The Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) provides leadership for development, promotion and improvement of academic and research library resources and services to facilitate learning, research, and scholarly communication process. ACRL promotes the highest level of professional excellence for librarians and library personnel in order to serve the users of academic and research libraries.
Librarians as Leaders
ACRL's 58th President
Most of ACRL's activity this year involved Goal 1 of our Strategic Plan--providing professional development opportunities for academic and research librarians--and quite properly so. ACRL chapters sponsored 32 programs this year, and sections and committees held 14 programs at ALA in San Francisco--a planned reduction from previous years, in part because six sections cosponsored the President's Program. An obvious highlight of our development opportunities this year was the 8th National Conference in Nashville, attended by 2,973 individuals. From its Web page and preconferences to its several days of dynamic keynote speakers and many fine individual papers and discussion opportunities, this conference fulfilled many needs. Yet it was only one of many avenues we offered our members this year; our publications, discussion groups, and other activities also afforded excellent growth opportunities.
The most progress on the Plan this year occurred in the area of Goal 2, collaborating with other professional organizations in higher education to promote mutual interests. Largely through the leadership of our executive director, ACRL resumed a level of interaction with nonlibrary associations not seen since the Bibliographic Instruction (BI) Liaison Project of the 1970s, but our approach now is much broader than the one-note samba of BI. Members participated in programs at meetings of the American Association of Higher Education, the National Association of State University and Land Grant Colleges, the American Council on Education, and many other organizations, including several regional accrediting agencies.
Goal 3, increasing our role in planning and decision-making to influence national information policy, is the newest and most ambitious part of the Plan, and we spent the year learning to crawl in this area before we could walk. The Government Relations Committee did valuable preparatory work on a legislative network of state and chapter representatives and discussed with the ALA Washington office how to contribute most usefully in this area without duplicating effort. We endorsed the Higher Education Reauthorization Act and are negotiating the learning curve towards heavier future involvement in this arena. Regarding Goal 4, operating efficiency, I am proud to say that ACRL continues to provide a full array of services while charging lower dues than any other division. The staff was realigned for greater effectiveness, and the Board is engaging in systematic self-assessment.
Through my work this year, including visits to chapters across the nation, publication of articles in College and Research Libraries and the Chronicle of Higher Education, attendance at Board meetings, and other venues, I have met many wonderful people, learned much more than I have taught, and gained much more than I have contributed. My thanks to all who lent their time and talents to ACRL this year--the Association is a reflection of your collective effort.
|What ACRL members value
ACRL connects me to a group of colleagues working to enhance the role of academic libraries in higher education and articulates a national voice on higher education issues as they involve libraries. ACRL supports programs and discussions that provide vital continuing education for my own professional practice. ACRL helps me surmount institutional isolation and gives needed context to my local work as an academic librarian.
I have continued to be involved with ACRL for 20 years because, first and foremost, it has made me a better academic librarian. I have borrowed ideas; shared problems; even found solutions in discussions with my colleagues at ACRL and through formal programming. Being active in ALA and ACRL for me is part of my commitment to academic librarians as a crucial element in student's education. It is where I renewed my sense of professionalism and wonder at all we do. Bottom line it is also fun.
W. Lee Hisle
In 1997-98, the association will move ahead vigorously as it continues to implement its strategic plan. My president's theme for the year is "Facing the Millennium: Values for the Electronic Information Age." Activities that implement the Strategic Plan and highlight the theme are planned throughout the year.
Celebrating the diversity of member interests in ACRL and emphasizing the values of librarianship, the ALA Annual Conference in Washington D.C. will feature some 17 programs presented by ACRL sections and committees. The ACRL President's Program will focus on "Values for the Electronic Information Age," with an exploration of the traditional values of librarianship under challenge and new values that are evolving. A lively and thought-provoking program is anticipated.
A major area of emphasis this year will be in the legislative advocacy arena. The ACRL office has assigned a program officer the responsibility for coordinating ACRL grassroots activities in the higher education legislative and policy arenas. Working with the ACRL executive director, the Chapter's Council Legislative Network, the Government Relations Committee, and the ALA Washington office, the program officer will assist members in drafting responses to legislative initiatives, organize and coordinate the flow of information to Washington, and track the success of our efforts while working to improve our methods.
Other activities related to legislative advocacy will occur this year. The Government Relations Committee will develop the first ACRL Legislative Agenda to be adopted by the Board at Midwinter in New Orleans. This will give structure to our advocacy efforts. Also, next summer at the ALA Annual Conference in Washington, D.C., a preconference entitled "From Ivory Towers to Halls of Power: Advocacy Training for Academic Librarians" will be offered. Designed to build the skills and develop the confidence to carry out advocacy activities, the workshop will help academic librarians recognize and use the power we have.
The ACRL Board has authorized two other important initiatives this year. An advisory committee was established to the National Information Literacy Institute (NILI) allowing ACRL to take the leadership role in planning for instruction in the use of information in an electronic age. Also, ACRL and the American Association for Higher Education (AAHE) will sponsor a forum for representatives of higher education associations during the summer of 1998. Attendees will develop action strategies, to help address critical issues facing their respective memberships and constituencies.
It will be an exciting year in which we lay the groundwork for significant legislative advocacy and continuing education initiatives while offering members many opportunities for professional improvement. We will also explore the traditional and emerging values of librarianship. I am honored to have the opportunity to lead such an energetic association.
ACRL Membership Statistics
ALTHEA H. JENKINS
It is with great pleasure that I share with you some highlights of ACRL's activities during fiscal 1996-97. This was a very active year for both ACRL members and headquarters' staff. (A detailed report of the past year's activities can be found on the ACRL website; I invite you to go there and read them at http://www.acrl.org) As you know, over the last two years we have been redefining and fine-tuning our activities and operations within the framework of the Strategic Plan, which provided some very specific focus areas that we pursued. I am pleased with the progress we have made.
We could not have made such progress without the commitment and support of our dedicated members. Each brings a commitment to the work of the association, which results in the successes that we all celebrate. I am also proud of the excellent staff team; they are a class-act. They are talented, committed, and very hard-working professionals who bring enthusiasm and creativity to ACRL's programs, services, and products. Finally, we are also deeply appreciative of our corporate sponsors who make many of the programs and activities possible for our members through their generous contributions.
Meeting members' needs
One of the ways that ACRL determines what programs, services, and products are needed to meet the changing needs of its members is through surveys and focus groups. We conducted several postcard surveys and focus groups during the year. Members told us that their roles were changing and expanding on their campuses and that support to meet these new challenges was needed.
We made some strategic decisions about the governance and management of ACRL's sections in order to improve their operating environment and their ability to deliver quality programming to members. By removing restrictions from the "basic services" funding and by increasing the amounts allocated, the Board strengthened the sections' ability to respond more broadly to the needs of their membership. We agreed to mount some section electronic discussion listsand Web pages on the ALA server and to expand the Initiative Fund criteria to include proposals from the sections that seek out liaison relationships with learned societies.
For academic libraries, standards and guidelines have been cornerstones of the planning and evaluation process. Recognizing that institutional assessment had become outcomes-focused, the ACRL Board established the Library Outcomes Assessment Task Force to study ACRL's standards and guidelines process and to develop a framework for more outcomes-focused standards and guidelines in the future. The task force conducted a hearing at the Annual Conference and a discussion group during the Midwinter Meeting to collect information from members. A final report of the task force will be submitted to the Board at this year's Annual Conference.
Partnership could have been ACRL's theme for 1996-97. In carrying out one of our highest strategic goals, we put a lot of time and effort into building partnerships in many areas. Of particular importance was our relationships with other higher education associations--the American Association of Higher Education (AAHE), the American Council on Education (ACE), and the National Association of State University and Land-Grant Colleges (NASULGC)--to develop relationships and explore topics of mutual interest.
ACRL members presented several programs at conferences of higher education organizations. We participated in policy discussions, and the national conference had several teaching faculty and academic administrators presenting on its program. I think that we had remarkable success in building stronger and more productive relationships with other organizations in the past year.
Focusing on legislative and policy issues
We looked for ways that ACRL could influence and focus attention on legislative and policy issues of importance to academic libraries. Our exploration in this area brought us in closer communication with the ALA Washington office staff and two higher education working groups: NASULGC's Information Technology Commission and the Title 44 Federal Depository Library Program working group. We worked with the ALA Washington office to identify the best mechanism for ACRL to give input to the legislative process.
The Board approved a legislative and policy initiative, which will be carried out by the ACRL staff and member groups in cooperation with the ALA Washington office. The purpose of the initiative is to identify legislative and policy issues of importance to academic libraries and provide grassroots input to the ALA Washington office. Throughout next year, we will solicit the support of our members to help us meet our goal in this area.
|ACRL Council of Liaisons
ACRL responded to a trend in higher education where taking the information to the student (rather than "build it and they will come") has become a common and important mode of instructional delivery. This year's President's Program, "Imagining the Learning Library," a collaborative effort of six ACRL sections offered at ALA's Annual Conference in San Francisco attended by a standing-room only audience, made history as the first ACRL President's Program offered as a teleconference. Members in Kansas, Massachusetts, Alabama, and Utah were able not only to listen to the program, but also to call in with their questions.
Another exciting departure from past President's Programs was the creation of "A Showcase of Ideas" that complemented the President's Program content. Twenty academic institutions exhibited ways that they have incorporated the learning library concept into their own institutions using dramatic presentations, poster session formats, and audiovisual displays. Additional programming by member units through-out this year included Annual Conference programs, discussion group sessions, and chapter meetings with ACRL leaders as speakers.
The pinnacle of ACRL's professional development program is its National Conference, held every two years. As indicated by the enthusiastic responses above, this year's 8th National Conference, April 11-14, 1997, continued ACRL's string of successes.
Nearly 3,000 participants attended the conference which broke ground in several ways thanks to the vision of the conference chair, Carla Stoffle, who used technology to initiate a dialogue prior to the conference and to broaden the conference to engage nonlibrarian teaching faculty and administrators. First, it included an interactive scenarios component that encouraged participation both before and during the conference, and second, the Web was used to facilitate interaction among librarians before the conference and to inform people about conference details. A virtual dialog about major themes of the conference happened prior to the conference as readers could post their opinions to the Web after reading the papers posted there. Research papers posted after the conference comprised an electronic proceedings.
National Conference, Detroit, 1999
Plans are well underway for ACRL's 9th National Conference in Detroit. The Executive Committee selected a theme, "Racing Toward Tomorrow," and suggested moving the conference dates back one day so that the conference will end on a Sunday (April 8-11, 1999). This committee plans to introduce the "Conference-within-a-Conference" segment which would encourage teams of librarians and faculty and administrators to attend the conference together.
In addition to the ten preconferences held at the National Conference, ACRL offered several preconferences prior to the 1997 ALA Annual Conference in San Francisco which were both programmatically and financially successful. Evaluations of the preconferences were positive with most receiving high marks for being well organized and helpful.
|1997 Annual Conference Programs and Preconferences
National Information Literacy Institute
Due to the growing recognition in higher education that information literacy is a critical curriculum component and the lack of coverage of information literacy in the graduate library degree programs, the ACRL Board approved a proposal to provide funding and support for a National Information Literacy Institute. The purpose of this program is to provide an immersion training program for librarians in information literacy, to offer opportunities for librarians and educational administrators to work together, and to train librarians to inform external organizations about information literacy.
|ACRL Award Winners 1997|
ACRL's publications program continues to fulfill the goals of the Strategic Plan of "promoting study, research, and publications relevant to academic librarianship." ACRL leads the academic library profession in providing opportunities for members to gain new knowledge or share their research or experiences. Five new monograph titles were published in the past year (see sidebar).
Internet Resource topics in C&RLNews
College & Research Libraries sported a new look this year--featuring the articles and authors on the outside front cover. Beginning in January 1997 readers could access on the Web an abridged version of each issue, which includes article titles and abstracts and the complete text of the editorial and book reviews. Guidelines for potential authors, the index for the previous year's articles, and subscription information is also on the site.
C&RL News noted its 30th anniversary with a year long celebration that featured special articles about the past, remembrances of important leaders, anniversary quizzes, and a forecast of the future. Two new columns were also launched: "Partners in Higher Education," which highlights ACRL's activities with other associations and "ACRL Strategic Plan in Action," which focuses on activities undertaken in support of the Strategic Plan. C&RL NewsNet, the abridged version of C&RL News, is available to readers two to three weeks before the printed edition and includes hypertext links to Internet resources reviewed.
|C&RL News is the number one place to look for jobs in
academic libraries and I always make sure it is the first place
we advertise to attract the best applicants.
-- Don Riggs, Vice President, Information Services and
University Librarian, Nova Southeastern University
The editor of Rare Books & Manuscripts Librarianship (RBML) has announced that he will step down after his term ends in July 1999, and a search for a new editor has been initiated. A new editor will be named at Annual Conference 1998, permitting a one-year internship for the editor-designate.
Communications and information dissemination among ACRL's members is becoming easier and more frequent as electronic offerings expand. ACRL's website continues to be enhanced to increase ease of access to information and visual appeal. The Web was used extensively for ACRL's 8th National Conference, including the creation of a site that included all supporting documents such as the Call for Papers, the Preliminary Program, and, following the conference, the complete text of all contributed papers. And as noted by Library Journal, ACRL "put a new twist on the term interactive. Not only did [conference] participants get the expected face-to-face interaction with colleagues and vendors, but they were able to read scenarios for the future of academic libraries on the Web before the conference." Major expansions in the past year have included links to all ACRL sections that have websites, summary versions of C&RL, and the full text of all standards and guidelines. The website now includes a link to the new Choice website and links to reports and activities of ACRL committees and task forces.
During 1996-97 fiscal year Choice made significant progress on a number of fronts with the goal of positioning itself to launch a full-fledged electronic publishing program. That goal has now been realized. The year's highlights include:
• Choice published a special supplement containing reviews of 190 websites and a variety of other material--including just under 20 ad pages. "The Web issue" was distributed free to current subscribers, and more than 300 additional copies were sold within the first 60 days.
- Following a several month search, Choice entered negotiations with Doody Publishing of Oak Park, Illinois for a 1998 beta-test of a Choice Web Review service.
- Choice received over half a dozen licensing inquiries and proposals for its databases. While many of these were problematic from Choice's perspective, a SilverPlatter request to extend its existing agreement to encompass Web delivery was approved. Discussions began with Amazon.com, which are expected to lead to an agreement in early 1998.
Marketing & Promotion
- Choice contracted with ResearchUSA to conduct its first readership survey since 1990; the final report delivered in January 1997 has proven useful as both an ad sales tool and source of editorial ideas.
- An expanded Outstanding Academic Books (OAB) promotional effort, featuring a newly designed OAB seal and OAB booklet, was conducted in January/February. Revenues from short-term license arrangements with book vendors interested in mounting the Choice OAB file on their websites helped offset the cost of this program, which we believe can become self-funding in the future.
|New Titles from ACRL in 1997
- A new Internet access system featuring a 56K frame relay link and Netscape software was installed in March.
Organizational & Administrative
- The Choice Selection Policy was revised in collaboration with the Choice Editorial Board and the new version was approved at the Annual Conference in San Francisco.
- The Choice Editorial Board completed a self-review as mandated by ACRL policy; its final report was submitted to the ACRL Publications Board in San Francisco.
TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS
ACRL's committees and task forces completed another productive year of work which resulted in a number of improvements to our association, specifically in the fields of leadership, faculty rewards, and ACRL bylaw changes.
Leadership development and training are essential to every academic librarian's future. Some of ACRL's ad hoc committees that have been involved with leadership made their final reports to the ACRL Board. A task force charged to look at ways of involving past leaders in ACRL's work recommended that the Board establish a senior leadership council; create mentoring opportunities between leaders, new members or aspiring leaders; use past leaders as ACRL representatives to higher education; and continue to bring past and present leaders together at ACRL National Conference.
Another ad hoc committee, the Leadership Advisory Committee, changed its name to the Leadership Development Committee and has changed its charge to: "Develop leaders for the academic and research library profession and for the broader higher education community; to develop a coordinated array of programs and services sponsored by various entities which, collectively, would comprise an ACRL Leadership Center."
Keywords such as tenure, promotion, merit, and reward system are dear to every academic/research librarian's heart. The Institutional Priorities & Faculty Reward Task Force defined and described the scholarship and activities academic librarians perform so that the range of activities recognized by academic institutions in their reward systems might be extended. The task force's statement will be submitted to the ACRL Board for approval at the 1998 Midwinter Meeting. This initiative is part of a larger movement established by the Syracuse University's Center for Instructional Development.
The Academic Status Committee requested that its name be changed to the Committee on the Status of Academic Librarians to eliminate any confusion about its purpose. The Board approved revised charges for two committees. The Professional Enhancement Committee charge was changed to include recruitment to the profession and to represent ACRL on the ALA Recruitment Assembly. The Research Committee expanded its charge to include activities of coordinating and communicating with other committees and groups within and outside ACRL that focus on research.
The Constitution and Bylaws Committee has been working to combine the ACRL Constitution and the ACRL Bylaws into one document entitled "ACRL Bylaws." The committee presented its draft to the ACRL Board at Annual Conference and a second draft to the ACRL Executive Committee's fall meeting. The Board will vote on the bylaws revisions twice before they are placed on the 1998 spring ballot for a vote by the membership.
Budget and Finance Committee Chair
ACRL substantially improved its financial position during the 1996-97 fiscal year. A combination of strong conference revenues (particularly from the Nashville National Conference); advertising income from publications; and efficiencies and cost containment produced a budget surplus of $512,884--the largest such surplus in ACRL's history. As a result, the ACRL operating fund balance increased from $1,060,765 at the end of 1995-96 to $1,573,649 at the end of 1996-97. Choice exceeded its budget by $106,345, finishing the fiscal year with a fund balance of $1,024,306.
ACRL's revenues (not including Choice) were $185,194 more than budgeted for the year. The ACRL National Conference in Nashville was especially successful, attracting registrations well above budgeted levels.
Total revenues from registration fees, including the national conference and all of ACRL's preconferences and institutes, was $163,415 more than planned. ACRL's advertising revenue was also substantially more than projected. Advertising income for College and Research Libraries and C&RL News was $53,091 above budget, while Choice's advertising revenues were $114,730 more than budget. Revenues for exhibit space at the national conference, for nonperiodical publications and for Choice subscriptions and miscellaneous sales, were significantly below expected levels.
As has been the case in recent years, ACRL realized substantial cost containment in several areas, including expenses for the national conference, staff costs, and printing and postage. ACRL expenditures (not including Choice) were $197,984 less than budgeted for the year, while Choice expenses were $97,701 less than budget.
Managing ACRL's assets
ACRL's long-term investment portfolio includes the ACRL general Endowment, the Choice Endowment, and three award endowments (Oberly, Leab, and Atkinson). At the end of the fiscal year, the total portfolio value of all ACRL endowment funds was $349,306, an increase of $62,187 (or 17.8%) over the total value at the end of 1995-96. Values for each of the endowments as of August 31, 1997 were as follows: ACRL Endowment, $84,240; Choice Endowment, $120,598; Oberly Award, $17,466; Leab Award, $24,395; Atkinson Award, $102,607.
During the year, the ACRL Budget and Finance Committee reviewed ACRL's finances and recommended to the ACRL Board a new approach to managing the association's assets. The primary feature of this approach involves substantial transfers of funds from operating reserves into the ACRL and Choice endowments. These transfers will be carried out during the 1997-98 and 1998-99 fiscal years. The Budget and Finance Committee is confident that this new approach to asset management will enable ACRL to build its financial resources with investment income while improving its ability to carry out strategic objectives (see C&RL News, June 1997, p 393).
The ACRL Board, following a recommendation from the Budget and Finance Committee, has approved a 1997-98 ACRL budget with expenditures that are $373,345 above anticipated revenues and a Choice budget with expenditures of $110,622 above revenues. The ACRL budget includes advance expenses for the Detroit National Conference (which are projected to be more than recovered when the conference is held); increased expenses for new initiatives relating to library and higher education legislation and policy; and a plan for a National Information Literacy Institute. The Choice budget includes new expenditures and revenues for a beta test version of the magazine in Web format. The 1997-98 budget shows projected revenues, expenses, and fund balances as follows:
|beginning fund balance||$1,573,649||beginning fund balance||$1,024,306|
|total revenues||$1,093,557||total revenues||$1,833,915|
|total expenditures||$1,466,902||total expenses||$1,944,537|
|endowment transfers||$200,000||endowment transfers||$100,000|
|ending fund balance||$1,000,304||ending fund balance||$813,684|
I wish to express thanks to the ACRL Budget and Finance Committee, the ACRL staff, and the National Conference Committee for all their work in insuring such excellent budget results for the 1996-97 year. Members of the Budget and Finance Committee were: Nancy Allen, David Brink, Rena Fowler, Cathy Henderson, Janice Kemp, John Popko, Gloriana St. Clair, Lynn Sutton, Sharon Walbridge, and Juana Young, as well as ex officio members W. Lee Hisle and Althea Jenkins.
Everyone involved with ACRL can feel justifiably proud of our association's financial strength, the superb budget performance in 1996-97, and ACRL's increased ability to carry out its highest priority programs.
Sources of Revenue
|Operating Fund (ACRL)||$1,060,765||$1,573,649||148.35%||$1,060,765|
|Operating Fund (CHOICE)||$1,028,399||$1,024,306||99.60%||$1,030,809|
|Membership dues and other|
|Standards and Other||$2,000||$5,157||257.85%||$700|
|Total Rev. W/O Choice||$1,923,399||$2,108,593||109.62%||$1,121,288|
|National Conference Rev.||$843,483||$988,315||117.17%||$7,818|
|Total Rev. W/O Ntl Conf.||$1,079,916||$1,120,278||103.73%||$1,113,470|
Executive Summary 1996-97
Object of Expense
|Exec. Comm. & Board||$85,253||$73,125||85.77%||$125,505|
|Council of Liaisons||$29,447||$38,261||129.93%||$0|
|Pre & Postconferences||$58,792||$88,519||150.56%||$75,468|
|Total Exp. W/O CHOICE||$1,793,693||$1,595,709||88.96%||$1,195,427|
|Net w/o CHOICE||$129,706||$512,884||395%||($74,139)|
|ACRL Colleagues 1997
ACRL thanks the corporate community for financially supporting its activities and programs throughout the year. Working together, the academic library and corporate community can achieve goals of mutual interest. Librarians benefit from the expert analysis and problem-solving corporate leaders can bring to issues and topics being addressed.
Corporate contributions added $75,899 to the ACRL 1996-97 budget. It was because of these contributions that the ACRL membership enjoyed a wider range of programs and activities. ACRL could not be the major player in the library and higher education arena that it is without the cooperation received from sponsorships.
ACRL's Colleagues program recognizes corporate supporters as "Summa Cum Laude" (donations of $5,000 or more), "Magna Cum Laude" ($1,001-$4,999), and "Cum Laude" ($500-$1,000).Summa Cum Laude (over $5,000)
BlackWell North America
EBSCO Subscription Services
H. W. Wilson Foundation
Information Access Company
Swets & Zeitlinger, Inc.
Magna Cum Laude ($1,001 $4,999)
American Chemical Society
Antiquarian Booksellers' Association
Baker & Taylor Books
Institute for Scientific Information
Yankee Book Peddler
Cum Laude ($500 $1,000)
Academic Book Center
Aux Amateurs De Livres
Bruce McKittrick Rare Books
Midwest Library Service
Metal Edge West Inc.
Norman Ross Publishing
University Products Inc.