ACRL Chapters Council Minutes

2000 Annual Meeting—Chicago, Illinois
July 9, 2000

Chapters Council Chair Lynne King called the meeting to order at 8:35 am. King welcomed attendees and introduced CC Vice-Chair/Chair Elect Evelyn Minick, Secretary Sherri Edwards, Newsletter Editor Heather Ward, and Legislative Network Coordinator Chair, Pat Walker. King noted that the refreshments for today’s meeting were provided compliments of SIRSI.

Minutes from the 2000 Chapters Council Meeting held in San Antonio in January were approved. Secretary Edwards asked attendees to sign the attendance sheet that was being circulated around the room.

Election of Officers for 2001

Vice Chair/Chair Elect Minick introduced the slate of candidates for officers. Candidates for Vice Chair/Chair Elect are Linda Kopecky and Pat Viele; Candidate for Secretary is Sherri Edwards. Voting was completed and winners were later announced:

Vice Chair/Chair Elect: Linda Kopecky
Secretary: Sherri Edwards

Updates from ACRL Officers and Staff

King introduced Melissa Cast, Director of Member Services. Cast reported the following:

All requests for reimbursement from ACRL must be submitted by August 15. ACRL’s fiscal year runs from September 1 through August 31. Also, all chapter annual reports are due by August 15. The form for submitting the annual reports can be found at the ARCL web site.

Her office is responsible for maintaining the Chapters Council roster, which will be updated shortly after the conference. Chapters should report any changes in their officer lists, including new officers, changes in addresses, telephone numbers, etc. to Cast.

For several years, the ACRL Board of Directors has allocated funding for the ACRL President, Vice President/President Elect and Executive Director to visit and speak at Chapter conferences. Requests for a fall/spring conference were to be submitted by June 1st. Speaker assignments will be made soon.

Cast distributed an updated status report of chapter independence/affiliation as of June 2000. Since the list was completed, California, New York (Western/Ontario), and Washington chapters have become incorporated. Also, Alabama is now in the process of becoming incorporated. States whose status is still unknown are Arkansas, Georgia, and Western Pennsylvania.

Information Literacy Consultant

King introduced Gabriela Sonntag, the new Information Literacy Consultant for ACRL. California State University-San Marcos applied for the Consultant position as an institution and was awarded the position. Gabriela is the lead member of a team of consultants who will work with ACRL and a steering committee to move forward information literacy efforts across the country. The establishment of the Information Literacy Consultant position is a response to the growing interest in information literacy and a need to coordinate ACRL’s current and developing information literacy initiatives.

Candidates for ACRL Vice President

King introduced the two candidates for 2001 ACRL Vice President/President Elect.

Elaine Didier is Dean of Kresge Library at Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan. Didier spoke briefly about her vision of academic libraries in the future and emphasized the need for collaborative efforts and the development of librarians as leaders outside the library.

Helen Spalding is the Associate Director of Libraries at the University of Missouri-Columbia and is currently serving as an ACRL Council representative. Spaulding spoke briefly about the need for effective communication between ACRL, ALA, and local chapters and also about the importance of developing partnerships with other organizations. She also emphasized the importance of recruiting good people to the profession.

Legislative Network Update, Pat Walker

The Legislative Network is an informal grassroots initiative, made up of representatives from each chapter who communicate with each other about legislative issues via email. The network follows key legislation and regulations concerning issues important to academic libraries. Two issues have been dominating discussions on the email list serv recently. First is the issue of funding for the Government Printing Office and the pending decision about the proposed closing of NTIS.

The second issue deals with database protection legislation. Two database protection bills that were introduced in 1999 are the subjects of considerable debate in Congress. HR 354 has the support of some major commercial database publishers but would be detrimental to libraries. Another bill, HR1858, introduced by Tom Bliley, is more narrowly focused but is more favorable to libraries.

Also of importance to libraries is UCITA, the Uniform Computer Information Transaction Act. UCITA is intended to provide a uniform framework for licensing of software and computer information but could have major impact on libraries. Two states have already adopted UCITA and it is expected to be considered by or introduced in all state legislative bodies by the end of the year.

Chapter Topics

Ward reported that the Spring issue of Chapter Topics was the first “electronic only” version of the newsletter. Ward encouraged members to provide input concerning both the layout and design. She also noted that the Chapter Council meeting minutes have been created as a separate, outside link so that people wishing to print only the newsletter will not print the minutes. Chapters are encouraged to add a link to the newsletter to their chapter web sites.

The deadline for the next issue of Chapter Topics is August 14, 2000.

Introduction of ACRL officers

King introduced ACRL President Betsy Wilson, President-elect Mary Reichel, Past President, Larry Hardesty, and Executive Director, Althea Jenkins.

Brochure development report

Linda Kopecky, Brochure Committee Chair, distributed copies of a draft “ACRL Chapters & Chapters Council” brochure. The purpose of the brochure is to help define and promote Chapters Council and to serve as an orientation to new members. Over 20 pages of ideas and tips for the brochure were generated as a result of the brainstorming session held during the midwinter meeting. A brief discussion was held about a logo for the brochure. Sections are discouraged from designing their own logo but can create a graphic design. Several ideas for a design were suggested and passed on to Kopecky. She and Ward will work together to design a graphic that can be used both for the brochure and the newsletter. Several suggestions for additions and revisions to the content were also given. Kopecky encouraged members to send other comments to her via email.

She will prepare a second draft for the committee to review, incorporating the ideas received at today’s meeting. Then a third draft will be sent to all members for their feedback. The final brochure will be created as a “pdf” document so individual chapters can print their own brochures and, therefore, absorb any associated printing costs.

King thanked Kopecky and the committee for their efforts.

New business

Now that all chapters must be incorporated or affiliated with an incorporated group, a question was raised about obtaining liability insurance. Minick agreed to explore the issue and present various options at our next meeting.

Steven Bell reported that the Delaware Chapter is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. The Delaware Chapter is the oldest chapter and the first one to be recognized by ACRL for fifty years of existence. Bell welcomed input from others on ways the Delaware Chapter might celebrate this event.

Minick will serve as this year’s Chapters Council representative to the Nominating Committee for the “Excellence in Academic Libraries” award. This $3000 award, sponsored by Blackwell, is presented to winners in three categories: community colleges, colleges, and universities.

King reported that, due to financial reasons, the Western Pennsylvania chapter can no longer afford to remain in existence. Barbara Winters, the new library director at Marshall University (West Virginia) noted that West Virginia does not have an existing chapter. She was encouraged to contact a representative from the Western Pennsylvania chapter about the possibilities of merging with West Virginia to form one chapter.

Discussion with Larry Hardesty

Building ACRL and Chapter Cooperation—Strategic Initiative Grants, and Beyond:

This past year, ACRL received several interesting proposals from local chapters requesting initiative funds. However, most proposals were turned down because they did not meet the specified criteria. The ACRL board established the ACRL Initiative Fund to “provide opportunities for its member units to support specific strategic directions of the Strategic Plan and to challenge the status quo or explore leading edge ideas that would show tangible results to either ACRL or the profession of academic librarianship.” Preference is given to creative and innovative projects that address the Strategic Plan and the goals of the Association, especially those projects that address two or more of the goals.

Proposals for Initiative Funds are due on March 15 of each year, with awards being decided in the spring and announced by June 15. Funds are then available for the following fiscal year, which begins in September.

Due to the fact that many proposals were turned down, perhaps it is time for ACRL to consider alternatives to Initiative Fund. How can ACRL better support local chapters? The remainder of the meeting was spent discussing these issues with Larry Hardesty. Ideas generated included: changing the emphasis from “leading edge” ideas to a broader range of ideas that support the strategic plan; changing the name from Initiative funds to Strategic Funds; making available descriptions of past winning programs; allowing for more flexibility in the application process, i.e. allowing for a biennial review process instead of only once a year; selecting one central topic, such as information literacy or legislative advocacy, and fund programs dealing with that topic; allow chapters to submit potential proposals in advance of the deadline for initial feedback; establishing a clearinghouse of new and innovative topics and speakers; creating an “effective practices” web site; and awarding funding to chapters on a cycle rather than making it a competitive process.

Hardesty promised to share these ideas with the ACRL Executive board members at its meeting on Tuesday. All board meetings are open to the public, with “open mike” scheduled for the first twenty minutes. Finally, Mary Reichel asked members to help her in identifying volunteers for committee appointments. The ACRL committee volunteer form can be found on the ACRL web site.

The meeting was adjourned at 10:50 am.

Reported by Sherri Edwards
Secretary, Chapters Council