All, the note below was sent to ACRL president Lauren Pressley, ACRL 2021 committee chair Beth McNeil, and ACRL ED Mary Ellen Davis. I copied Jose and Jackie as well as ACRL president-elect Karen Munro, incoming ACRL president-elect Jon Cawthorne, and two ACRL staff who work closely with the coordinating committee, Margot Conahan and Tori Ondrla.Lauren, Beth, and Mary Ellen,
I missed the transition meeting for the 2021 ACRL coordinating committee today thanks to a scheduling mix-up in my calendar, but Jose Aguinaga was in attendance. From what I heard from him, there is no one from community colleges on the 2021 committee.
Community college library worker attendance at and participation in the ACRL nation conference is a situation that CJCLS is deeply interested in improving. At our executive committee meeting this morning, we discussed how we can support and encourage research and other efforts that would lend themselves to submitting proposals for the conference. We also discussed involvement by our colleagues in the conference planning process.
That there is no one from community colleges on the coordinating committee confirms for us the worst biases that our colleagues in four-year institutes seem to harbour. All too often the critical role of community colleges in higher education is forgotten, and our community college library colleagues are left out of important conversations in ACRL. I hope it is a case that whoever is responsible for the committee appointments tried and was somehow told no by community college librarians over and over, but I suspect it's more likely that no one from among our ranks was asked.
Although appointments have been made, I hope that the right thing will be done and that seats (yes, plural – we should not be offered one token appointment) will be made on the coordinating committee for community college representation. I also hope that no future conference coordinating committee will be composed without due consideration of such a large and important population of academic librarians. No slight may have been intended, but it really is a shame that no one caught this before now and thought of how it would look to all of us in community college libraries.
I look forward to your response,
Peter Hepburn, Head Librarian
Chair, Community and Junior College Libraries Section, ACRL, 2018-2019
Head Librarian, College of the Canyons
Michael, thank you for your prompt offer.
Lauren, thank you for following up on this. I am glad to hear that offers were extended to three of our community college colleagues. I know from working on ACRL's Leadership Recruitment and Nominations Committee this past year that it sometimes takes going down the list deeper than three places to find suitable people, so I hope that Beth will be persistent in filling those final appointments.
I ask ACRL leadership to do better next time. No one contacted me, the CJCLS chair, for advice on appointments, and although Jose Aguinaga told me that he provided Beth with names, this email thread still has not yielded a request for CJCLS leadership to supply other names. We should not have to remind ACRL leadership to work with our section on matters like this. For all that I appreciate learning that at least a modest effort was made to ensure that community colleges are represented on the conference coordinating committee, I'm disappointed that I've had to make these inquiries on behalf of the section and its members.
Thank you again, Lauren, for your investigation and responses. Michael, I hope that you will find yourself engaged on the committee along with at least one other community college colleague. Should that be the case, good luck with the work. We'll otherwise await word from Beth about her plans for including multiple community college voices as we deserve.
From: Michael Miller <Michael.Miller@bcc.cuny.edu>
I would serve.
On Jun 25, 2019, at 5:26 AM, Lauren Pressley <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
After checking in with Beth McNeil, conference chair, I can confirm that she reached out to three community college members to serve, but none took her up on it. She still has two slots to fill and will be reaching out to community college members for those slots. She will follow up, but is traveling tomorrow, so it may be a few days before she is able to provide additional information.
On June 24, 2019 at 9:35:57 PM, Hepburn, Peter (email@example.com) wrote:
Lauren, did anything related to this come up at the ACRL board meeting earlier today? We're keen to know what you might have learned.
On Jun 23, 2019, at 8:12 PM, Lauren Pressley <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
Thanks for reaching out, Peter. Of course ACRL is committed to the critical role of community college librarians and library workers. I believe that we did reach out to several for this, and further I am under the impression appointments are still being made. Let me do some following up, and will get back to you tomorrow.
On June 23, 2019 at 5:12:25 PM, Hepburn, Peter (email@example.com) wrote:
Lauren, Beth, and Mary Ellen,
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