ACRL Chapters Council Meeting

ALA Annual Meeting – Chicago
Sunday, July 26, 8:30 to 11 a.m.
Palmer House Hilton
35 Attendees

Call to Order and Introductions

The meeting was called to order at 8:35 a.m. by Vibiana Bowman, Chapters Council Chair. Chair Bowman introduced the ACRL Chapter Officers who were present: Mark Emmons (Vice-Chair--Chair-Elect), Locke Morrisey (Immediate Past Chair), Wendy Starkweather (Secretary); Linda Kopecky (Listserv administrator) and Debbie Malone (Chapter Topics Newsletter Editor).

Bowman also introduced Megan Bielefeld, ACRL Program Coordinator, who reminded councilors that Annual Reports from chapters will be due August 15, 2005 and that the six slots for the ACRL Speakers’ Bureau were filled for 05-06. She noted that the Speakers Bureau was comprised of current officers and administrators of ACRL who were available to speak on ACRL-related topics at the annual conferences that are held by ACRL Chapters. She indicated that the Chapter Annual Report form and the forms for booking speakers were on the ACRL web site.

Bowman announced that a Chapters Council Orientation for new folks would immediately follow the formal biz meeting and pointed out that Orientation Packets had been prepared for new Councilors.

Election of Chapters Council Officers

The Chair introduced candidates for Vice Chair and Chair Elect – Nora Quinlan, Florida Chapter; Jon Hufford; Texas Chapter and for Secretary – Robin Crumin, Indiana Chapter; Fran Kaufmann, New Jersey Chapter; Ann Watson, Ohio Chapter. Each of the candidates had the opportunity to speak and introduce themselves and their views to their colleagues prior to the ballots being cast. Vote results: Nora Quinlan was elected to the position of Vice Chair-Chair Elect and Ann Watson was elected Secretary.

Approval of Minutes from Midwinter-2005

Starkweather noted that she had made some minor revisions and spelling corrections to the draft and said that the changes had been added to the draft version that was posted on the web. There being no additional changes the minutes were approved as posted. Starkweather was given a round of applause for her two terms of service as Chapters Council Secretary.

Introductions, Remarks and Updates from ACRL National Officers and the Executive Director

Camila Alire, ACRL Vice President-President-Elect reported on the success of the ACRL National Conferences held in Minneapolis. In addition she described a focus for her term - advocacy. She described the need for administrators to lobby with other deans, administrators legislators etc. - but she also urges frontline, grass roots advocacy. To that end she has appointed an advocacy task force that is arranging for a half-day workshop on Saturday during the 2006 ALA in New Orleans. She indicated that the emphasis of the workshop will be on empowering front liners, not just administrators, to promote their libraries and helping frontliners feel comfortable. The workshop is entitled "Powers of Personal Persuasion: Advancing Your Academic Libraries Agenda Within the Campus". ACRL will also be developing a tool kit to advance this agenda. The second focus is to develop a sisters library program that will support exchange programs with other countries. It will begin with Mexico. She encouraged librarians from chapters to email her if they are interested in participating. The third focus involves an awards task force to review the awards process, to assess financial support and policies re the awards. She noted that $50,000 of programming money had been set aside to support the strategic plan initiative. She encouraged chapters to take advantage of that possibility.

Pam Snelson, the newly elected Vice President/President-Elect of ACRL, was introduced and indicated that she was attending Chapters Council to hear directly from councilors and learn the concerns of the group. She also stated that she had not fully formulated her focus for her presidential year but that she wanted to get evidence for the strength of the libraries that could be used too help campus administrators better understand the true value of libraries. She’ll focus on talking with provosts and others to find out what will help establish that value in their minds.

Announcements from Chapter Officers

Debbie Malone, outgoing Chapters Topics Newsletter, handed out the New England Chapter "Tips for Chapters" that will go into the next newsletter. She noted that the newsletter was a good place to put chapter achievements and put all chapter reports. She reminded councilors that the old issues are on the web and that the next deadline is Dec. 1, 2005. Debbie was given a round of applause by councilors for her 5 years of service as editor.

Locke Morrissey, immediate past chair, described the E. J. Josey Spectrum Scholar Mentor Program, and indicated that the program is designed to provide mentoring to library school students and recent graduates from traditionally under-represented groups. The program is recruiting established academic librarians to serve as mentors for the program and Locke asked Chapter Councilors to urge interested members from their chapters to get involved.

Linda Kopecky, Chapters Council Listserv Administrator, described the chapter listserv and encouraged councilors to use the list for announcements, minutes and even discussion among members. She indicated that people joining the list needed to be an ACRL member and she asked councilors to be sure that all the officers from the chapters are included on the list. Chair Bowman noted that the list served as a wonderful communication tool and thanked Linda for her willingness to continue serving as list administrator. Linda was given a round of applause by councilors.

Mark Emmons, incoming Chair, reminded the group about the dine-around for councilors occurring Sunday evening at 6:30 and invited everyone to attend. Emmons also told members that the ACRL Chapter Council Orientation Draft had been approved by ACRL Executive Council. After some discussion it was agreed that links to all state reports be put on the ACRL website.

Discussion with ACRL Officers

Chair Bowman inquired as to the existence of a line item for Chapters Council. Snelson clarified that Chapters Council is treated like a committee and can get dollars to support chapter activities. She stated that chapters needed to put in an official request for the amount allocated to the Chapter. That amount is based on the number of members - $1 per member with a minimum of $100 available to a Chapter. The chapters submit the request directly to ACRL before August 15. The form is on the web. The Iowa Chapter Councilor indicated that they had used the money to cover elections mailing. In answer to the question about how chapters learn about the ACRL members in the state, it was noted that Megan Bielefeld could supply that information. It was also noted that there is more money available if a Chapter were to have a major recruitment effort. Chapters can receive $10 per recruited member if it is clear that a significant marketing/recruiting campaign had been undertaken.

A question was also raised about the problem associated with the fact that ALA communications preferences provide members with the opportunity to opt out of receiving communications from outside organizations, ACRL Chapters being classified in this same group with general vendors. It was observed that this placement virtually guarantees that many ACRL members will never hear from their state’s Chapter because they did not check the box indicating that they wanted to receive communications from ALA and outside organizations (Chapters being considered outside organizations by ALA). Consequently, many members do not realize that they will not receive print or email information from their ACRL Chapter. In her role as liaison to the ALA Executive Board, President-Elect Alire indicated that she would look into it. ACRL officers reiterated the importance that the officers of the chapters must be members of ACRL or are willing to join immediately. One member raised the question of the ACRL banners that were made available to chapters several years ago. It was noted that given the fact that the ACRL logo had changed, the old banners were not as useful as they had once been.

Mary Ellen Davis, ACRL’s Exec Director, briefly described the legal issues associated with the separation of the Chapters and ACRL and those associated with the use of the ACRL logo by chapters. It was determined that Chapters Council officers will arrange to survey chapters to determine which ones would like to make use of a banner.

Chair Bowman led the question and answer time with ACRL officers Davis and Frances Maloy, the current President of ACRL. The first question related to the environmental scan, an effort being undertaken by ACRL. It was clarified that ACRL wants to get chapter feedback and it was determined that Chapters Council officers will review the scans submitted by chapters and send a report to ACRL office in August.

Bowman also asked for additional information on the $50,000 initiative. Davis and Maloy indicated that if a Chapter has an idea about how ACRL can achieve their strategic objectives, it is possible that Chapters can apply for the money. The ACRL Board still needs to determine whether the chapters would be eligible – since chapters are not legally connected to ACRL. Maloy and Davis agreed to notify councilors of the Board decision. Davis indicated that there was an action plan form on the ACRL website that could be downloaded and used for this purpose. It was noted that the action plan should be done for a year from now and then apply for it. The environmental scans will inform the drafting of the budget.

Additional time was spent explaining the relationship between ACRL national and Chapters Council and Chapters. Davis explained that in some ways it is like branch libraries and their relationships to the main library. They will always be connected but it is not always a clear cut black and white relationship. She also noted the importance of maintaining effective communication between chapters and ACRL and emphasized the importance of the requirement that chapter officers be ACRL members.

She also highlighted ACRL expectations for chapters, e.g., chapter councilor must be ACRL member, chapters must prepare and submit annual reports, annual reports should reflect how chapters connect their activities to the strategic plan, and chapters should be engaging in active marketing and recruitment of new members. She noted that in return ACRL provides membership lists for mailing purposes, website info, brochures, financial support for Chapters, the speakers bureau, and ACRL awards for which chapters may apply.

Questions from the floor

Davis was also asked about the check-off options for communication preferences, i.e., individuals don’t want vendor stuff so they check that box on their membership form which in turn affects chapters’ access to the names of ACRL members in their state since chapters in this instance are considered outside entities. Davis indicated that she has already raised the issue with the ALA membership staff but was told that it would not be changed. She noted that if members felt strongly about requesting a change in the form, they could write Gerald Hodges, Mary Ghikas or Keith M. Fields to urge that they reconsider changing the grouping of chapters in with vendors within the check-off options on the membership form.

An additional question was raised with respect to ACRL conference fees and presenters but it was agreed that it was a unique issue for one Chapter and the discussion could continue offline.

The regular meeting was adjourned at 10:45a.m. An orientation session for new members followed immediately after the business meeting

Respectfully submitted,

Wendy Starkweather, Secretary
ACRL Chapters Council

Revised 12/05 by Frances Kaufmann, Incoming Secretary
ACRL Chapters Council