation about internships. Micham noted that this seminar does not have an organizer, so someone from the room would need to take the lead if it goes forward. 


Patron-Driven Processing Priorities

Micham presented a proposal on patron-driven processing on behalf of Elizabeth Slomba. The potential presenters are Slomba, Susan Potts McDonald, and Pam Hackbart-Dean. Micham noted that she knows the presenters and thinks this would be a very strong seminar. Culpepper said that it might make a nice tie to the crowdsourcing seminar. Bahde noted that there were many positive comments about the mix of archives and rare books sessions at the 2013 conference, and that this seminar would help with that for 2014. Schaffner wondered whether rare books might be included in the seminar, as well. McLoone stated that the question of publicizing published materials could be added to the questions speakers were asked to address.


X-Rated Collections

Micham presented a proposal on X-rated collections on behalf of Meghan Lyon. She noted that Lyon has done a seminar before, and that this is an important topic. The seminar would address framing the collections for student assistants and interns and demands from researchers. Both Micham and Culpepper noted that they thought the proposal could benefit from a greater educational component. Micham said that the organizer was looking for someone who might be able to speak about these issues from a public services perspective. Horowitz suggested that the Kinsey Institute might have someone. Bahde noted that since the conference is in Las Vegas, this is the perfect time to do such a seminar. She also thought it might be interesting to have a speaker whose beliefs made their work with such collections difficult. Smedberg noted that we should be thoughtful of the title. Schaffner said that there is a strong bookselling tradition of working with these types of materials, and wondered if one of them would be a potential speaker. Lowe suggested Bolerium, Micham suggested Garrett Scott. Beacom said that a scholar using such materials might bring an interesting perspective.


Diversity Seminar

McLoone presented a proposal from the Diversity Committee. They are interested in either a seminar dealing with uncovering diversity in the archives or collecting diversity in the 1960s/Civil Rights era, to tie into the conference theme of back to the 1960s. Bouché wondered if there is a theme yet for the 2015 preconference, which will be in Berkeley and might be a good fit for social protest. Micham said that no theme has been chosen. Schaffner noted that it would be hard to go overboard on Civil Rights. Smedberg suggested that the seminar could cover more contemporary aspects, as well as the 1960s (and encompass other 60’s era social movements in addition to the Civil Rights Movement, e.g. women’s movement, gay rights etc.). Culpepper suggested that we could go ahead with the civil rights idea, as there will be more good ideas next year. 


V. Open Discussion of Other Ideas

Culpepper announced that the committee would consider any ideas from the floor. Schaffner stated that while she was thrilled at the robustness of the proposals, there were some gaps: teaching, born-digital, collecting, donor relations, the relationship between general and special collections, permanent identifiers. Sotelo noted that the last had come up at Bib Standards, but that they did not think they were ready to present a seminar on this. She also noted that digital curation keeps coming up, and might be a topic. Culpepper asked if she had ideas for speakers, and Sotelo said she would look into it. Henningsen noted that someone from a small institution should be represented on the panel. Dooley said that someone from OCLC could participate. Bahde asked if someone was proposing this formally, and the room seemed to think it was a strong candidate.


Constantinou wondered if a seminar on the challenges of publishing, tenure, etc. might be valuable. Chandler noted that at music librarian conferences they have CV reviews, mock interviews, and other services. Bahde noted that something like that could make a strong workshop perhaps more so than a seminar.


Smedberg proposed that a seminar based on the metrics and assessment task force would be interesting. Schaffner noted that there is a long tradition of publicizing the results of task forces through seminars. Smedberg will encourage the task force to submit an idea soon.


Smedberg asked for public services ideas. Schaffner brought up seamless search. Horowitz suggested collaboration between special collections and other librarians, with both appearing on the panel. Henningsen said that this had come up at the Membership and Professional Development committee. Lowe suggested a seminar dealing with successful assignments for teaching undergraduates. Beacom said that Kevin Gotkin from Penn might be a good potential speaker for this. Schaffer mentioned that Mike Kelly at Amherst has an arrangement with former special collections workers who now work at the college in other capacities about use of materials.


VI. Timelines and Deadlines

Culpepper noted that after roster changes are finalized, the committee would vote, probably in August. Liaisons from the committee would then be assigned to each seminar organizer. Traditionally, there has been a virtual meeting in the fall, since ACRL has deadlines for titles and speakers between Thanksgiving and Christmas.


VII. Wiki

Micham said that ALA is getting rid of its wikis, so the committee’s will disappear soon. The committee must decide what to save and what to use next. Culpepper reminded the committee that this did not have to be ALA Connect. Smedberg asked whether anyone had experience with ALA Connect. Sotelo said that Bib Standards uses it for voting, but not collaborative work; Friedman-Shedlov said that she finds it clunky and thought that Google Docs might work better for collaborative work.


IX. Bahde thanked Culpepper and Micham for their service as chairs. 


X. Adjournment.